Is your brand pulling it’s weight? Is it making a difference, asks Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Marketing?

We all know good branding when we see it. Most of us can name the brands behind straplines such as ‘Every little helps’, ‘Never knowingly undersold’, or ‘Just do it’ because they’ve been drummed into us by constant marketing.

But how many window industry brand straplines can you think of? As a marketing missionary, I challenged myself to recall what 25 leading brands said about themselves and struggled. So, I gave up and looked on their websites. Half didn’t have a strapline and their websites weren’t much help. They said lots of things but nothing clearly. Five had bland statements that could have described any brand in any industry. Ten had meaningful straplines. Seven of them stood out…

  1. Everest: ‘Fit the Best’. Nearly 50 years of effective marketing means generations have grown up knowing one of the truly great straplines.
  2. Residence: ‘The way they were meant to be’ is as evocative and memorable as ever.
  3. Ultraframe: ‘Transforming light and space’ is a brilliant statement of the benefits of its brand.
  4. Eurocell: ‘Altogether better’ is strong and clear.
  5. Door-Stop: ‘The UK’s favourite composite door’ still drives sales.
  6. Solidor: ‘The UK’s best composite door’ is confident and reassuring.
  7. Crystal Direct: ‘No 1 for choice. No 1 for colour.’ With colour trending this says it clearly.

At its simplest, your brand is what you want people to say about you when you’re not there.

The window industry likes to think its marketing is pretty sharp, and a few brands are excellent, but most lag behind other industries.

Your brand is your reputation, the sum of who you are, what you do, and your relationships. It’s the trust you’ve built up in the market. It’s why people buy from you, not someone else.

Marketing is not tools and techniques like advertising, it’s a set of ideas and a way of looking at your business, your customers, and prospects. Done right, it powers your sales and profitable growth.

Every business needs to ask: are we in the right place, heading in the right direction and doing the right things? Are we saying the right things, in the right way, to the right people?

Three key marketing questions: 

  • Who? Who do you sell to, who do you want to sell more to? How old are your customers – mostly young, middle aged or soon to retire? The Haves or the Have Nots, or those who supply them? Are you following the money or selling to anyone who asks? That could be why your profits are not what they could be.
  • Why? Why do customers buy from you, not your rivals? Price always matters, but research says that online most people choose brands they know. And they return for a great experience, choice, convenience, and service, not price.
  • Where? Aim to be the name people recommend, the brand everyone thinks of, the first people see when they look or search.

David or a Goliath?

Research says challenger brands need to be 3.5 times as effective as the leader’s marketing to level the playing field. For every £1 Coca Cola spends it gets £1.30p back. For every £1 Pepsi spends it gets £0.30 back. If you’re not No.1 you need to do more because leaders like Coca-Cola have the ‘defender’s advantage’. Doing more means shouting louder and longer, so your market notices and remembers you. Repetition builds your brand.

Marketers often get bored with their message before most of their audience notices, so a lot of marketing is wasted. Creativity matters but it’s more about saying the same thing in a fresh way than finding a new message. We only know BMW is ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ because it’s been saying it since 1975!

If you’d like help with building your brand, email mike@mra-marketing.com