• Jonathan Alder

How a brand review will drive your business success

Updated: Feb 3

The past 2 years have seen Covid-19 drive the UK economy to its deepest recession for 300 years. However, as the economy starts to recover, many business are filled with a sense of optimism and a desire to get back to “normal”. According to a report from the Enterprise Research Centre earlier in 2021, 50% of UK SMEs plan to introduce new products or services this year.

But not every business is ready to exploit this post-Covid growth opportunity. The economy has changed, but they haven’t. They need to take the time to understand how the market has changed, so that they can adapt. A brand review is the opportunity business leaders need, to take stock. It’s an exercise designed to help companies do business more efficiently and more effectively. It harnesses the power of your brand, by giving it focus.

In order to appreciate the potential of a brand review, it’s important to understand what your brand is. Your brand is the experience people have of doing business with you. The quality of that experience is determined by every interaction they have with you: every email, every time they use your product or service, every time they visit your premises, every time they read about you on social media. What a brand review does, is look at all of these interactions, to understand how they are influencing your customers’ experience, so you can make changes to improve it.

The scale of a brand review can seem daunting, especially to a business where resources are stretched thin after 18 months of recession and recovery. But a brand review looks at three distinct elements of a business, which makes the process easier to manage. The elements are: the business dimension, the internal dimension and the external dimension.

The business dimension is about understanding your business and your goals - what you need to do to be successful. A useful tool for this exercise is the Ansoff Matrix. For anyone not familiar with the Ansoff Matrix, it’s a well-established business tool, for assessing the most appropriate growth strategy for a business. It consists of a 2x2 grid, giving businesses four options: Market penetration, Market development, Product development and Diversification. By identifying which strategy is right for your business, you can plan your post-pandemic growth more efficiently.

The internal dimension is about understanding the personality and culture of your business, and how that might have changed. There are two elements which are fundamental to this. The first is your “purpose”, which is a statement that describes WHY you do business. The second is your “values”, which are a set of guiding principles that influence HOW you do business. The strength of these two elements is to act as a “compass” to give your business direction. As you emerge from the pandemic, it’s important to consider which direction is right for your business.

The external dimension is about understanding your customers and your competitors. The needs and expectations of your customers have probably changed over the past 18 months. But what are they now? Have they established a “new normal” or are they still adapting? Your competitors have probably changed too. As digital adoption has surged, through lockdowns and restrictions, new competitors are just a Google-search away. Taking the time to identify your market position is vital. It will help you to drive your future success efficiently and effectively.

A brand review is a strategic activity, so it needs to involve those people within your business responsible for making strategic decisions. Often, this doesn’t include the marketing team. But the marketing team is often responsible for “brand”, so why shouldn’t they drive a brand review?

The benefit of a brand review to a marketing team is enormous. A well-executed brand review will provide the clarity you need to deliver more effective marketing activity.

  • Understanding your company’s growth strategy will help you to identify what type of marketing activity is required. A campaign to support a market penetration strategy will be different from a campaign to drive a product development strategy.

  • Understanding your “purpose” and your “values” will give you valuable insight into the image you want to project and the message you want to communicate. It will help you to understand what you need to say to sound different.

  • Understanding your market position will allow you to identify how you compete with your rivals. It will give you insight into how you need to change, to reach your target customers, and what marketing activity will be most appropriate.

With the understanding that a brand review provides, you will be able to make best use of your marketing resources and generate a better ROI for your marketing activity.

As the economy recovers, and new opportunities emerge, businesses are eager to seize them. But many businesses run the risk of rushing into the future, without taking the time to understand what the future is. There is a danger that, in their enthusiasm to exploit the short-term benefits, they will fail to build a foundation for long-term growth. A brand review will provide the time - and the tools - needed to build that foundation.

If you're interested in finding out more, or talking to Jonathan about your branding, please don't hesitate to get in touch with him. You can reach Jonathan at or visit their website at

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