Whether they are put down on paper or living in the entrepreneur’s mind, business goals are a must for any venture worth it’s salt. A business will typically have long-term and short-term goals detailing what the enterprise hopes to accomplish within the next two to three years and in the coming five to ten years.
Business goals act like rails that keep the company heading in the right direction. This helps guide the decisions made by employees as well as investors who may want to support the business.
The company’s overall objectives will inform the goals of its different departments, including the marketing arm. One of the marketing team’s key tasks will be coming up with goals that its brand should help it achieve. These brand goals should be well defined and distinct from the overall business goals.
Who Takes Precedence?
A business is an entity that exists to make profits from engaging in a particular activity or selling a particular product. Branding has to do with the messaging you choose to use when promoting your products or services. It has to do with the identity, from the values you stand by to the colors you choose as your signature colors. A brand is essentially the face of the business to the world.
Strong branding can lead to a brand many within the target demographic identify with or aspire to identify with. Such a brand boosts sales in the short term and fosters customer loyalty and growth by referrals.
It is not uncommon for a business to have more than one brand relating to different product lines. Some large companies have what they call umbrella brands that relate to different families of products. These brands mostly don’t share features with the main brand. For example, the Axe line of toiletry products made by Unilever houses deodorants, shampoos, and conditions but is distinct from the Unilever brand.
It is paramount for you to set overarching goals that set the tone for operating as a business. They don’t have to be specific or quantifiable, but they should clearly depict the company’s direction. You could, for instance, say that you want to increase your market share by x%.
While setting and maintaining focus on business goals alone is essential, it has to be done in conjunction with setting goals in the individual departments that make up the business. Neglecting the branding goals, for example, will leave your business with a weak brand presence in the market.
Your competitors will take advantage of this by offering your customers and potential customers more attractive branding. In this age of social media marketing, these consumers have plenty of options if they can turn to if your brand is not appealing enough. This is especially true in the world of fashion.
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, engaging a fashion branding agency in New York is a good idea. They have earned their reputations and are highly experienced in developing suitable branding in this niche, so you won’t have to reinvent the wheel.
They will set branding goals and help you create milestones that will help ensure you meet those goals. They will also ensure that these goals bleed into the overall business to get the support of top management.
Business Versus Brand
What lines should you be thinking about with your overall business goals? Regarding long-term business plans, you should be thinking about achieving significant reductions in your operating expenses. You should consider the new geographical territories to expand into in the next five years.
Your short-term business goals should include measures you will put in place to boost employee engagement in the coming months. In terms of marketing and brand visibility, you can set out to boost your social media followers by x percent in the coming quarter.
And what should you set out to achieve in terms of brand goals? Branding objectives should be formed with your target audience’s characteristics, wants, and dislikes in mind. And they need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound).
The Goals That Matter
Ask yourself, how will your brand help you make customers out of your prospects? What measures or systems will you put in place to glean more information about your prospective customers so that you can tailor your branding to suit them? Other objectives will include creating better brand loyalty and brand awareness.
Your business goals need not be at odds with your brand goals. You shouldn’t have to be in a position to decide which takes precedence over the other. The ideal balance between the two will be achieved by constant communication between top management and the marketing team.
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