At Bradley O’Mahoney, we were delighted to be able to deliver the Winning Brands event in conjunction with North East Times magazine. We were particularly encouraged to see that representatives from more than 60 companies attended to hear about how they could improve their brands.
In a crowded and competitive market place, those companies that embrace strong values and then bring them to life through their daily actions have a real opportunity to distance themselves from those that do not give sufficient thought to this area.
Companies that place integrity and transparency at the heart of all their business transactions have positive and enthusiastic staff, attract high-quality recruits, develop exciting partnerships and both retain and win customers.
Customers can go to a range of different suppliers for products and services, but what will keep them coming back to your business is very simple – how you made them feel!
It was for this reason that the first Winning Brands lecture focused on Living Your Brand Values, with speakers including Neil Stephenson, Maurice Duffy and myself.
Taking the stage to introduce the event, John Duns, co-owner of North East Times, described how the magazine encourages local businesses to focus on expanding their reach by building powerful brands. He reported a direct link between brand and profit. However, the link is only effective if a company invests in a well-researched and fully integrated long-term plan.
I then gave an insight into how differentiation through developing a clear brand story based around company values will help companies to stand out in the crowd. An example of this being our client Hodgson Sayers, whose total commitment to its core values ‘Honesty, Decency and Integrity’ has been a driving factor in the growth of the company.
In 2016 Neil Stephenson sold his company, Onyx Group, for over £60 million. Through Q&A with John Duns, Neil said that, at a time when his competitors weren’t paying attention to their brand, he was fully focused on developing a business that was truly customer-focused and demonstrated high integrity and trust.
Maurice Duffy, chairman of Black Swan, explained how his company uses social media to identify what customers and third parties are saying about a brand. It is possible to measure – in real time – the reputation of, for example, a politician at election time, by the conversations the electorate are having about that person on social media. This analysis would reveal which of the topics the politician was discussing were favourably received and which attracted widespread critical comment. They could then tailor their campaign accordingly.
Comments from delegates were so encouraging that we are set to announce further lectures aimed at highlighting the many inspiring Winning Brands that operate in the North East.