When striving to strengthen your brand, you need to consider your product or service's repuation beyond your target audience. Here is a list of key stakeholders that have influence over how the world sees your brand.
Employees. If employees don't believe in your brand, they're not going to promote it. And since potential customers likely contact your organization through employees, having employees who don't buy into the brand is a big problem. When promoting your brand think of your employees as internal customers. Although they're not buying your products, you need them to buy into what you do.
Customers/Prospects. Appealing to existing and potential customers forms the foundation for creating, improving, and promoting your brand. When it comes to customers, your brand isn't what you say it is - it's what they say it is. They control your reputation. Taking the time to find out what they need (not what you think they need) is the key to branding success.
Leadership Team. With input from customers and employees, it's the leadership team that ultimately crafts the brand and determines strategic implementation.
Investors. Although investors don't have a direct say in the direction of the brand, they do have a vested interest in its success. Investors won't back out-of-touch branding. Keeping investors informed that your efforts are rooted in marketing insights, and customer consultation will boost investor confidence.
Strategic Partners. Your brand strategy affects more than just your company. Vendors and professional associates, although not technically part of your business, are influenced by your brand.
Government Regulators. You don't want a bunch of government bureaucrats harassing you about a brand that may or may not infringe upon someone's intellectual property or a brand that intentionally or unintentionally misleads consumers. Running branding ideas by important regulators could prevent a mess.
Competitors. Although you wouldn't directly consult the competition for branding help, understanding your competitors' brands allows you to position your company and proactively set your business apart.
Media. How will the media responsd to your brand? The media includes, in addition to traditional publications, millions of online publishers and numerous social media voices. You'll have industry experts, for example, writing about your company's brand. You'll need a brand strategy for monitoring how media treats your brand.
If you are making changes to your marketing plan, be sure to acknowledge the interests beyond your target customers, Here are a few tips on introducing new ideas and marketing tactics to your business strategy.