Archives for posts with tag: Profile

Brand is the summation of everything we feel when we come into contact with an organisation, a product, a service or even a person. It’s a function of what we, see, hear, feel and consume. As such, brand is more than a logo. It is everything that helps form the customer or stakeholder experience. It manifests itself in its people, its products and services, and its interactions with you, the customer.

Profile is a function of how the brand is packaged and presented to the public domain. Public relations departments and agencies are responsible for managing and controlling profile in a way that’s consistent with the organisation’s mission. Here are a few things you should think about if you’re planning a launch or refresh of your brand and profile in the marketplace:

  • The vision for your organisation
  • Your mission to get you there
  • Your visual identity and accompanying strapline
  • The design guidelines around your identity and its products, services, promotional materials and documentation
  • Your current profile
  • Your desired profile
  • The activities you need to have in place to achieve your desired profile
  • Budget and timeframes for executing on the plan

This is also a great shopping list to take with you when working with a brand or image expert.

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Gaze towards the top of this webpage and you’ll see the eyes-through-the-letterbox image of a Paul Dilger looking enviably young for his 50-some years. That’s because the picture is at least 10 years old.

I’m not alone in this. The world, especially the professional world, is full of the slightly false advertising of profile pictures and avatars. Shining faces, full of hope and ambition, that belie the experience they claim to have in their bio.

This makes it somewhat tricky when you have a first meeting with someone who you’ve only met online or on the phone and whose photo you’re going by. I think if you add a decade to the picture it provides a far better calibration for your field of view. Otherwise you might be unprepared for a conversation that might spiral out of control.

‘Oh hi! I was, er, expecting someone a little…’

‘Younger?’

‘No, no, of course not! Just, a little different I guess.’

‘Different how?’

‘I’m not sure. Ah, here’s our server, would you like coffee or tea?’

It’s a tough one. Do we go with a current pic and possibly deflate the initial impression, or do we go young and have some tap-dancing to do when it comes to the meet and greet?

In the third step of our B2B marketing process we eliminated the customer groups we weren’t interest in pursuing so that we could concentrate on our addressable market. Now we need to understand more about that market.

The fourth B2B Marketing step is to profile your addressable market. Fortunately for us, we might have done some of this work already when we researched the whole market in our second step.

Now comes more homework. You need to find out and record the important things about the addressable market that can help you shape your offering to it. Here are some of the things it would be good to know:

– the obvious stuff, like location, industry, size, how the market operates

– any legal or regulatory aspects to the market that govern how it works

– pressure and drivers on the market. What are its players trying to do and where do they feel pain?

– the typical buyers in this market. Job roles, personas, other people of influence

– the decision-making process in general. Simple or complex, short or long, few hurdles and people involved or many?

– the cultural aspects to the market. Is it a good cultural fit for you to sell to? Do you think and work similarly to it?

You can find out much of the standard stuff from publications like annual reports and resources like the web or social media, but the more esoteric information can really only be gleaned over time by networking, personal experience and asking around. The better you can profile your addressable market, the better you can segment it and decide where to go first.