Clients regularly give well-branded firms more permission – greater allowances, more opportunities – than their lesser-known competitors.
Brand permission #1 – Access.
Anyone who’s ever tried to get into see a top executive knows half the challenge is simply getting in the door… and anyone who’s ever bought products or services knows half the challenge is letting the right people in the door. Executives set up rules – some written, some unwritten – these rules are used by their staff to filter in and out people vying for attention.
One rule that gatekeepers use, for example a PA might say, is ‘Do I know these people and how will they help my boss?’. And one way they assess that is, ‘Have I ever heard of this company’.
The difference between those that get access, and those that don’t, is a strong and appropriate brand.
Brand permission #2 – Latitude.
Many companies are no better than their last project. Clients place more trust in well-branded firms and let them extend themselves beyond their own stated capabilities. Trust, an intangible quality, is directly related to the level of brand permission these firms enjoy. Lesser-known firms are often limited to their existing qualifications. If the company hasn’t done the precise project for a precise peer-client, the company is not given permission to take on the challenge.
Brand permission #3 – Recovery.
The willingness to let a company ‘experiment’ on the client’s budget is very low, especially today. Clients want to pay for a tried and true experience. Nevertheless, even when working with a firm with the precise experience the client seeks, mistakes do happen, and failures do occur. The difference between when a lesser-known company stumbles and when a well branded company fails comes in the permission to recover. Well-branded companies are given greater permission to restore confidence, lesser known firms might not be given this chance.
Brand permission #4 – Scale.
This is very tricky. Many people will hue and cry that the permission to scale is more a factor of size and track record, than brand. But at the margin, the decision comes down to trust and perception. These qualities are built into a smart brand – or more importantly great brands know how, when, and to whom to emphasise scale and size in order to build trust. It’s that extra amount of trust that a branded company has that gives them the permission to take on bigger projects than competitors.
Brand permission #5 – Set standards.
Often, companies will buy products and services simply because they come from someone they believe will eventually set a standard.