Everyone you meet will form an impression about your company, even if they haven’t done business with you. This is exactly what produces a brand name.
Brands have a number of tactical functions that enable your business to:
- Distinguish yourself from competitors
- Position your message in the hearts and minds of your target market
- Be consistent in your marketing efforts
- Personalize your services to reflect your brand
- Provide your message clearly and concisely
- Develop credibility
- Create an emotional state within your target market
- Produce brand loyalty
For most companies, branding is not about crafty ads. Branding is about getting your target audience to see you as the preferred option. Constructing a brand is not simply what you do; it’s what you do different from everyone else.
Structure Your Brand
Your brand is your pledge and commitment to the value customers will get from your company. In an incredibly complex and competing world, having your clients not just know but support the promise of your brand is one of the most essential ingredients to constructing a successful company.
You must focus on exactly what you do that provides value. Do you deliver your services on time, every time? Do you solve problems before they become crises? Do your clients save cash and headaches just by having your products or services?
Branding integrates customer care, sales promotions, public relations, direct-mail advertising, newsletters, sponsorships, and even word of mouth to provide a combined message about your business, its services or products.
Evaluating Your Brand Identity
Importance to the Market
A brand needs to be something that is meaningful to your target audience. Your brand should encompass the total experience of doing business with you.
Consistency of Behavior
Customers should be able to depend on your brand to deliver the exact experience they expect.
A brand is not a logo, design or a marketing technique. It’s a relationship. The stronger the relationship, the more business customers will do with you, and the more likely it is that your customers will refer business to you.
Commitment to the Customer is Rewarded
The test of a brand name is the strength of commitment it generates. If you have a strong relationship with your market, then you have a strong brand name and a strong company.
Credibility is Priceless
Your brand reputation works as your strongest marketing tool by communicating the relationship with people who’ve done business with you to your target market. People talk. The question is what are they saying about you. You must focus on your brand’s credibility in order to grow your business long-term.
Great brands stand the test of time. If you develop trust and significance in potential customers’ minds, you’re already in the door. The more people believe in your brand, the more it will spread out throughout your market. If your brand is clear, distinct, and quickly understood, and expresses an unique, engaging advantage that people feel, it can bring you all the business you can handle.
Check Your Brand Status
Where are you today? Many businesses say they get business through word of mouth. People are talking. One of the easiest ways to find out what people are saying about your company is by doing a Google search for your company name or industry in your local area. How many reviews does your business have? How does that compare to your competition?
Is there a clear winner? Today, 93% of people are searching for businesses online. They want to do their research. This provides you with two distinct opportunities:
- Stand out from your competition
- Generate leads and sales
Stand Out From Your Competition
If ACME has 150 positive reviews online, BETA has 20 positive reviews online and You have 4 positive reviews online, what is that saying to your target market about your credibility and consistency in your business? The worst thing your business can do is stand out…as a slacker. Flip that token, however, and assume you have the most positive reviews. What does that tell your target prospects about your company?
Generate Leads and Sales
Using our previous example, who do you think people are going to call first? ACME, of course, because they have 150 positive reviews. That’s who you would call, right? In this scenario, ACME has focused on building their brand credibility online (where the consumers are looking). This means more of the leads of people who are searching for your offering are going to be calling someone else.
Start by focusing on your online brand and reputation and you will find that more and more of the leads are coming your way.
Want to know more, check out our Reputation Management Strategy.