Let’s talk about the overarching idea of branding. In the big picture, branding is not just about getting your ideal audience to choose you over the competition; it is about getting your prospects to see you as the obvious choice to meet their specific needs. Branding is so much more than an icon, logo or slick advertisement…your brand is what hits your existing or potential customers each time they interact with your employees. For instance, how your customer service reps or receptionists answer the phone, and the tone they use, reflects on your brand and impacts your dealings with customers and prospects. It also affects whether or not these individuals then refer your business to their contacts.
Referrals–it is often said–are the bloodline for business growth. They are one of the most expensive ways for a business to increase market share, which is why it is vital for companies interested in growth opportunities to integrate a sales and marketing culture into the employee environment. Your brand, and what your company stands for, needs to be in the hearts and on the minds of every employee–from backroom employees and the cleaning staff to front-line staff and executive team. When a janitor at NASA was asked what he does for his company, he replied “I put men on the moon”.
That is the same sentiment your employees should have about their roles and positions within the organization. Everyone is working toward the same goal no matter what they do. A well communicated brand is extremely valuable, especially in the customer service arena, as the battle to retain customers and attract new prospects intensifies by the day. To effectively communicate this, it is important to integrate brand research, mission and vision development and corporate values into your company’s marketing plan. After all, your brand is your promise to the consumer and your sales pitch to any potential customer. It’s the foundation of your business and as such, should be clearly communicated throughout your marketing efforts.
Good brand messaging will:
- Deliver your company’s message clearly
- Confirm your credibility
- Emotionally connect with your target audience
- Motivate the your target consumers to act
- Establish user loyalty
To ensure optimal brand messaging effectiveness, it is important to employ these tips at every point in which customers come into contact with your business. This includes customer/employee interaction, printed material, website, social media channels, etc. Communication with your target audience should be positive, helpful and clear in explaining how your product or service will make their life easier.
Have you had an experience in recent memory, where a company made a promise to you as the customer that they failed to deliver on? Not that long ago I attempted to order blinds for my home through The Home Depot. They claim “More Saving. More Doing” and the great customer service that will get you there. Unfortunately I didn’t get to do anything. I called my local Home Depot and was transferred to the department that handles blind installation. The customer service rep answered and I explained I needed to set-up an appointment to have someone install the blinds we picked out. She asked me to hold. It turns out by “hold” she meant setting the phone back on the desk in front of her so that she could continue her conversation with a co-worker, while I sat on the line. I ended up hanging up the phone and not calling back. Needless to say, I purchased my blinds from another store.
What does this mean to you? When developing your marketing plans and campaigns, don’t forget to include your employees in the mix. They need to be in the know on what is happening within the organization and understand that it is vital to company growth to communicate the company’s brand promise to both potential and current customers. It quite frankly can be the difference between making a sale or losing a customer for good.