How To WOW Your Customer To Love Your Brand

There’s a lot more to your brand than a logo and tagline. The brand of your company is made up of virtually everything that your business does and every experience your customer has with your company. This all determines whether the customer falls in love with you or they walk away, never to be seen again.  When your brand strategy and the experience you deliver to consumers are inextricably linked, you’ll achieve increased demand, greater share of wallet and loyalty levels competitors will envy.

Satisfied customers are nice, but delighted customers are more likely to return.

Delight customers repeatedly, and at every touchpoint, and you will earn yourself some raving fans! The first key is to nail the basics. It doesn’t matter how many red-carpets you roll out if you’re not delivering a good customer experience (Cx), consistently. You can only dazzle customers for so long. Eventually, they’re going to see behind the curtain.

However, once you’ve got a good handle on the basics and moved customers from satisfied to delighted, add WOW Moments. These are the unexpected moments that surprise and delight your prospects and customers. 

Do Your Customers Like You?
Better Still, To Build a Lasting Brand, Customers Must Love You! 

It really is simple. You just have to get people to like you. Let’s face it; people do business with people they like. They don’t want to buy their new car from a shyster salesman. And they aren’t going to continue using a dry cleaner that consistency destroys their clothes. So, obviously, you need to start by doing your job. And doing it well, by WOWing your customers. If you do it well enough, you may eventually have customers talking about you, in a good way. And that could be the start of building your new WOW brand. We’ve been doing that here at BranWorks for 40 years. Get your customer touchpoints right with remarkable experiences and WOW moments, and before you know it, you can have the brand that you’ve always wanted.

A Moment of Surprise & Delight.

We Like to Call Them 

WOW Moments.

WOW moments can be little, everyday things like an unlikely score in the game or a snappy text from a friend. They can also be big moments; moments that make you think twice. In that blip of time, everything changes. In a good way. WOW moments blindside you, and you’re thankful for the surprise. But just getting what you want isn’t a WOW moment; it’s getting EXACTLY what you want when you didn’t know you needed it.

Brands that WOW survive for lifetimes. They go beyond a product or service, they become a lifestyle. Loyalty doesn’t come for free; you have to do something meaningful first. 

Brands that WOW deliver maximum ROI. Whether you’re a national name or local watering hole, BranWorks works hard to deliver customer experiences and branding strategy without demanding an arm and a leg from you.


About the Author

Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at www.BranWorks.com.

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Build A Better Brand By Adding These WOW Factors

Satisfied customers are nice, but delighted customers are more likely to return. Delight customers repeatedly, and at every touch point, and you will earn yourselves some raving fans! The first key is to nail the basics. It doesn’t matter how many red carpets you roll out if you’re not delivering good customer service consistently. You can only dazzle people for so long. Eventually, they’re going to see behind the curtain.

However, once you’ve got a good handle on the basics, to move customers from satisfied to delighted, add a little WOW Factor! These are the unexpected moments that surprise and delight your prospects and customers. Here are 25 ways to add the WOW Factor to your work:

  1. Write handwritten thank you notes
  2. Teach customers something new (webinars, events, white papers, etc.)
  3. WOW just one customer (they’ll tell more)
  4. Spend quality get to know time together
  5. Give a meaningful book as a gift
  6. Your customers will love a simple loyalty program
  7. Reward social media customers will extras
  8. Meet-up and treat far-away customers to coffee when you travel
  9. Send a charitable gift in your customer’s name
  10. Treat your customer to a surprise upgrade
  11. Throw a party, barbecue, picnic or wine tasting for your customers
  12. Offer free goodies (coffee, badges, flowers)
  13. Send cards on strange holidays (towel day, planking day?)
  14. Implement customer suggestions and let them know when you do
  15. Offer real people for customer service
  16. Discount a customer’s bill just because you want to
  17. Recognize specials events (anniversaries, birthdays, babies)
  18. Hold special customer-only events
  19. Send funny or personalized gifts (special occasions with their photo?)
  20. Special gifts for reaching milestones
  21. Make your first contact with a customer special
  22. Make your response time as fast as possible
  23. Add personality to every touchpoint)
  24. Do unexpected stuff (refer to competitors when out of stock)
  25. Thank your team (happy hours, lunch, hand-written thank you’s, trust)

25 outstanding ways to WOW customers. Every attempt at giving thanks must be relevant and personalized, noticeable and sincere. These simple requirements will ensure your show of gratitude hits home with customers.

Show customers your thankfulness today by showing a WOW attitude on one (or more!) of these 34 ideas.


About the Author
gordon-at-st-john[2]BGordon Conner
is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 42 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at https://branworks.com/customer-experience-2/

Did you know that you have a distinct advantage over your larger competitors? You can do unique and strange stuff to WOW your customers. You don’t have any corporate red tape to stop you. You’re right there in the trenches, or on the phone every day. If you want to give a customer a discount, it’s your call.

There are many creative ways to help you go that extra mile to knock your customer’s socks off. And, at the same time, perhaps add WOW! to their buying experience and build on your WOW! brand. 

Lily Had A Better Idea

Lily Robinson (who insists that she is three and a half years old) was quite confused by one of Sainsbury’s products called tiger bread. In her eyes, the bread didn’t resemble a tiger at all, and in fact looked very much like a giraffe.

It’s hard to disagree with her!

With a little assistance from mom and dad, she wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s customer service department.

To her surprise, customer support manager Chris King (age 27and one-third) told her that he couldn’t agree more. He explained the origins of the name:

“I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea-it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it? It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a loooong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”

Lily’s mom enjoyed the letters and ended up posting them on her blog. Before long, this cute correspondence was a viral hit, and the pressure was on for Sainsbury’s to change the name of the product to the much more appropriate giraffe bread.

Knowing the customer was certainly right in this instance—and spotting an unusual opportunity to do something fun—Sainsbury’s changed the name of the bread and put signs around their stores that give a humorous nod to Lily’s original idea.

WOW!

 

About the Author

 Gordon at St. JohnGordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach and Copywriter who helps build killer brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 42 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.

A WOW! Brand Delivers

A true WOW! brand  is one of the few organizations that really does do what it’s brand promise says it will do and do so by offering the ultimate in customer experience. It doesn’t simply advertise and promise great experiences, it also puts it’s actions where it’s mouth is and delivers.

To produce the kind of WOW! experiences that customers expect, WOW! brands put this initiative at the top of their list of long-term goals. They focus on making every touchpoint with their customers a highlight in the customer’s journey. These WOW companies do whatever it takes to live up to their promises and do whatever the customer expects.  They structure their entire organization, (from R&D to Operations to Finance) to build long-term relationships that form the basis for future growth. These WOW! Brands realize that to keep their customers for the long haul, they have to do more than make promises, they have to deliver.

Companies that fail to meet the WOW! criteria are often referred to in the industry as NOW brands. With NOW brands it’s all about short-term goals. They’re quick to make grandiose promises, but they never deliver on those promises. They rush to over-promise without establishing the infrastructure to deliver on those promises. These are the brands that will make a quick color or design fix to solve what may be considered a problem. And they expect quick results because they are, after all, “quick” fixes. Management expects immediate results because that’s the mindset of many in today’s management ranks. Their objective is to avoid the investment in truly unique customer experience and the asking price that accompanies it.

So, why do most companies fail to meet their promises and deliver true customer experiences? Why do they become a NOW brand rather than a WOW! Brand? Typically, these NOW brands simply don’t know how to deliver the kind of WOW! experience across all of it’s customers touchpoints. Companies routinely fail to operationalize their brand promises – leading them to deliver experiences that do not fully meet the expectations created by their brand promise.

Many marketers simply don’t know how to fulfill the promises that are made in their brand promise and in their marketing campaigns. They’re great at making big promises, but when it comes to living up to those promises, they choose to leave that to others. So, what’s the solution? Lower prices, leading to becoming a commodity. Why? Because the wrong individuals were chosen to meet these objectives, without focusing on promise fulfillment.

Here’s How to create a WOW! Brand:

• Understand the brand and its impact on the customer
• Recognize their mission and role in living up to the brand promise
• Align and motivate their employees to execute the brand promise
• Empower their employees with the tools, information and authority to fulfill the brand promise.

Creators of NOW brands, who are unable to live up to their brand promises, should never be the ones to make their promises to begin with. When you have disappointed customers, you have consequences. And in most cases, most of those consequences are painfully financial.


About The Author

Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at www.BranWorks.com.

The Race For The Best Brand Customer Experience Is On!

There’s a lot more to your brand than a logo and tagline. The brand of your company is made up of virtually everything that your business does and every experience your customer has with your company. This customer experience determines whether the customer falls in love with you or they walk away, never to be seen again.  

To build a lasting WOW brand, customers must love you. Let’s face it; people do business with people they like. So, obviously, you need to start by doing your job. And doing it well. This is critical because if you do it well enough, and provide an unforgettably good experience, you will eventually have customers talking about you, in a good way. And that could be the start of building your new WOW brand. Keep it up and you’ll have a brand that will survive for a lifetime. Ignore your customer and she will ignore you, or worse! 


6 Critical Steps to Build Your WOW Brand

1. WOW Brand Promise-Never break your promise
2. WOW Value Proposition-Be the best in your niche
3. WOW Brand Identity-Be unforgettable
4. WOW Messaging-Knock their socks off
5. WOW Customer Experience-Make them love you forever
6. WOW Employee Engagement-The key to your success

About the Author

 Gordon at St. John

Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW! brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding  services for 42 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.

Tried to start a new business lately? It takes a lot of energy, time and Starbucks to get it off the ground. It’s tough, and even painful sometimes. You loose all your sleep, but at the same time your excited, anxious and scared to death.

You’re thinking you’re entire future is hanging in the balance, as you dream about how the world will be a different place as soon as you get this thing off the ground.

As a startup, you have a strong need to get this baby generating revenue before your seed money vanishes. So you’re feeling the pressure to launch NOW! And that’s normal. When most companies get their goals and strategy down, they launch. The first things to be addressed: logos, voice, social media and website are at the top of the list. It’s hard to argue with that thinking since all of the pundits offer these as the steps to build your brand.

But, here’s the rub. Brand identity and brand awareness are getting all of the attention. But wait a minute! Aren’t we missing something here? Isn’t branding more than logos, colors, voice and tone? Duh!

So, think about it. What is a brand anyway?

Isn’t your brand the experience you deliver to your customers? Remember the expression “your brand is how you make your customers feel”. The entire essence of this brand is about your connection with the customer, getting to know them and why they love you. After you learn all of this, then you can create the visual identity. So why do startups get this wrong so often? Here are a few suggestions:

Forget About Connection and Depend on Assumption

Entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in their concept and perfecting everything that they just fall in love with their idea. They focus on brand awareness and brand identity and don’t even think about asking their customers for feedback. And if they do get feedback, they just ignore it.

Startups are convinced their branding will cause customers to fall in love with their company if they have the right website, logo and marketing. And don’t try telling them otherwise. They simply ignore the customer and let the brand experience fall by the wayside.

Ready – Fire – Aim!

If this is the approach you’re going to take, you’re risking the fact that your brand won’t even resonate with the market. And if you don’t connect with customers, the result is a forgone conclusion. Trouble.

So what happens is you wind up fine-tuning the things that the customers don’t care about. Eventually the startup runs out of money and they finally realize what they’re missing: brand experience.

The Brand Identity Mistake

Entrepreneurs miss the boat by focusing on brand awareness and identity and they ignore brand experience. They wind up spending years promoting products the customers don’t even care about. No website design or logo is going to solve a flawed product/service. If they don’t get the brand experience right, brand identity doesn’t even matter. Why keep trying to add customers when your current customers don’t even love your product?

How to Nail Your Brand Experience

Neither you nor your web firm is qualified to evaluate brand experience. To do that you have to talk to real customers. By getting feedback from your customers, you can find out what they really feel about your brand and its value, plus you can use that feedback to make your product/service better, quickly.

Brand experience questions to ask your customers:

  1. Ask customers, “What would happen if you couldn’t use our product any more?” You want them to be unhappy in this scenario.
  2. Ask them why they would be unhappy and what is the main benefit they receive from your product.
  3. If your product was no longer on the market, what would they do as an alternative?
  4. Find out how your customers would describe your product to a friend.
  5. What type of person do you think would benefit most from your product?
  6. How can we improve our product to better meet your needs?

Which Method Makes More Sense? 

So, you have a choice, talk to your customers and find out how you can improve, or spend all of your money first without getting any results. Then talk to customers to find out how to improve.

So get your priorities straight. Improve your brand experience first. Don’t worry so much about the perfect brand identity or growing your company until you’ve built a tribe of passionate customers.  Nail it first, scale it second.


About the Author

 Gordon at St. John

Gordon Conner is a Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW! brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding  services for 42 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or www.BranWorks.com.

A la carte Solutions for Special Brand Challenges

Often business challenges can be mitigated with coaching. But, the solution may require a special project, or quick win, to address the specific issues and to insure the stability and future growth of the business. Below are standalone initiatives that can quickly provide significant insights and value to any organization interested in getting closer to its customers. The following articles highlight special challenges that can arise and be solved with branding/marketing solutions (Click for solutions):

Today, customers can see, learn about, or purchase almost anything from almost anywhere.

It was the Christmas season and I was on a mission. My goal was to purchase a Garmin GPS watch from the local Best Buy store in my neighborhood. I took a look at my iPhone and checked the price. In the store, the price was $184.85, but on Amazon, with no shipping or tax charges, it was $106. While I was still in the store, I purchased the watch from Amazon.

This is an early example of a new breed of customers. They’re called smart customers. The amount of intelligence now available to customers is unprecedented. You can experience the results in a rapidly growing variety of fashions: see data overlays on a map or camera image, watch a video demonstration, or even have an explanation read to you.

Get What You Want When You Want It.

Buying a used car? You can now get it’s complete history and find out if it has been treated better or worse than the owner claims. If you’re shopping for a gift, you can find out if this is the best choice for your aunt, whether this store’s price really is the best available in the market, and whether this is the best price within a 15-mile radius. Traveling on business at the last-minute? Your smart phone will find a great deal on a room that matches your preferences perfectly.

This is the Rise of Smart Customers.

Customers can now leap tall buildings? No, not really. But they can outwit your salesperson, spot inaccurate statements from your customer service reps, and have access to most accumulated knowledge of human civilization.

And it’s easy to get. Good old-fashioned laptops and desktops will do the trick. And Google will retrieve it for you in seconds. Plus, you no longer have to be at your desk to have access to information. Smartphones and tablets can now produce data that was formerly only available in mainframe computers whenever and wherever you want it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Digital devices will increasingly give individuals “super” powers to sense, remember, analyze, understand and share insights from the word around them.
  • Companies must use customer information to benefit the customer.
  • Disruptive forces will require massive changes in your company’s strategy.


    Your company must be able to act smarter than its customers, or it will cease to exist.


    About The Author:

    Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at https://branworks.com/customer-experience-2/

Marketing directors know that if you’re not analyzing your competition, you’re at a disadvantage.  Chances are they’re watching you.  To level the playing field you have to return the favor by performing a competitor analysis.

So, Why Do I Need a Competitor Analysis?

June 5 - Competitors in the men's 1,500 meter race pass by the start/finish line on Day 2 of the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. (Michael Arellano/Emerald)Are you content to settle for second place, copying ideas from your competitors because it’s easier than doing the legwork required to be on top?  Since you’re reading this, I guess that isn’t you.

If you want to be a leader in your industry it’s vital for you to be proactive when deciding how to market your business.  A competitor analysis will arm you with information to create a marketing strategy that’s based on facts instead of guesswork.  You’ll be able to focus on your strengths and capitalize on the weaknesses of your competitors.

Paying attention to what they’re doing can reveal opportunities for new products or market niches that aren’t being met.  By determining where they are lacking you can distinguish which areas your business is excelling and can highlight those areas to help you stand-out to customers.

Keeping up with what’s going on in the marketplace means that you can make educated, timely and financially sound decisions about where to spend your marketing dollars.

How To Create a Competitor Analysis in 5 Simple Steps

Competition Analysis-3The best way to perform a competitor analysis is to think of it in five easy steps:

1) Define your customers.  What is your target market?  What does your customer look like?  What service or product do they want to purchase?  How much will they spend for it?

2) Identify your top three competitors.  Who is targeting the same market segment as you?  Which companies do you find at your back door, trying to lure away your customers?  Which businesses are successfully converting leads into clients?

3) Itemize success factors.  Which factors determine success for your company? Is brand recognition most important?  Are customer service and consumer loyalty the primary ways you measure success?  Do the number of locations or the scope of your services identify who is winning?

4) Weigh and rate.  Once you’ve determined the success factors, weigh them based on importance.  Then rate each of your competitors and yourself.  You’ll see clear patterns begin to emerge.  They’ll show you which of your competitors are succeeding and where you land in the mix.

5) Analyze.  Once the numbers are in, take a hard look at what you’re excelling at. Do you want to focus more energy there to really stand out from your competition?  If your analysis has revealed an untapped market segment, perhaps investing marketing dollars to attract those new customers is your best move.  Don’t forget to scrutinize areas for improvement too.  By recognizing and addressing your weaknesses, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

When Should I Do a Competitive Analysis?

Marketing managers and business owners all perform a competitor analysis before opening their doors.  It’s an integral part of a good business plan.  Don’t neglect it once the business plan is complete. It’s crucial to set a regular reminder to check-in and see what’s changed.

Depending on the nature of your business and your marketing plan, monthly to quarterly is sufficient.  If you’re immersed in a quickly evolving industry like real estate a quarterly check-up may be insufficient, whereas a cleaning service company won’t find as many fluctuations and can update their competitor analysis quarterly.

Don’t become buried in the analysis and paralyzed by the numbers. The idea is to gain information and use it to make educated decisions, not become consumed by what your competitors are doing.  Staying informed arms you with an additional tool to help your business rise to the top.


About The Author

Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at www.BranWorks.com.

Is There Anything More Important Than Improving Sales and Your Customer Relationships? 

Today, there’s a fast growing movement, a revolution, among organizations interested in improving their customer-centricity through a better understanding of customer interactions, or “touchpoints.”

Called “Customer Touchpoint Management” (CTM)

The goal of this new movement is to improve customer experiences, and as a result, improve customer relationships. By improving customer relationships organizations improve market share, sales, and both customer and employee loyalty and advocacy.

But what exactly is a “touchpoint?” Touchpoints are all of the communication, human and physical interactions your customers experience during their relationship lifecycle with your organization. Whether an ad, Web site, sales person, store or office, Touchpoints are important because customers form perceptions of your organization and brand based on their cumulative touchpoint experiences.

Savvy organizations realize that customer relationships can no longer be considered exclusively the domains of sales and customer service. If the accuracy of invoices, or the professionalism of installers or cleanliness of your store or office is lacking, then the relationship can suffer no matter how well the salesperson or “owner” of the relationship performs. Savvy organizations know that they can best enhance relationships with customers by improving touchpoints across the entire enterprise.

Powerful Results

In fact, improving your customer relationships can deliver powerful results to your organization. For example, through a comprehensive Customer Touchpoint Management (CTM) program developed to understand and improve key customer touchpoints, Avis gained market share in key travel markets and became a leader in customer loyalty and satisfaction as measured by Brand Keys and JD Powers.

So, where does your organization stand in the growing Customer Touchpoint Management movement?


About The Author

Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached atGordon@BranWorks.com, or read more athttps://branworks.com/customer-experience-2/

How To Build a Strong Brand Identity

Creating a strong brand is serious business. Choosing typefaces and taglines isn’t enough: You first have to think deeply about your company’s personality.

People focus too much on the external trappings of brand marketing, such as names, logos, and mottos. Such identifiers are important, but they only serve to signify the brand, not create it.

Instead, the essence of a brand is not the exterior elements, but how you feel about the product or service.

Create Your Brand Personality

So, first consider what feelings you want to inspire in people. This will relate to the values you want your brand to embody. Think of this as your “brand personality.”

Are you easygoing and fun? Serious and professional? Iconoclastic and rebellious? What about witty? Nerdy? Idealistic? Caring? Here’s a worksheet that might help you decide.

Your brand personality will come through in everything you do, from your interactions with your customers, to the voice you use in communications, to the visual elements you use.

Delight Your Customers

Every brand persona, no matter how edgy, should be geared toward providing customers a positive WOW! experience. That’s why it’s important to your brand to focus on responsiveness, communication, and service—all done in your own way to match your distinctive persona.

5 Reasons Brand Identity is Important for Your Business

A strong and recognizable brand can help a business be more successful, which is why creating an effective brand identity is so important. But what all does a brand identity entail, and why is it so important?

What is a brand identity?

When you create a brand identity, you’re essentially applying your brand values to any visual elements that will be used to promote your business. This means that a brand identity is more than just a logo, and consists of a variety of marketing materials. This might include:

  • Business cards
  • Stationary
  • Print materials (brochures, reports, flyers, etc.)
  • Signage
  • Product packaging
  • Apparel
  • Website
  • Logo
  • Color Palette
  • Fonts
  • Tag line
  • Imagery
  • Branding Guide

Keep Your Fans Feeling Good

Developing a cohesive and professional brand identity is an important part of any effective branding strategy. Creating a brand identity requires research and attention to detail in order to develop a style that successfully meets the goals of a business and gives off the appropriate message. Once a brand identity is created, many companies provide guidelines for how their brand should be represented on various mediums to ensure consistency.

The point of branding your company is to help customers fall in love with you. The values you choose to adhere to and the way you project those values will appeal to certain types of people—your target customers. Make those people feel good about you and you’re on your way to branding—and business—success.


About the Publisher:

 Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at www.BranWorks.com

Do You Have a Brand Strategy?

Your business may not have a brand strategy, but if you interact with the public, you have a brand. The question is whether that brand is being actively managed or if it’s just occurring on it’s own.

That brand is built (or destroyed) with each and every interaction between you and your customers. The big ones count, of course, like the actual sales transactions. But there are many other brand interactions such as inbound phone calls, all advertising, business cards, web sites, on-hold messages, how clean your bathrooms are, what your employees are wearing, social media posts, and a thousand other things that may seem inconsequential. Even that tattoo on your left forearm. But they’re all tiny drops into the branding bucket and one bad drop can contaminate the whole bucket.

A lot of people refer to their “brand” as having good PR. But your brand really is what your customers say about you behind your back. It’s the relationship you have with your current and potential market. It’s the intangible measure of “your good name”.

So since a brand is this intangible thing, how can you gauge the current status of your brand and start actively managing your brand without an expensive market research campaign? Most small businesses can’t.

What Does Your Company Do?

So, the first step is to look inward. It’s sometimes hard for business owners to develop a consistent brand strategy because they have never really defined what their business is all about in the first place. Can you tell me what your company does in one simple sentence? If you can’t, you’re probably not projecting a consistent brand message through marketing and daily operations.

The next step is to ask your customers and prospects the same question. If their answer doesn’t match yours, then you have a problem. You need to add focus to your brand strategy and messaging.

A brand strategy doesn’t have to be a complex thing. I think it actually works better the more simple it is. Build upon that simple sentence of what your brand represents, and reference it every time you do anything related to the business. And I mean anything. All those small drops add up.

The brand shows up in every aspect of a business. For example: If you’re trying to build a premium brand and you launch a 99 cent sale when times are tough, you’ve sent conflicting brand messages and destroyed all that you’ve built. Conversely, if you’re a budget destination and are trying to sell expensive upgrades, that pricing decision detracts from the big picture.

The easy place to see branding is in your outbound marketing. All advertising and communications should consistently conform to the brand standards. A bank shouldn’t use the Comic Sans font on their statements. A car wash shouldn’t use gray and black on their external signage.

But the single biggest opportunity for brand development is in customer experience. If the marketing that brings them in the door doesn’t match what they find when they get in the door, you’ve wasted your time and money.

And, most importantly, share your brand vision with your employees. They’re the ones who will make it happen, or not.

What is the image that your brand is conveying?


About the Author:

Gordon Conner is a Marketing & Branding Consultant/Coach who helps build WOW brands for small local businesses. He has been providing advertising, marketing and branding and services for 40 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached at Gordon@BranWorks.com, or read more at www.BranWorks.com

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