What is a brand? Depending on who you ask, the answer may vary. A web design company may tell you that a brand is your logo and website. Others may say it is the adjectives a customer or potential customers use to describe your product or service. A brand is all of these things and more.
A brand is an experience; it is the experience that others encounter when they come into contact with your business. It includes your online presence, the service and professionalism put forth by you and those who represent your company and it is the quality of your communications.
Here are 3 ways to improve your brand ‘experience’:
- Understand that you have the power and ability to increase (or decrease) your brand image every second of the day. Before you answer the phone, or meet with that next customer consciously think about what image you want to put forth.If you are in the bad mood and your business is making people happy, don’t answer the phone or meet with anyone while your mood is negatively impaired. Be and act like what you want people to think of when they think of you. Make sure your online and offline presence is consistent. Ensure your people match and project the company image.
- Take Inventory Of Your Points of Entry. Your points of entry are all those places where others come in contact with your business. Your phone message, business cards, website, staff, etc… Evaluate your points of entry and make any necessary adjustments so as not to make any poor first impressions.
- Tell People Who You Are! An easy way to build brand knowledge and awareness is simply to tell people who you are and what you stand for. If your business is fun, quirky and creative, then let folks know! If your business is poised, refined and conservative then say so. And then make sure the rest of your brand image matches what you say. No Say-Do Gaps!
Remember, perception IS reality it its what your customers believe. Take a step back and take a long hard look at your brand from an outsiders perspective. How does it look? Time to improve your brand experience?
4 Comments Add yours
Hi Sonia, interesting thoughts on branding. You’re right, every customer facing point has the potential to improve or impair your brand image. Your point about not picking up the phone is quite good. You’re better off missing 1 call than loosing a customer.
I would also add that it’s important to think about your brand strategy well in advance. It can be planned, and in fact I would strategize and develop this while writing the company’s first business plan – before being in operational.
Alex, I totally agree – planning and strategizing your brand strategy during the business plan development stage makes absolute sense. However, for those who didn’t plan in advance, its never too late! My philosophy in life is to treat people as I would like to be treated.. and the same goes for my brand. I have really high expectations for customer service – and try to provide the same for my clients.