What Does Your Brand Say About You?

The idea of a company’s “brand” has come a long way. It used to be that your brand was the name of your product or service, much like how steers were branded with a mark to identify the owner. Even today, when you talk about a company’s brand, some people assume you’re talking about the name or even the logo.

But your brand is so much more than that.

Your brand is the sum of what your customers and prospects think about your company. It’s not only what they think they know about your company (factual or not), it’s also how they feel about it. When you think of your brand in these terms, there are many touch points that help contribute to your company’s brand development.

Let’s start with your company’s website since that’s where most of your customers are starting, too. According to the 2014 State of B2B Procurement study from the Acquity Group, 94 percent of business buyers do some sort of online research, including 77 percent that use a Google search and 84.3 percent who check business websites. Your website should be professional and free of grammatical and typographical errors. That demonstrates that you value accuracy and pay attention to detail.

It should clearly state what you do and how to reach you for more information. If there’s a chance to use your website to educate your customers and prospects, do so. For example, we’ve found that there can be a bit of a misconception as to what accounts receivable funding is and how it works. So on the site, we address that issue and try to make it clear how the process of funding for staffing companies works when you partner with Tricom and dispel any misconceptions.

Also, make sure your site navigation is simple to use, and don’t forget your mobile users. There’s a good chance that many of your customers or prospects may be viewing your site on a smartphone. Make it easy for them, as well.

Any social media efforts should also be carefully crafted and managed. Social media can be great way for others to gain a more personal insight into your company and your brand. It’s important to stay on message and keep it professional. With social media also comes the ability for others to make comments – both negative and positive – so it’s best to address any and all comments quickly and politely.

Your website and any online efforts should be consistent in terms of its look and feel with your other sales and marketing materials including any brochures, forms, business cards, sales presentations and proposals. If a customer sees any of your marketing pieces, they should all be easily identified as coming from your company.

One of the biggest impacts on your brand are your employees. These are your brand ambassadors, and what they do, how they act and how they treat your customers can have an even greater impact than a well crafted website. Courteous, well-trained employees can go a long way to establishing, building and protecting the brand that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Simple things like answering the phone politely, returning phone messages quickly, following through on requests, and generally placing a focus on outstanding customer service can go a long way to helping your customers and prospects see your brand in a favorable light.

Taking a step back and looking at your organization in terms of a customer’s brand experience is a great way to evaluate your sales and marketing efforts in a way that works toward creating a consistent, cohesive message. In the end, a strong brand results in an even better customer experience.

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