Building a trusted brand should be a prime ambition for any business. A good reputation is a powerful ally in overcoming any objections a customer has to buying, and it also helps smooth over the occasional difficulties and failures that are inevitable in business. A good brand will be the natural result of years of quality service and careful marketing, but there’s no reason you can’t give a boost to the process to enjoy the benefits sooner. Here are seven simple, inexpensive ways to do exactly that.
Take a look around at your competitors, and see what you offer that makes you different. Even if this is only a tiny selling point, such as free shipping or a no-quibble returns policy, finding a point of differentiation and promoting it is essential to forming a solid brand. Once you’ve decided on this difference, feature it in as much of your marketing and social media activity as you reasonably can.
A powerful brand requires a sense of consistency across all aspects of the business. Review your activity across all fields, from printed leaflets and flyers to Google ads and social media updates, and ensure that you present a consistent face and message. Even if different campaigns are targeting different demographics, they should mesh together well, reinforcing an overarching message rather than blurring your brand’s features.
No matter how wonderful your product or service is, if your customers have a lousy experience then your brand will suffer badly. Schedule a regular review all your customer-facing activities – are they the best they can be? How can you make every customer feel more valued and satisfied?
Even the most experienced brand-building experts can be caught out by quirks of customer perception. The only way to find out what your customers truly think of your company is to ask them directly. This will not only highlight possible points of concern, but it will show your customers that you’re listening and responsive.
It’s a good idea to do this on an ongoing basis, maybe by setting aside a few minutes a day to email recent customers with a short survey or a general request for comments. Keep this to manageable levels so that you have the time to interact properly with each customer, and also to action any reasonable suggestions they offer.
If your feedback-gathering exercise turns up some real gems of customer satisfaction, then ask if you can use their words in a testimonial. If you choose realistic comments to publicize, it will achieve two things. Publishing the positive comments will help provide social proof to other potential customers, but it can also prompt the testimonial provider to become an advocate for your brand, telling friends and family that you’ve used their feedback.
Most businesses will be able to find some way to give something back to their local community, whether this is by sponsoring an event or carrying out work for free. This will provide the immediate benefit of boosting your brand recognition within your community, but just as importantly you can use details of your charitable work in wider publicity material, helping establish a human face for your company.
Almost every website has an “about us” page, but it’s often woefully under-exploited. This page is one of the few chances you have to directly provide a vision of what your brand should be about, so don’t waste the opportunity. Use this page to provide a compelling story about your company and its vision, and reinforce the aspects of your business that set you apart from your competition. Also use it to pull together your various social media accounts and other marketing activities, turning it into a one-stop source where people can find out more about your operation.
For a well-run business, a powerful brand will be the happy side effect of providing a high-quality service over the years. However, the benefits that solid branding brings are so powerful that it makes sense to give your brand a boost whenever you can – and as these tips show, it needn’t be difficult or expensive.