Your brand is the combination of the thoughts, feelings and perceptions that people have about your business, your products, your services, and even yourself.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
American poet, Maya Angelou
No matter what your promotional material may say about your business, your brand is the sum of all of the above, based on a person’s individual experience with your business. Customer service, your staff, advertising, marketing materials, delivery schedules and services provided by everyone in your company creates an overall company image.
Because your brand is such an intangible item, it is very important to understand how you are perceived in the market place if you wish to manipulate it to your marketing advantage.
Your promotional material is an excellent vehicle in manipulating the ways your business presents itself to your target market. Brochures and other printed media, your advertising and sales promotions, your website, publicity and public relations, is all very relevant to your company image and the way your business is perceived.
In short, to successfully promote your business you have to understand your company image to best reach your target market and delivery your marketing message. Getting the relationship right is worthwhile because you can:
- Maximise your marketing budget with every promotional message reinforcing how you are already perceived.
- Successfully support sales and sell more products because the message is clear.
- Reach out to the right kind of business and employees because they too understand your company image.
So when you analyse your brand, you should consider these factors:
- How well do your promotional brochures, advertisements and website reflect your brand image? Are you trying to run a slick fashion outlet yet your street signage is shabby and your logo outdated?
- Does your pricing strategy reflect your level of service or product? You may provide a good service but are your premises so rundown that customers coming to your shop front query why they are paying excessive fees for your services?
- Are your promotional campaigns in line with your brand? A conservative accounting firm dealing with equally respectable clients should not send out gimmicky sales promotions that do little to reflect the professional company image it has taken years to establish.
- What level of customer service do you operate? Consider how the rest of your team present themselves, from their attire to attitude, to how they answer the phone and take orders. Is it in line with your business’ brand?
- Advertising and publicity – do you promote your business in publications or online that suit your brand? A quaint bed and breakfast business is better placed to advertise in an upmarket town and country style magazine rather than a magazine aimed at caravanning and camping
- Are you promoting your business online? It is very important that you remain consistent across all media. So frequently, a business will focus on their brand application to their print media, and then confuse the message by being inconsistent in their online message through blogs, enewsletter, social media and website. All of your channels of communication have to be consistent and in line with your company’s brand message.
Every business has a brand, and you must first understand this image to then manipulate it to appeal to your target audience. As the owner of your business or the head of your department, you too have a personal brand, which is an extension of the company brand. Identifying how it relates to your target market and capitalising on this relationship plays an important role in determining the ultimate success of your business.
The value in having a brand, versus having only a product or service is outlined below:
|A PRODUCT OR SERVICE
|A product or service is something that is made in a factory, or a duty performed by your business.
|A brand is your promise, made up of trust and relationships, and your efforts to fulfill that promise.
|A product or service is a mere object
|A brand is a personality and conveys emotions
|A product or service is sold by a sales person
|A brand is desired and bought by a customer
|A product or service can easily be copied by a competitor
|A brand is unique, desirable and sought after
If you want to speak with Melissa in greater detail about how to transcend your business, product or service into an actual brand that is desired and sought after, then please contact us and we can have an obligation-free chat.