Why do you think your customers will associate with you company? What type of image do they have of you when they hear your company name? How do you engage your customers with your brands?
If you're not sure of the way to engage your customers - or possibly you currently have a not so good company image - its time to have a re-think in the way your company presents itself. It's not surprising that industry leaders in every category from soft drinks to toilet rolls work tirelessly to create some of the world's most recognized brands.
Don't worry though, it won't cost you millions or take years to get you back on track. By using these four methods you can create (or re-create) that winning brand image.
4 ways to engage customers
1. Differentiate your brand
Branding is all about sending a strong and consistent message. With a strong brand, you won't have to sell for as long or as hard. Customers will know what you stand for before you give your pitch or proposal.
You want to be easily identifiable at every customer touch point, from word of mouth to final sale.
Whether it;s by visiting your web site or seeing a print add, ensure that every bit and byte of packaging, presentations, communications, and marketing speaks with your brand-consistent look and feel.
If your business is in a highly competitive area, it is critical to keep fine-tuning your brand image, this is what will make you stand out from your competitors.
The only way to see if you are standing out from the crowd is by performing a competitive analysis. If you have not performed one for a while make time to take this important step in re-aligning your brand.
- Clip all your competitors' ads
- Review their PR coverage
- Research them online
- and buy their products and services
- From this you can decide what makes your product or service different. It's this point of differentiation that allows you to create an image that sticks in customers' minds.
2. Promise value.
Now that you have worked out what separates you from your competitors, it is time to redefine your brand message so that your best prospects can relate to what your company stands for. Ask yourself, how well do you know and understand your customers? Create an accurate portrait of your target prospects. Research them and this will help you focus your branding efforts. From doing this it will help you reach the audience that will be most receptive to the unique qualities of your products and services.
Do not try and be all things to all people. This will only cause you to end up with a diluted and weak brand. Concentrate more on what your unique customers want, need and value the most. This will result in strong branding and sales.
If you are unsure what your customers value the most from your products and services, set-up a message board on your web site or a printed satisfaction survey to your mailing list - these will help you monitor customers' perceptions of your brand and uncover any unmet needs.
3. Become a market leader.
To become a true leader in your market niche, focus on improving your customers' experiences and interactions with your company. Honour what your brand symbolises by continuing to deliver to your high value customers. Always make sure you keep your promises and live up to your marketing claims. Perform like a leader by keeping your promises - nothing can ruin your branding efforts than failing to do what you say.In today's world, before making many purchases, customers will:
- Look at reviews
- Read in-depth information
- And pay attention to word of mouth
- This is known as "ownership experience" and customers do this in order top feel confident that the purchase and post-purchase experience will live up to expectations raised by brand marketing.
4. Integrate your messages.
How consistent is your brand's message communicated? Do the messages of your various marketing programs conflict? The same branding should appear uniform on your entire advertising range, marketing channels and promotional options, not just stationary or sales brochures. That includes
- press releases
- e-mail signatures
- trade show displays and booths
- store or office signage
- banners and billboards
- print ads
- posters and marketing for sponsored or charity events
In other words everything.
Audit all your company's current marketing communications, paying particular attention to sales tools - as over time, these tend to become mismatched and disconnected from other marketing efforts. This will ensure that your branding tune-up is successful, and once your sales and marketing tools are re-aligned, will create a stronger brand image.