Use Your Brand Effectively to Encourage Buying, Rather Than Selling

"A Brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It's the sum of all the experiences you have with a company." - Amir Kassaei

Your brand is so much more than a logo or color scheme. It is your public profile. It encompasses everything that you are and that you do. Your brand should permeate everything that is seen by the public and by your employees. It is in your design, your clothing, your service, your telephone manner and your behavior.

If you get your brand right, I truly believe you won't have to work hard at sales, as people will want to buy from you. Here are some things that will help you to establish a great brand that works for you and your business.

1. Internalize your brand. Before your customers can have faith in your brand, you and your employees need to believe in it. Make sure that your employees are familiar with your brand. It needs to be present in all your documentation, uniform, policies for answering the telephone, writing emails and letters. It should be present in your attitude to customers and to each other. If you have an idea of how you want your customers to perceive you and your business, then you need to ensure that your employees see it in the same way.

2. Be consistent with the quality, not just of your products and services, but also your brand. 
"Perhaps the most salient factor for the most successful brands is the promise of consistent quality. Whether it's a business or a consumer making a purchasing decision, they want to be sure in this world of endless choice that their decision is the right one." - Rosi McMurray, executive director of strategy, The Brand Union

So you spend a sizable amount of money on a nice logo and corporate image and then you print off a quick memo for your staff with a poor resolution version of your logo, or you decide to design your own notice to go in your office or shop to advertise your latest offer. You take 5 minutes and knock one out using the endless supply of dreary templates in certain proprietary DTP applications with some hideous font free with your operating system that look nothing like the image used on your company stationary.

You have this great corporate image that gives the impression of high quality and yet the phone manner of your employees makes your customers feel less than important.

Sound familiar? Does that remind you of any companies that you've had contact with recently?

Be sure you are consistent with your brand. Why spend the money on branding if you're not going to use it.

Be careful not to use your image on some of your publications and not on others. It really is worth taking the time to do things properly.

3. Convince your customers of the benefits of your brand in authentic everyday language. 
Speak clearly when communicating. How you communicate on your publications is vital to the success of your brand. Do not get bogged down with corporate speak.

4. Target your locality and take pride in it. This will often lead to a national appreciation. 
"Local brands evoke national pride, are seen as less profit-oriented, and are often formed on deep local insights. But quality worries persist, innovation is questioned, the information can be woefully inadequate, they are sometimes seen to be opaque - and their advertising is clearly recognized as not being of a global standard. For local brands, quality, innovation and transparency are critical hills to climb." - Miles Young, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

5. Hire a professional. 
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." - Paul Neil "Red" Adair

Don't fall into the trap of cutting corners with your design and printing. The quality of your printed and online publications reflects on you and your brand.

Take pride in everything that represents your company. You believe in your product, otherwise you wouldn't be in the business you are. Give your business the respect it deserves by hiring a professional to do what they do best. It may cost in the short-term, but you will reap the benefits in the long term. It shows you care about your brand, products and or services and it shows the value you place on it to your customer base.

I am always surprised when I hand a good quality business card to a new customer. It's your first point of contact and first impressions do last.

There are many more ways you can effectively ensure your brand works for you and is not just another expense for your business. Take it seriously, as then everyone will take you seriously.

If you are unsure if your brand is working for you, then why not get an expert in to help you? At offbeatDSG, we can help design and implement a brand and corporate image that will represent your business and communicate clearly with your customers.

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19 Feb 2013

By Lewis Parfitt