7 Rules to Build Your Company’s Brand
So often in the high-tech business of delivering telecommunication services, we all tend to focus on the technology we use or which we deliver to our customers. It is amazing stuff and it’s the reason that many people who start out in this industry make a career out of it – it is fascinating and ever-changing.
But in this blog I want to put technology aside and talk about branding and the importance of it to your business.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. It is what you stand for. More than just having a recognizable logo, branding is about the feeling or perception consumers have when they think about your name, product, or service.
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customers and prospects. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’.
There is a natural connection from your brand promise to your customer relationship and it follows the same natural chain as the formation of any relationship and it goes like this:
A Promise, leads to an Expectation, which leads to Interactions and Experiences which leads to a Relationship.
An example shows how this works: Your dentist promises to fix your teeth. You expect him/her to fulfill that promise. You go to the dentist and your experience is that the expectation is met or missed and you develop an ongoing relationship if you felt the promise was met, or you choose not to return, if it was not met.
The important part of marketing is that you must determine and declare your brand promise to the market. If you don’t, your competition will do it for you — and you don’t want that to happen.
Everything your company does is connected to your brand. Your brand runs through everything you do; from the way you answer the phone to the performance of your product.
You deliver on your promise through operational excellence and it is important to be consistent, because consistency builds trust.
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and how people perceive you to be,” according to an Entrepreneur article.
The purpose of your brand is to:
- Clearly deliver your core message
- Connect your target audience emotionally with your product or service
- Motivate the customer to buy from you
- Create customer loyalty
How to build your company brand
Entrepreneur Magazine recommends starting by asking a few strategic questions about your company:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Once you’ve defined what your brand is, it’s time to start getting the message out to perspective customers. We’ve put together 7 rules to follow when building your brand.
Rule #1: Define your target audience.
Developing your brand starts with understanding your potential customers. According to HubSpot — “The needs, goals, and behavior of your potential customers dictate how you convey your product or service. Understanding those things helps you determine what kind of media your personas are consuming, what motivates them, and where they “live” online.”
Rule #2: Understand, develop, and declare your brand promise.
Two great books to read are “A New Brand World” by Scott Bedbury and “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek.
They both offer insight into the need to understand the core DNA of your company, your persona, and your promise.
Write down your brand promise in narrative form. It should read like a story. You may ultimately boil it down into a phrase or a sentence but in the beginning, don’t be constrained by length. It may end up being a page long so let it.
Rule #3: What is your mantra?
People focus on tag lines but as Scott Bedbury notes in “A New Brand World” — what is important is your brand mantra. Scott was the Advertising Director at Nike during its formative years and the CMO at Starbucks and he has unique insights on brand building.
He states that many people think that Nike’s “brand mantra” is “Just Do It.” That is more of a tag line. Their actual brand mantra is “authentic athletic performance.” The promise of that mantra being that when you purchase and wear Nike apparel, you can expect the quality and performance akin to what a professional athlete would demand.
The mantra guides your employees’ actions and sets the expectation for your customers. Disney’s brand mantra is “Fun, Family Entertainment.” It doesn’t matter if it’s a movie, a theme park, or a game – the mantra is the guiding light.
Develop your Brand Mantra.
Rules #4: Develop a brand voice.
Brand voice is all about how you communicate your company’s personality (or its products/services). It’s not only what you say, but also how you say it. This voice needs to be present in all graphic images, from printed materials and emails to social media channels. If your brand is sophisticated, the voice should reflect that, and vice versa. A friendly, adventurous brand will have a different voice.
Rule #5: Have a consistent voice on social media.
There is no getting around the fact that social media is an essential part of any marketing strategy. The problem lies in knowing where to concentrate your energy. Part of that challenge will be determining where your target audience hangs out, so to speak. Every social media channel attracts different users. The users you’ll find on Facebook will be quite different from those on LinkedIn, for instance. You need to utilize multiple marketing channels (social and other) to engage your customers and prospects.
Pew Research did a survey to determine the demographics of the major social media channels. Here are some findings:
Facebook: 72% of adult Internet users; 77% women vs. 66% of men
Pinterest: 31% of adult Internet users; 44% women vs. 16% of men
Instagram: 28% of adult Internet users; 55% of its users are age 18-29
Twitter: 23% of all Internet users
Rules #6: Deliver value for your customers.
Everything you sell (whether a product or service) should provide value to your customers. Ask yourself some more questions.
- What sets my product, service, and company apart from my competitors?
- What value do I provide, and how does it differ from what is provided by my competitors?
- How do these benefits tap into my customer’s emotions?
- Does what I’m producing have enough value for the price I’m charging?
- Is my brand in sync with how I’m marketing my company?
Rule #7: Be consistent.
Building a company brand takes time. It’s important that you are consistent with your look, message, language, and operational execution. Consistency builds trust and you want to develop a long-term trusted relationship with your customers.
Remember the chain of relationship building.
BRAND PROMISE >>> EXPECTATION >>> INTERACTION & EXPERIENCES >>> RELATIONSHIP
At nexVortex, our brand promise is to be an Uncommon Company and to deliver Uncommon Service. Our culture is based on four overarching tenets: Uncommon Service, Uncommon Commitment, Uncommon Know-How, and Uncommon Innovation.
To find out why channel partners and customers trust nexVortex with their cloud communication needs — Contact Us Today.