If your company invests in television, newspaper, online, billboard, email, and/or radio advertising, look at this advertising as though you were a customer or a prospective customer. Does the advertising make sense to you? Is it clear how you would be better off as a result of using that product or service? Does it in some way increase your emotional desire to buy from your organization? Be honest with the people responsible for the advertising. In a professional, one-on-one conversation let the person know what your observations were like. Take ownership of your brand and at least express your opinion. Do so with tact and maturity, but let your thoughts be known.
Rather than wondering what you can do today at work and just filling up your time with busywork, I suggest you pull out a stack of personal note cards and write a handwritten note to 25 customers. If you do that once a quarter, your relationship will be much stronger with each of them. Don’t just write the same thing to each person. Make each note personal and unique.
If you don’t know your customers because of the role you’re in, then write a handwritten note to 25 franchisees or suppliers. The point is you strengthen your organization’s brand when you strengthen your relationship with key people associated with your business.
The ultimate brand-killer is trying to be something different every day just to close a sale with a different customer every day. No organization is for every pocketbook.
You can build a massive company with a very clear brand (Disney: entertain all members of the family; Ralph Lauren: provide the look of the luxury lifestyle; American Girl Doll: in the little girl business), but you can’t even build a successful small business without people having a clear understanding of the value you sell.
Take time today to look at your brand. How do customers describe the value they receive from your business and what it is like working with your organization? Clarify what your organization stands for and communicate that to your employees, customers, and prospects. Also, clarify what you don’t do and what value you don’t provide. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
If you say you’re going to blog every week or every day, then do it. If you say you’re going to post updates on Facebook, then do it. If you say you’re going to Twitter away with tips every morning, then do it. Some companies take social media seriously and have dramatically enhanced their brand. Others talk about taking social media seriously and then people question their brand because their social media efforts happen only very sporadically. Either take it seriously, or don’t do it.
If a person looked at your prices today and compared them to the prices of your competitors, do you feel your current prices would enhance your brand or weaken your brand. Don’t be fooled into thinking people always want the cheapest price. They don’t. They want an appropriate price. If a Mercedes-Benz salesperson told me I could walk off the lot with a brand-new Mercedes for $14,000, I wouldn’t trust him or her. That price doesn’t fit the brand. I would believe something was wrong with the car. If someone charged me $24 for a hamburger, I would question what I was doing there. Do you have the appropriate price for the value you want to be known for? Your price can endear a customer to you or make them bewildered.