aNewDomain — Building and maintaining a strong and memorable brand is key to longevity in the business world. From making the spellchecker your best friend to helping your employees better themselves, here are 10 tips that will improve your bottom line and set you apart from your rivals.
1) Be unique. It’s rare to be the only one doing what you’re doing. The key is to differentiate yourself from your competition when you’re operating in an oversaturated market. Carve out a niche and achieve success by focusing on what sets your business apart.
2) Provide answers. A mission statement is nice for hanging on the wall in your lobby or putting on an “about us” page on your company website. What your business should be focused on is helping your customers with their mission. They’re on the hunt for a service to solve their problem du jour. If your company can provide them with that solution, they will feel like they’ve found the answer.
3) Build loyalty. Once you’ve provided the answer to your customers’ problems, they’ll keep coming back. Reward and nurture that support by being consistent with your customer service. If your clients are happy, chances are they will reward your dependability with referrals. Word-of-mouth is worth its weight in gold. Spotlight devoted customers by asking them to give your business a testimonial to promote through advertising, your company newsletter or in social media.
4) Reinforce messaging. So you’ve created a product or deliver a service that is different or better than what’s available, thus solving the problem customers face. These customers keep coming back as long as your business is consistently serving their needs. Now is when its crucial to stress your company’s values. Every interaction and communication should reinforce core branding, cultivate the relationship with the customer and circle back to what makes your company unique.
5) Look professional. Your company image is your first impression. Send the message that you know what you’re doing and pay attention to the details by having professional-looking materials – your company logo, stationery (business cards, letterhead and envelopes) and marketing collateral (newsletters and direct mail pieces). Company logowear helps your employees project a professional image and reinforce your brand.
6) Proofread everything. And I mean everything. From the e-mails you send to the proposals you create to the postcards you mail, double check what you write and design for any errors. Spell check everything. Ask an employee who hasn’t been working on the project to give your materials a fresh pair of eyes. On your website, make sure that all your links work and your information is current.
7) Be consistent. Once you’ve settled on your company’s visual identity, use it across all marketing platforms — from your collateral and website to social media and signage. Make sure all of your employees are consistent in how they refer to your company to avoid confusion from the public. Take the time to create a graphic standards manual that ensures everyone properly uses your company logo and colors.
8) Give back. Inspire your team members to give back to their communities and causes they support by volunteering. Share what your company is up to on social media and encourage your customers to get involved.
9) Stay honest. Deliver on what — and when — you’ve promised to your customer. If there’s a mistake, own it and take swift corrective action. If you try to make it right, you’re more likely to keep that customer and avoid negative feedback.
10) Inspire growth. Nothing strengthens an employer’s bond with their employees more than supporting them personally and professionally. By supporting your employees to learn new skills, you can ignite a dedication that will push them to reach higher. A happy employee can be your most passionate brand evangelist.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jolene Campbell.
Cover art: by VaughnSaball (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons