A brand helps an individual make an informed decision about the purchase they’re looking to make. View your brand through this prism as we enter this recovery period, says Gerard Tannam
This article first appeared on DecisionIreland.com on October 18th, 2021
If you are good at what you do and know how to explain it, a thought leadership strategy can be a low-cost way of generating business leads. The aim is to position yourself as an authoritative voice in your sector. One way to do it is to seek out opportunities to speak at events and conferences, either online or in the real world.
The pandemic and ensuing lockdowns knocked us all, and many businesses took a particularly brutal blow.
Thankfully, we have moved on to the point now where living with Covid has become more manageable . The vaccination programme has helped us reach a point where we have a few tools in our arsenal to deal with the virus.
Which leads us to the period we’re in now.
Widely called “the recovery”, businesses are open and can begin planning again. It’s an optimistic place to be, though the effects of the last 20 months are still looming large.
But businesses have a superpower in their favour. And it’s their brand.
Here are five ways to put your brand to work for you.
1. Get visible and stay visible
A brand is more than just a logo, but your logo will play a big role in helping people identify how you can help them.
Don’t underestimate the power of being visible.
“Build it and they will come” is not a route to market strategy.
From a strategic point of view, being visible is the entry level point for any further marketing activities you employ to drive growth.
From a tactical point of view, social media still provides enormous bang for your marketing buck no matter how modest your budgets may be.
2. Remember that a brand’s job is to help customers decide
Think about any service or product you have bought.
There was a desire or need behind each one of these purchases. You might need teabags, and you might really fancy Netflix for the long Winter nights ahead of us.
Herein lies an often completely ignored aspect of branding.
A brand helps an individual make an informed decision about the purchase they’re looking to make.
View your brand through this prism as we enter into this recovery period.
What attributes about your brand could you share to help people make better decisions? Could you highlight how your team members address client requests? Have you implemented an online customer journey that is more convenient for clients? Have you partnered with a local organisation in 2021?
All of these details will help potential customers build a picture of who your business is. They’ll also build a picture in their mind of how you can help them.
3. Your brand is a relationship
We often share how a customer and a supplier are in a relationship. They just don’t know it yet.
Your brand is the very illustration of this relationship. Just think of how Irish people feel about Barry’s tea and Lyons tea (or even Barry’s tea versus Lyons tea!) and you’ll get a clear idea of how brands represent feelings!
What do you want your relationship to exemplify?
Showing the human side of your brand is always a winning way to connect with potential customers.
There are many ways to do this, and one of the strongest is via case studies. Highlight how your business has helped other individuals or businesses reach their goals.
4. Be clear on the value your business provides
This is not about fancy marketing speak. Rather, being clear on what your brand provides is a way to communicate the value you bring to your customers.
For example, an IT managed services provider is not simply dealing with hardware and software. They’re in the business of providing their customers with peace of mind.
A public relations consultancy is not only getting clients onto radio shows and into newspapers. What they’re doing is making it easy for their clients to be found.
A coffee shop is making lattes and Americanos, for sure, but they’re doing something else too. They’re also providing a special time-out during the day.
People connect with value.
5. Your customer service is what will define your brand
As mentioned already, your brand is made up of more elements than your logo. (That’s not to ignore your logo; it’s a key piece of your overall identity.)
However, the element that will define your brand over and above any marketing strategy you employ is your customer service.
Investing in this area is always a good idea.
You might do this through staff training, updating your computer systems or relocating to roomier premises. There is no limit as to how you might improve the customer experience you offer to clients.
But one thing is for sure.
How you make your customers feel is how your brand will come to be defined.
The time is now to build a strong brand
While we may only fully understand the effects of what we have experienced in 2020 and 2021 in years to come, we find ourselves in an exciting place right now.
There’s an appetite to explore and connect again. Some economists still feel we could be in for a “roaring 20s” experience.
Your relationship with customers aka your brand will be your key to harnessing the power of the recovery. Good luck!