What do people think about your company?
Every organization, whether purposefully or by default, has a brand. Right or wrong, it’s how your company is perceived by customers, employees, vendors and the public. And it matters. Brand Integrity is the intangible that makes all the difference in a competitive market and closes the deal. But how can you identify your brand identity?
Steps to Creating a Strong Brand
Everyone wants to work for a company that’s well thought of, and customers want to buy from a brand that they trust. But building a strong brand is not as simple as telling people that you have a great product and you really care.
While there are as many ways to create good brand perception as there are marketing people, there are basic principles that run through all the methods. They are summarized here in four steps that any company can take. To be effective though, do take all four steps, and don’t let yourself feel that you are satisfied after just one or two. Together, the results of all four may surprise you, and set you on a path that will be more profitable and enjoyable than you envision.
Step 1: Polling Customers
What do your customers really think about your company and products?
You may think you know, and you might even be close, so why not verify it and get details? Find out if they would be willing to recommend you. What they like best about your company, and what they like least (there is always something). And at the same time find out what your potential customers think of you as well.
This is best done through an anonymous survey that most marketing professionals can conduct for you. Together, you can work on the questions and the list of who to survey. The marketing group will conduct the study and compile the results for you in a meaningful manner.
Step 2: Polling Employees
Your employees are the front line, and your company’s best representatives. How they feel about your products and services is going to reflect in all their interactions with the public. Find out how they really feel with an anonymous survey. What do they think the company’s greatest strengths are? Greatest weaknesses? What has their experience taught them about your customers and products?
This survey can be done in-house through the HR department, if that group is trusted by the employees to keep their identities private. It can also be conducted through an outside HR support group or marketing firm. Don’t be afraid to share the results with the entire company. It might just start a much needed dialogue and create a culture that everyone can be proud of.
Step 3: Comparing Competition
Another very important step in determining your brand image to review is your competition. Again, you may think you know all about them already, but what you want to understand is how they appear to you potential customers from a marketing standpoint. What is their value proposition? How do they appear to the public: modern, sincere or out-of-date with no future? Even review what their colors and logs look like.
This study can be done in-house but is best created and conducted by an independent marketing group who knows what they are looking for has no pre-conceived bias. The results will be prepared, and you will find out, from a marketing perception standpoint, how you stack up against them.
Step 4: Comparing Competition
The final step is finding where to plant your flag and build a strong brand. It is best demonstrated by this:
Your unique differential is the answer to these three questions:
- What do you offer your competition does not?
- What are your true internal strengths?
- What do your customers see you as vs what they would like to see?
When you’ve found your unique value, let the world know about it starting with your employees! Hold a company-wide meeting to announce your findings and how you are going to stand by it and share the excitement with marketplace. Implement a plan to get the word out and then stay consistent in your messaging. It’s not an overnight fix, but you will see results if you stay the course.
Marketing Influence creates marketing programs that are customized to your goals and budget. Connect with us now to learn more about how we can help you determine your company’s brand image and help you maintain your brand identity.