18 July 2012 - 16:09Branding 101: How to Stand Out in a Big Way!
By Mary Rideout
In this world of social media, smart phones, and tablet computers one thing is certain, if a brand is not unique it will disappear. For manufacturing and industrial companies, this means it is now more important than ever, to utilize your number one asset, your brand. Your brand must be strong so it can stand out among the constant bombardment of information presented to your clients daily.
Now you may wonder what your current brand is saying about you. Maybe you never realized how important a well developed brand could be, so we are going to start with the basics.
Your brand is more than your logo. Your brand should highlight your strengths and why they are important to your clients and prospects. A good brand takes what is unique about your company and personifies it. Everyone in your company from the CEO to the maintenance team should be able to identify with, and adopt the brand, before you launch a marketing campaign. After all, if your own employees cannot stand behind the brand why should your customers buy it?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of a good brand, let’s talk about developing a great brand!
When you are developing your brand it is important to progress in stages, much like a mechanic checking a car for damage, each stage will bring you new clarity in the form of problems that may need to be fixed. Start with a look under the hood, then bring it into the shop for a more thorough inspection, finally take your brand for a test drive to ensure everything is running smoothly. Below are some tips from our brand strategy to help you get started!
Stage 1- Look Under the Hood:
Survey your employees to determine how they perceive the brand. This stage is imperative, if your employees have varied opinions of your brand it is even more likely your customers and prospects do too. You should be sending one cohesive message about your brand from all areas of your company, try following these tips.
- Develop 5- 10 questions that will give feedback as to how employees compare their company to competitors in terms of message, brand recognition, and marketing support.
- Click here for a list of ideas, or use our report card!
- Use a low cost online survey tool to distribute your survey. Survey Monkey, Mail Chimp and Constant Contact are all great options!
Stage 2: Bring it Into the Shop:
Now that you have a firm understanding of your employees’ thoughts on your brand, bring in your company’s top stakeholders for a half day brand workshop dedicated to uncovering your brand’s essence.
- Designate a facilitator for the workshop
- Ask your stakeholders to contribute a list of the top 50-100 facts about the company
- Talk about the facts together to determine which 5 facts make you uniquely different from your competitors
Stage 3- Take a Test Drive:
Now it is time to find out what your customers think! Survey your top customers and ask them questions like these ones:
- What single word best describes who we are?
- What do you believe we are best at?
- What do you believe our competition is best at?
- How can we better serve your needs?
Just like when you surveyed your employees you can send out a survey through an online survey tool. If you prefer you may call your customers, but keep in mind unless you have a third party call, you may not get truthful answers.
If you are looking to build your brand, we encourage you to use some of our suggestions and see if they help improve your brand strength. If you would like us to help you with your brand, or you have any questions please contact us!