Branding is essential to any business, whether it be a mom and pop shop or a gigantic corporation. Branding affects more than your logo and catchphrase, and it has to be uniform throughout the entire company, from the CEOs down to the customer service reps. You can proudly display your brand with customizable printing through but what happens when your brand has totally missed the mark? Before saddling up with a barrage of promotional materials, keep a few of the biggest mistakes that people make when branding their company in mind.
While it’s easy to sum up your brand as reliable and customer friendly, making those aspects shine across your company is something that’s easily forgotten. On a tough day, your customer service associates may not feel like making the customer welcome. But if your customer comes to you because they’re expecting a personalized experience and are treated just as anyone else, they’re likely to find the issue more frustrating. If you can’t offer reliability, such as not being able to keep a steady schedule or not being able to keep the same products in store, don’t make reliability a part of your brand. Instead, offer the latest and greatest so that people won’t come to your store expecting an old product. If your company is utilizing social media (which it should be – but that’s a topic for another day), make sure your social media sends the same message as your brand. Don’t include pictures of your staff goofing around together if you’re trying to promise the customer a professional experience.
If your company has made mistakes in the past, own up to them. Customers don’t want to hear a flood of excuses when they’re unsatisfied with their purchase. Instead, assure them that this problem will never happen again. Tell them about all of the changes you’ve made to improve whatever problems there were before and if possible offer some sort of guarantee. Customers will be much more comfortable with their purchase if you’re not making excuses for why the product didn’t meet expectations in the first place. In a similar fashion, it is possible to rebrand a division of your business as a separate entity, this is precisely what payday loan company have done with the ‘everline.com’ wing of their loan business – perhaps in an effort to disassociate their business loans from the negative press that payday loans receive in the media.
Keep your brand consistent, no matter what your product or service is. While it may be tempting to offer your customers a wide variety of choices, too many options may also confuse them and make them less able to identify with your brand. You want to create brand loyalty and if customers are unable to tell what your brand is, that will be much harder to do. Also keep in mind that stealing another company’s brand isn’t beneficial to you either. You want to make yourself stand out from the competition, not make yourself the same. Customers will see your company as simply following the trends and that doesn’t give them any reassurance of where you’ll be down the line.
Branding isn’t rocket science, but it can also be difficult for those who haven’t had any experience. If you’re truly lost when it comes to your brand, consider hiring a consultant to help. It’ll be worth it when your repeat customers come back.