As a small to medium size business owner, you may have aspirations of building a brand that people around the world will know, love and ultimately buy. And everywhere you turn there is someone giving you advice on how to build that killer brand. Please pause for a moment, and before you make any big investments like changing your logo, creating a tagline and developing all of the ‘visual’ cues that make up a brand, I ask you to stop and think about this ... why should anyone trust your company? At the end of the day you can have the best looking brand, but no matter how memorable, any brand will fail to achieve its goals and long-term sustainability if it does not gain the public’s trust.
Gaining trust today is not easy and can be exceedingly difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, by following a few simple rules when preparing your marketing strategy, trust can be built, and you can too have a solid brand that produces strong customer loyalty.
Here are a few tips to get you started!
Deliver on your brand promise
A brand is a promise, so make sure you know what your brand is promising to your customers and always deliver on that promise - it is that simple. The luxury is that you have the opportunity of sculpting that promise, so choose it wisely as by not delivering on that promise you will likely tarnish your companies credibility. For example, if your company’s promise is personalized customer service, and every time a customer calls they get placed into voicemail, then you have destroyed that promise and that customer no longer will believe you.
Be authentic and real
People can sense a fraud a mile away, so the rule here is to ‘be real’ to your audience. What this means is that your company needs to identify what it wants to stand for and then make it all very relevant to your audience. No one will believe in a company that changes their value proposition every 3 months, as people take comfort in consistency and certainty in brands they choose. Don’t be fooled it takes restraint for a brand to avoid jumping to the latest fad - as it offers short term success - but what you are after is the long term pay off!
Put the focus on customer needs
Focus less on what you want and more on what the customer wants. It sounds like common sense, but you see too many companies not sharing relevant information with their potential customers. Too many businesses focus on what they want the customer to know, versus communicating what the customer needs to hear. Do what it takes to get a deeper understanding of what your customers want and need from your brand, and learn as much as you can about your customer that is relevant to their buying behavior.
Share a voice they trust - your customer
People love to share experiences, and the same goes for a satisfied customers. You can be sure that a happy customer will talk about your company. This is ultimately your most effective marketing tool. The power of a customer’s story has been proven to increase web traffic and sales conversions. In such a crowded marketplace, it has become really tough to break through the clutter, so by having a group of customers who are your brand ambassadors, you can easily break through with an authentic voice because it will sound different—and adds a human element to your brand. Tactics include testimonials, case studies, customer events where you invite prospects, referral programs, blogs, and the list goes on!
Take a look at some of Mezzanine’s client testimonials to see the impact these can have for your business.
Client video case study testimonials are also a great way to bring a very strong message to your audience about what kind of company you are. We have two very powerful Outsourced Marketing video case studies. Take a look for yourself!
Remember - People buy brands they trust and people follow brands they believe in. What brands do you believe in?