Do you have a brand? Do you know what it is? Perhaps, more importantly, do your clients know? And what about the marketplace?
All great questions, but they are not always easy to answer. Your brand is your promise to the market place. When someone does business with you they know what they will get based on this “promise.” A great brand will have clients flocking to you a bad brand repels them. When someone thinks of you they should think of your brand, and conversely when someone thinks of your brand they should think of you. It’s simple – on paper.
When you go eat at McDonalds you know ahead of time what you are going to get. You know exactly what type of service to expect and what quality of food you will receive. If you are not satisfied with your meal, then my guess is that it was your fault for not having your expectations properly aligned with their well-known brand.
When business professionals think about themselves, their organization, and their brand many times they fall into the trap of only thinking about the products or services they offer. It is true that your brand should cover the quality and type of products and services that you sell, but your brand should also be related to the experience of doing business with you.
Dominos Pizza built their business around a brand of “your pizza would be delivered in 30 minutes or it was free”. You knew just what you were getting when you did business with Dominos. If you liked their pizza, and you wanted it fast that was the place to go.
When evaluating your brand it is probably best to go to your customers and ask them what they think of when they think of you. Put together a survey that they can fill out with questions about your products and services, the people that make up your organization, the experience they have at all points of contact, and adjectives that they associate your business.
Before reviewing this information, have everyone in your organization answer the same questions. With all of this feedback in hand you can learn how others perceive you, combine their views with your own knowledge of how you want to be perceived, and then take the steps to bring both of those visions into alignment.
If your brand is strong, easily understandable, and memorable, then you have the opportunity to really build your business.
A brand is so much more than a slogan that looks great on your letterhead. It may look nice on paper, but a brand that is only in words and not delivered in reality is a false promise. Create a strong brand, deliver it, and promote it — you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.