Creating a quality product or service is just the first step to being a successful organization. However, a quality product will likely go unnoticed if it doesn’t gain a competitive advantage within the desired market. Competitive advantage creates the opportunity for a new company to splash onto the market and disrupt the current hierarchy of industry leading products. If you don’t have a clear differentiation strategy, you are likely to fall back into the swathes of companies that go unseen and unused amid the onslaught of competition.
The following is a list of best practices to build and maintain a strong brand image that will help you stand out inside your desired market.
One of the first mistakes 21st century organizations make is the assumption that offline marketing is dead and gone. It’s not. Community outreach is still something that is very much appreciated and still critical to the success of your business. If you’re sending out goods to the customers, give them something to use every day – like, a stylish reusable tote bag, personalized power bank or custom USB drive.
When you attend community events and receive customer information, follow up with a personalized letter or phone call. It doesn’t matter what the size of your organization is, nobody wants to feel like they are just another sale or addition to a corporation’s bottom line.
The fact that even Amazon has moved into the world of brick-and-mortar stores should say something about the importance of in-person contact.
Empower Employees to Spread the Word
Trust and branding go hand in hand, and the ones we care about greatly influence our opinions. A recent study conducted by the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report found that 92 percent of global consumers say they trust “earned media” – also known as recommendations from friends and family, ahead of any other source of advertising. Therefore, employee advocacy is a supremely important concept to the development and maintenance of your brand, with regards to social media and content marketing. You may have a huge network of followers on various social media platforms, yet your employees have a unique ability to spread the reach of your organization’s network to users who may only be reachable through said employees.
Developing an employee advocacy program is of huge benefit to your organization. For a deeper look into how to identify the best advocates within your company, you can read a comprehensive guide right here.
Streamline Your Business Message
The first thing a customer is going to notice about your advertising is a contradictory message. For example, if you were giving away fast food discount coupons at a fitness convention – it just doesn’t make sense. Make sure you are targeting your desired audience with an appropriate message that, above everything else, actually benefits them and their desires, not tries to trick or deceive them.
Say that you are an organization that sells outdoor gear, it makes sense to assume that the people who are buying from you are interested in nature and outdoor activities. Create a survival tips pamphlet that can be folded down to the size of a matchbook. Even throw in a pack of matches with your company name and logo for added effect.
When your message makes sense and actually aids the reader, it’s easier for customers to trust you – which makes them more willing to make purchases from you and build their loyalty.