We’re busy, sometimes it’s easy to forget that marketing and branding does not just take place with campaigns, email, and social media. It really should be considered with every single customer interaction from the very first impression to the last.
Why is Branding Important
From the first interaction with your company a prospect is developing an impression about your company, products, services, and the people that work there. What kind of impression do you want to make on your prospective customers? Are they exposed to your brand or logo from the get-go? Are your salespeople representing your brand the way you want them to?
Credibility and Reputation
A prospective customer seeing similar branding across all their initial contacts with your company lends an air of credibility. It means that there had to be effort made to not only create this brand, but someone went through the added effort to tie the rest of their communication to that brand. It starts building trust in the brand from the very start.
If your brand can also show existing customers that your company supports them even when there are issues, you gain the opportunity to build strong customer service with your brand and improve your brand’s reputation. So, embrace your branding throughout your customer support materials. If reinforced with positive customer service your organization will be rewarded with loyal customers and ones that want to share their positive brand experience.
You’ve invested time and money on developing your brand, messaging, and logo. Why not capitalize on it with every interaction? If prospects are confused about how you represent your brand, or if you aren’t consistent with its implementation you risk confusing your audience. Confuse your audience and watch your credibility and reputation decrease.
Opportunities to Brand
For marketers, it’s second nature to ensure that campaigns and events have a focus on brand consistency. Here are some other opportunities you should consider:
A consistent branded email signature should be used across the company and used for every prospect and customer interaction. In addition to contact info, it should include your logo, brand tagline, and website address.
Thank You and Holiday Cards
It’s getting closer to that time of year for many companies to start thinking about having holiday cards produced and printed. I’ve seen countless cards over the years that don’t include the company’s branding on them. Sending a thank you card or gift? Don’t let it be a question who it’s from. Brand it and reap the goodwill from doing so.
Proposals & Contracts
Proposals and contracts are often your first formal contact with your prospective customer past initial emails. Make sure your proposals and contracts emphasize your branding.
Social Media Profiles
Here is a great opportunity that is very often missed. In addition to branding your company’s social media pages, provide branding materials for all your staff so they can update their personal social media with the branding if they choose. How many times are you contacted by a salesperson and the first thing you do is look up their profile on LinkedIn? Help your staff to enhance their credibility by providing them with a branded social media background they can use to improve their profile.
If you have branded marketing and sales enablement tools, offer them to your sales force for them to add to their personal LinkedIn profile. It enhances their credibility and improves their profile at the same time.
All sales materials
Sales enablement tools, especially the printed ones, often get passed around. Don’t leave a prospect guessing who created this material or where it came from. On every document you put out make it easy for your audience to not only quickly and easily identify the source of the information – your company, but also to easily contact you.
Often times, the consistency of your design and your branding efforts will let your customers and clients know at a glance that the material came from your company. Lackluster, inconsistent, or non-branded material, can often reinforce or lead to a bad impression of your company or brand.
When thinking about branding sales enablement materials consider:
- Pricing sheets
- Product/Sales/service data sheets
- Sales guides
- White papers
- Business cards
It’s a highly competitive world. Set yourself apart by taking advantage of the opportunity to present your brand consistently at every customer touch point. It’ll enhance your credibility and leave a positive impression with your prospects and customers.