Whether you are just starting your company, or have been working hard at it for years, you have a vision of how you want your organization, products or services to be perceived in the market. This is your brand vision. You build and reinforce your brand every day and every time a consumer has an interaction with your company. This consumer interaction can come in a variety of ways:
- Your advertising message;
- How your phone is answered;
- Your voice mail message;
- A consumer visiting your place of business;
- Viewing your website.
Maintaining a strong brand helps you compete in the marketplace, increases your customer base, and improves customer loyalty. Most importantly, it is a direct reflection of your business.
Perhaps it is time to do a quick self-analysis of your branding efforts. Answer the following 15 Brand Self-Analysis questions to see if you might have opportunities to improve your brand, so improving your business:
1. Do you know your primary market? (Are you just guessing, or do you know?)
2. Do you have a standardized logo? (Is it time to update?)
3. Do you have standardized colors? (They are used in your marketing materials, website, etc.)
4. Does your work e-mail have a standardized signature? (Is everyone using it?)
5. Do you have a key business phrase or slogan? (Are you using it consistently?)
6. Do you and your staff answer the phone in a consistent, professional manner?
7. Is your voicemail message professional?
8. Does the quality of your newsletters and other written materials match your branding strategy?
9. Are your marketing materials written and / or proofread by a professional?
10. Is your website updated with current and relevant content?
11. Is your store exterior and interior clean, organized and welcoming?
12. Is the customer experience consistently pleasant? (How do you know?)
13. Are your company vehicles clean?
14. Are your employees well groomed and dressed appropriately?
15. Do your employees know your marketing strategy? (Have you shared it with them?)
As an extra suggestion, have one or more of your employees answer the 15 Brand Self-Analysis questions, and then compare their findings with yours. You might be surprised!
If after reviewing the answers to the 15 questions, you have identified some areas that could use some focus, develop or update your marketing plan to incorporate these important findings. If you do not have a marketing plan, then you are missing a key piece of your overall business strategy. You should develop one as soon as possible, or if you need assistance, a business consulting firm can help.
Consistent focus on your brand strategy will lead to increased sales and increased profits.