Building your brand and having a clear branding strategy is one of the most important factors in determining your businesses long term success.
Whilst brand value is invariably not recognised on the balance sheet by accountants, for successful businesses, brand is often its single biggest asset and the one that is most at risk of depreciation.
A brand is more than a product name or a logo or your corporate identity. Your brand is everything your business represents and everything it offers. This covers your products, your services, your people, your values, your customers & suppliers, your reputation.
When a customer engages and interacts with your businesses brand they should know exactly what they will receive in terms of both products, services and customer experience and it is the businesses job to deliver against these expectations.
Delivering against your brand promise requires provision of a flawless customer experience throughout the customer journey.
The customer journey begins at the point when they first become aware of your business. As in many walks of life, first impression last and it is crucial that businesses ask themselves the following questions:
• What is the message your potential customers receive when they first become aware of your business?
• What messages does your website convey?
• What impression do our brochures and printed material convey?
• Is there consistent messaging and impressions created in all of promotional tools?
• How and to what extent are the messages conveyed and the promises made delivered by other parts of the business?
At the stage when customers are interested in your business, the chances are that they are interacting with additional touch-points. For example, they may move from the website to a meeting with a salesperson i.e. they have moved from the marketing team to the remit of another part of the business – sales). This transition can put the customer experience and therefore the businesses brand at risk. A smooth handover process and constant communication throughout the customer journey have a direct impact on customer experience and consequently on the value of your brand and of your business.
Managing the often tense relationships between marketing and sales and ensuring consistency of messaging between teams and departments is a key priority for any business. Any inconsistency in perceptions of your business leads to an erosion in the perceived value of your business and its brand.
These points hold true as the customer journey continues. Every team (from the delivery driver to the finance team), every individual, every engagement must embody the brand values of the business.