Best Practice: A chain or brand is only as strong as its weakest link. Regularly review each step in your branding process.
Today’s Article: Brand Implementation – You are only as strong as your weakest brand link
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” “A brand is only as strong as its weakest link”. Follow the flow of interactions or connections a customer has with a company, product or service. Inspect what is important. These customer interactions are important. Make sure the brand promise, i.e. if it is helpfulness or friendliness is happening at each interaction.
In implementing your brand have a plan. There are three steps to marketing your brand: connect with prospects, convert prospects to customers and convert customers to repeat customers.
Connect with Prospects
The key to connecting with prospects is understanding who they are, what they want, how you meet their need or desire and how they learn about new products or services. Are they most receptive to traditional/push marketing (print, broadcast, direct mail, or telephone) or connection content marketing (word of mouth, networking, website, social media, blogs, guides, ebooks, white papers, RSS feed, or video)? Use approaches they are receptive to.
“Nielsen research indicates that many consumers are less trusting of traditional forms of advertising, receiving less than a 50% rating as an indicator of consumer trust. By contrast, strategies like word of mouth marketing or official websites are trusted the majority of the time”. Also take into consideration generational marketing. Older generations are more receptive to traditional advertising, what they grew up with, while younger generations are more receptive to online and social media.
Convert Prospects to Customers
Once a prospect responds to your brand marketing, how do you convert them to a customer. Is the conversion through a phone call, email, retail experience, online shopping cart, or person to person (convention, trade show or show room)?
Convert Customers to Repeat Customers.
Once the prospect makes a purchase, make it easy for them to make another. Acquiring a new customer is six to seven times more costly than retaining an existing one. Consider using some of these repeat customer strategies:
- Offer products or services that have a repeat buy
- Make customer service your top priority
- Use a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Position business as an expert source
- Do not compete on price alone, add value
- Under promise and over deliver
- Implement a thank you program
- Implement a customer appreciation program
- Create a customer reward program
- Inform customers of new offerings
- Send “it’s time” reminders
- Invest in advertising branded specialties
“According to a new report, more than half of the annual revenue for 61 percent of small business owners comes from repeat buyers.” If you use this data as a baseline, then more than half of your marketing time and budget needs to be on marketing to repeat customers.
“According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75% and Gartner Group statistics tell us that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.”
Action Step: The process of reviewing your brand is like a brand audit – looking for the strengths and weaknesses in each step in your branding process with customers. This review process should be at a minimum once a year. Will you do the brand audit process in-house or use a service?
Note: Focus on strengthening connections with customers, particularly your weakest connection. Remember: A chain or brand is only as strong as its weakest link.
Continuous Improvement: Best way to grow your brand, is follow a Brand RSS (Rich Site Summary) with 2-3 brand best practices each week delivered to your computer to make it easy to implement a continuous improvement program.
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Your brand is your handle. The handle that opens the door to your business, its products and services. Brand Door is always open to you. “Easy access to expert branding”