Deliver Your Brand Promise
Finding the keys to success lies in exploring your company’s identity
Unspoken or not, your brand encompasses everything a customer expects from your company—from initial contact through delivery. This is your brand promise. Establishing your brand has likely been a considerable investment in time and money, so it’s in your best interest to do everything in your power to protect it and deliver that promise to your customers.
Then make sure it happens. Author Laura Lake on www.about.com writes, “…it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.”
Another article on www.entrepreneur.com defines branding as: “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”
Defining Your Brand
Let’s take a look at what defines your brand, how your customers perceive you, and what expectations they might have developed through exposure to your brand.
Everything a potential customer sees or hears about your company helps to define your image or brand. It might be the great customer service you offer. Or it could be the opposite—someone at your company answers the phone with a poor attitude and shabby etiquette, tainting the customer’s impression.
You may have a high-quality laboratory with great fees, or maybe a facility with average prices and with great work. Does your product measure up to your brand or image?
The First Steps
What is the image you want for your company? A good first step in rebranding or branding your company identity is to perform an analysis of your business and assess your brand. Here are a few questions you need to answer, which will provide a pathway for you to follow in your branding efforts:
• Who is your business?
• How do you want your customers to perceive your company?
• How do dentists perceive your laboratory?
• What do your employees think about your company?
• Do you have a written mission statement?
• Have you defined your business goals and objectives?
• What are your company’s strengths?
• What are your company’s weaknesses?
• What are your opportunities?
• What are your threats?
Your analysis and assessment will give you better insight and a greater understanding for how to best deliver your brand promise. Having a good image is important for the success of every business because it defines the company and creates the perception that your current and potential customers develop. Your brand helps customers in their decision-making processes and helps to make an impression of the value about your services.
The frequency and consistency of how your brand is exposed in the marketplace will determine the success of your branding efforts. Do your customers have the same perceptions and knowledge about the products and services you offer that you utilized in your branding efforts? These are part of your brand promise.
The delivery of your brand promise is the final key to your success in branding your company. You define this through your branding, and your potential customers have expectations based on the perceptions and opinions that they have developed through exposure to your brand on the phone with you, through your sales representatives, or at a convention.
Are you giving your customers what they want? If you are, you have delivered your brand promise.
Your brand consists of many elements, such as:
• Company name
• Slogan or tagline
• Color scheme
• Business cards, letterhead, envelopes
• Shipping boxes
• Case packaging
• Delivery cars
• Delivery personnel’s appearance
• Collateral marketing materials
• Trade-show booth
• Social media
About the Author
Bill Neal, CDT, is the founder of AMG Creative, Inc. in Fort Collins, CO.