Great businesses have great branding. It is a long, careful process that doesn’t happen overnight. The world’s top brands stand out by telling stories that express what they are about and what they can bring to your life. A powerful brand promotes an excellent awareness of you and your business, making sales easier as a result. If you and your company don’t have a strong brand, it’s easy to be forgotten. Here are six ways you can build and improve your company’s branding.
1. Manage reviews.
When is the last time you Googled yourself or your business to see what was being said about you? I’ve had some very successful clients with fantastic businesses who have made it to the point of inking a deal when, at the last minute, someone read a negative review and backed out. One of my clients is a successful real estate agent, and when we started to manage his reviews, we found a few that weren’t very good—and this guy is exceptional. We discovered that he wasn’t protecting his brand in the right way. He cleaned up the negative reviews and hasn’t encountered the problem since.
There are reviews of businesses everywhere on platforms like Google, Yelp, Trustpilot and Facebook. Everyone wants to share their experiences online, and if you want to be a powerful business that stands out in your market, you need to embrace the management of your reviews. By this, I mean that you need to make sure that people are able to see what you’re capable of, what you can do for them and what other people’s experiences have been working with you. People are relying more and more on social proof, which means that if someone else thinks you’re good, they’re more likely to think you’re good as well.
The best information you can get about your business is from the complaints you receive. Regardless of the size of your business, you can find trends in the complaints and things that have been said about you and your business that need to be remedied. Make sure that you’re not allowing complaints to come in and go unresolved. Find out what people are saying, investigate issues that seem to be happening more than once and find solutions so these things don’t happen again.
3. Have zero tolerance for bad client service.
If you have people in your organization who don’t look after your clients, you need to remedy the situation immediately. People who don’t call clients back, don’t answer their queries or don’t do things that they’re meant to be doing need to be let go. Nothing kills a brand more quickly than poor customer service. The best way to keep this from happening is to make sure that you talk to your employees. You need to make sure you tell everyone that there is zero tolerance. You might put it in your review process so that you and your team are constantly reminded. This may seem harsh, but you need a team that is fully dedicated to the success of your business.
4. Learn from mistakes you’ve made in the past.
Nobody gets it right every single time. Think about things in the past that have gone wrong or didn’t quite work out. Ask yourself how you can make sure they don’t happen again. Maybe one of your services didn’t conform to a client’s needs. What could you have done to make it work more seamlessly? If you can learn from your past mistakes, you can improve and become an even greater company.
5. Use public relations to increase your credibility.
If you want to create a great brand, you can’t rely upon the brand itself to increase your credibility—you need to have other people writing good things about you, too. If people are saying you are amazing in the press, then other people that you don’t even know will learn about your work. If you had the option of dealing with a company that’s in the press all the time and has great things said about them on a regular basis or an unknown company, we both know which one you would choose. Magazine covers, magazine articles, the local paper, radio stations—all of these places can help ensure that your brand gets the right attention.
6. Seek out awards.
Lots of people think that their business is too small to win an award, but there are many kinds of awards out there that you could try to win that could create compelling brand awareness for you and differentiate you from your competition. My businesses have won many different awards all because I entered to win them. People prefer to deal with an award-winning company because it’s social proof that you’re good, and that you’ve been validated.
It’s important to recognize that a strong brand for your business is crafted through dedication and perseverance, it is not something that can be achieved overnight. Having a powerful brand can generate a good perception of you and help you stand out from the competition.
SOURCE Forbes.com, Adam Stott HERE. See original article published