Category

Branding

Brand Development Rollout

Why Your Brand Rolled Out The Back Door And Down The Street – Part 1

By Brand Development, Branding, Business

Completing the brand development process is a major milestone in any company’s history. After months of work it becomes time to introduce and roll it out to your employees and then your customers and the public in general. However after the party is over and the smoke has cleared, the brand is usually forgotten and your people return to status quo and it’s business as usual. Why?

In the first of two posts, here are 4 things to keep in mind to make the most of your brand development investment when rolling out your new brand internally and creating real brand change.

1. Get employee buy-in early
To make your brand rollout successful, get your employees involved early in the process. Identify the people in your company who are the centers of influence. Create a team of brand ambassadors. By getting your employees feedback and input—you will give them ownership of the new brand. Their feedback will provide the framework and direction of the changes that need to be made. When they see that the changes they suggested have been incorporated, they will be more likely to embrace the new brand. They will also act as advocates and defenders of the new brand when and if water cooler discussions turn negative about the coming changes.

2. Introduce the brand correctly
Also begin thinking about the brand rollout event early in the process. It can sometimes take months of planning depending on your budget. Each company is different, but you typically want to start by creating some buzz. Try to think of ways to get your employees excited about the new brand. Communicate some of the key benefits and changes coming and how they contributed to the new direction. Make the brand rollout party all about them. This will be your first chance to introduce the new brand and you’ll want to take some time to really think through how to best present it.

3. Leadership does the honors
The new brand should be introduced by the CEO or president. The brand development process is a top-down initiative and you’ll want to utilize the C-Suite’s influence. Take the steps needed to educate your employees on what a brand is and why it is important. After a little branding 101, go through the main communication points of the brand. Especially communicate what has changed and what will stay the same. Remember to communicate the purpose and the “why” behind the “what”. Seek to inspire through purpose.

4. Create “the change” through your employees

Lets face it, change is hard. Most companies—after the brand is rolled out—return to status quo. To create real brand change, new standards must be communicated and implemented within your workforce. To move the culture, changes must be made at the people level. So for example, you may want to consider the following:

  1. Through natural attrition, begin to replace the employees who leave with people who adhere and align with the brand’s new values.
  2. Use assessments to accurately determine the “jobfit” and “brandfit” of each candidate.
  3. Invest in employer branding to attract top talent.
  4. Train tenured employees to adapt to the changes being made.
  5. Pay employees to leave who are not adopting the change (See Zappos and Amazon examples)

The company with the best people wins. To create real brand change and to make the most of your brand development investment—start with your people early in the process and continue to build a culture based on your customers. Anything else is just pretty words and pictures.

In my next post, I’ll talk about the external rollout process.

For more information on how we can help you create real brand change within your organization, contact our Indianapolis or Denver branding agency for a complimentary brand assessment.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

HOW TO TURN YOUR CUSTOMERS INTO RAVING FANS

How To Turn Your Customers Into Raving Fans

By Branding

 

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that eighty per cent of consumers look at online reviews before making major purchases, and a host of studies have logged the strong influence those reviews have on the decisions people make. The rise of social media has accelerated the trend to an astonishing degree: a dud product can become a laughingstock in a matter of hours. In the old days, you might buy a Sony television set because you’d owned one before, or because you trusted the brand. Today, such considerations matter much less than reviews on Amazon and Engadget and CNET. Each product now has to prove itself on its own. (Source: New Yorker)

The very first thing you must do to turn customers into raving fans is to have an outstanding product or service that solves a problem, lends status or helps your customer survive in a conventional way with a touch of coolness. The product must be valid and ready for the world otherwise you’ll crash and burn.

However, if you have a great product or service (√check) and are looking to maximize your branding to increase sales and build your brand, then here are 8 branding ideas to help turn your customers into raving fans.

1. Be somebody

The old saying goes, “you can’t be everything to everyone.” Companies must find a way to stand out amongst the marketplace clutter and find the “whitespace” to stand for something your customers will remember and resonate with. Prove to them you are worth their time by demonstrating your brand values, mission and how it will benefit them.

2. Make them feel something
The best way to connect in today’s digital world is through storytelling and contextual marketing. Our ancestors sat around a fire telling stories since the dawn of time, and this still continues to this day—except now we get it from the TV.  There is something intrinsically valuable to storytelling. When you connect with people at the heart level and make them feel something it will go a long way. Today’s marketing isn’t about highlighting features and benefits, it’s about “celebrating the benefit in the way it impacts other people’s lives,” says Simon Mainwaring, author of We First. Put your product in context of real everyday stories for greater impact.

For example, here is a great ad by Nike, highlighting the greatness in everyone.

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

 

3. Be authentic
The best way to be authentic is to just be your self. Too many brands today try to be something they’re not. Weave your personality into your content, messaging and imagery. Through authentic and good-willed communication, customers will innately share content and bring it to life.

4. Delight them after the sale
Do not have a “one and done” mentality. At the end of the sales process and after the project or product has been delivered, add value to your customers through events, continued education or through content that will solve their problems. Use social media to add value in the form of education, entertainment or problem solving. Show them you care well after the sale.

5. Make it all about them
Every product or service should be centered around what is called a buyer persona. If you don’t know your customer on a very personal level, you leave a lot of opportunity on the table. To truly make a product/service resonate with your customers your entire days’ activities should be based on solving their problems whatever they may be. Make your customer the superstar of your business.

Here are a few examples:

  • I’m a triathlete and I can’t figure out what saddle to buy for my bike. An online retailer may offer the customer a whitepaper on how to choose the right saddle in an easy to understand format that provides options, price and customer reviews.
  • I’m a facility manager looking for tips and products to best comply with OSHA standards. A distributor may send a video to the customer with options, mixing tips and a case study of their best product.
  • I’m a hunter who is not sure what kind of knife I will need for the field. A dealer might send the customer a range of options on how to decide what’s best for their type of hunt and may refer some experts in their area.

6. Talk their language
Don’t use fancy terms and ‘gobblygook’. Talk their language. Using the examples above, meet them on the course, in their facility or in the field. Talk to them like an old friend. You have to earn your customer’s money more than ever.

7. Give them what they want
Do your absolute best to make a great product and don’t cut corners. If your customers ask for something—give it to them! Give them a way to sound off on what is needed to make your products better. You can create a customer support portal with an area titled “Submit product ideas” to encourage participation in your product or service development.

8. Fanatical customer support
Last, but not least, customer service—it has become the new marketing. When you provide great customer support you are much more likely to have that experience passed on via word-of-mouth.

A survey by Harvard Business Review concludes that customers want knowledgable frontline customer service reps and that the problem be resolved on the first call. On average, 40% of customers who suffer through bad experiences stop doing business with the offending company. This points to the importance of companies hiring REI Brandpeople who align and know their brand(s) products best. Hire your customers. Two of the best examples out there is Rackspace and REI. Go into any REI, and you’ll find people as passionate about conservation, good equipment and being outdoors as you are. If you have a technical issue with your website or have server issues, Rackspace goes above and beyond to solve the problem. You can’t train passion.

Are you in a boring industry? Then the focus must be invested in recruitment and employer branding. A great real-world example is Zappos. Who gets excited about selling shoes? At Zappos, the culture is the product and shoes are what they do on the side. Create a great culture to work at and the boring product stuff becomes fun. I love this quote:

“So many people when they go to the office, they leave a little bit of themselves at home, or a lot of themselves at home. And they have to put on this different persona in the office, especially in corporate environments. And our whole…there’s a lot of talk about work life separation or balance and so on, whereas our whole thing is about work life integration. Its just life.”— Tony Hsieh, CEO

In conclusion, it all starts with a great product. To connect that great product or service with your customer—you must be somebody, you must be authentic, social, make it all about them, talk their language, give them what they want and provide outstanding customer service above all else!

If you’re interested in learning more about how to incorporate these 8 branding ideas into your marketing please contact us!

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.