I will not add here the list of companies that fell on hard times in recent years because of a bad image. A good brand experience is the key to a lasting customer relationship.
What is brand perception?
Brand experience is everything that makes your target audience experience your brand the way you want them to. It is in all means of communication, whether in text, image, sound and connects to the emotional need of your (potential) customer.
The three Bs of brand experience
Large companies focus heavily on brand perception. They spend billions to get a positive rating from their customers. A big budget does help, but I’m assuming for the purposes of this blog that you don’t have endless funding. So what we are talking about here is a realistic, and above all, easily achievable brand policy that adds value based on the three Bs of brand experience:
1. Familiarity: the viewer
To be considered for a job at all, suspects and prospects need to know that your brand exists. The first principle of branding is awareness. Do people know your business? A reliable way to build brand awareness is to give your brand a unique “personality. Then ensure that that personality is visible at all levels, creating a positive brand experience even with suspects.
Fortunately, there are more and more approachable, digital channels to strengthen your brand awareness. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the most popular social networking platforms for business. When used correctly, these channels help build brand equity or drive prospects to your website.
Blogs, white papers and podcasts are becoming increasingly popular ways to reach audiences. Using this type of content increases brand awareness, search engine traffic and rankings, and the reliability of your brand by creating a strong online presence.
The guy is the tent
In many companies, commercial and general managers are the “personality” of the company. If that is the case with you make sure that this personality always exudes the desired image.
Do you have one of those strategies where “the guy is the tent”? Then think about ways to make your commerce less dependent on “the guy” and the space you create when “the joint” becomes a little more well-known. If you can allow your personal charisma to spill over to your business with the help of a good campaign, you will have more time to do business yourself instead of running after business.
2. Engagement: the fan
Now that people are familiar with your brand, it’s time to engage them with your brand. We do that by sharing relevant content and getting people engaged with your brand based on that content. You increase brand engagement by engaging in personal interactions with your target audience. Maintaining “personal” relationships on a large scale takes some skill. Fortunately, there are plenty of software solutions that help automate this contact to the point of efficiency.
Companies have little control over when, where and how people experience their brand. People come to a brand through various channels (including search engines, review sites, social media, advertisements). A brand concept is a requirement before you start a relationship with your customers. If someone hears of your company and has no image, there is work to be done.
Tip: A good way of engaging people with your brand is to connect your brand to a charity
3. Advocacy: the ambassador
Once you have developed a relationship, you can turn a customer into an ambassador. How nice is it that your clients represent your interests and bring new relationships to you? Word of mouth does more for your business than marketing ever will. But how do you do that? Sure, you can pay people for their opinions, but an organic, unbiased review is much more effective. As we mentioned earlier, most people come to brands by word of mouth. When people talk about your brand because they are satisfied with your effort, not just because you asked for it, you have a winner. Your ambassadors share their experience through word of mouth and all other possible means, because they recognize more than the direct added value of your company.
Tip: Make sure your good relations get something extra from your company. This starts with inviting you to a (sports) event, but can also be in small things. For example, we once used valet parking for our special guests at one of our events, complete with an invitation to dinner afterwards. That way everyone (including the “normal” visitors, felt welcome and the VIPs a little extra.
We started this story by saying that what does matter is what people think of your company and that, above all, there should be a positive identification with the brand. It is not enough to be known, your good buyers must experience, embrace and share your brand promise . Marketing in the 21st century is not one-size-fits-all. It is based on personalization, fostering an affective relationship with clients and developing authentic, long-term relationships. This gives your organization an edge over competitors in building customers.
An appropriate investment in your brand increases your prospect base and produces loyalty that cannot be bought. Remember that when it comes to your relationships’ brand perception, awareness, engagement and advocacy are an extension and reinforce each other.