Communicating Your Brand

The last week, we saw on the news, a series of seminars conducted by Laurence Danon, PDG des grands magasins “Le Printemps” for l’Association mauricienne des femmes chefs d’entreprises (AMFCE).

She promoted and argued on the value of Branding. I am pleased to share with you, more specially to the entrepreneurs amongst you, a short reading on communicating your brand and its 5 communication steps.

As such, a brand may be a product, services or even you. Do you market yourself to your entourage, friends or boy/girl companion? Come to think about it: we all need to do so!

Five Communication Steps

To communicate your brand (and your promise) to your target market, Scott Randall of the The Executive Club recently renamed Vistage International suggests the following:

  1. Create awareness. People can’t do business with you if they don’t know you’re out there—no matter how good your product is. Building awareness starts with the basic tools of advertising, public relations, newsletters, direct mail and all the things you do to promote your products and services in the marketplace. It also involves the salespeople who get in front of the customer each and every day. How they dress, what they say—everything they do should send a consistent message about your brand. Make sure you have identified your differentiators before you start generating awareness.
  2. Get on your customers’ short list (consideration). Make it easy for people to say that you qualify to do business with them. How do you get on your customers’ short list? Identify their purchasing hot buttons and incorporate them into your brand messaging. “Listen to the buzzwords your customers use again and again,” suggests Randall. “They will tell you what your brand promise is.”
  3. Establish your differentiators (preference). Consideration answers the question, “Why should I buy this product?” Differentiation answers the question, “Why should I buy this product from you?” Find out what it is about your business or your business model that separates you from the pack. Beware of terms like “service” and “quality.” These have become benchmarks in most industries and are no longer true differentiators.”Don’t expect an ad agency or PR firm to answer the preference question for you,” cautions Randall. “That’s your job. Their job is to take the differentiators you have identified and communicate them to your customer base in the most effective manner.”
  4. Study your purchase process. A brand is about experiences. Look closely at the process customers go through to buy from you and assess how difficult or easy it is. Examine everything you do—from purchase price to delivery to exchanges, returns and satisfaction guarantees—and look for ways to improve the experience for the customer. Make the purchase experience as pleasant as possible, and don’t make guarantees you can’t live up to. A pleasant purchase experience combined with a pleasant brand experience leads to customer loyalty.
  5. Make it difficult for customers to leave (loyalty). Once you have customers in the door, don’t let go. Once they buy, know who they are and get permission to start a dialog. Know the buying cycles for your customers and get permission to contact them at appropriate times during the cycle (but never spam them).

In a nutshell:

1. Establish your differentiators

2. Get on your customers’ short list

3. Make it hard for your customers to leave.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Tom Peters at Joseph’s blog on 11.05.06 at 11:23 am

[…] Last night, after publishing my recent blog on Branding, I had a skype call from Toronto and my caller discussed on the theme. I recalled an article that I had stored and which sold the importance of branding. […]

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