If you aren’t actively building a brand for your business, make no mistake, your brand is still being built. In other words, every day customers, prospects and even your competitors are helping to shape your reputation.
Social media means that a disgruntled customer need only post about one terrible experience they had with your business and in the blink of an eye, thousands of potential customers may be swayed to believe that yours is not the type of business they want to patronize. This is unfortunate since one bad experience does not a business make. But that is the world we live in.
While branding is often thought of as creating a name for yourself, it would be wise to remember that it is so much more than that. It is an ongoing process that can literally make or break a business.
So what do your customers, prospects and the public at large think of your business? While it is true that one rogue customer can do an untold amount of damage to your brand, you still have a great deal of control over your reputation.
The key is to remember that every single day, everything you do speaks volumes about your brand in ways you may never have expected. Nothing you do as a business is insignificant. It is imperative to keep this in mind whether you are closing a sale with your biggest client or answering a phone call from a prospect who seems unlikely to ever purchase one of your products.
So how can you make sure you are sending the correct message about your brand every single day? Consider the following:
- If a current customer calls your business and is put on hold for an extended amount of time, this customer will assume that you don’t value his or her time.
- If a prospect visits your website and finds it outdated and difficult to navigate, this prospect will decide that your business is outdated.
- If you make it difficult for a customer to return a product they are unhappy with, your brand will be seen as inflexible and concerned only with making a quick buck.
Whether you have spent huge amounts of money branding your business, or haven’t spent a dime, you must remember that your brand is always, to some degree, in the hands of those who interact with you. In light of this fact, you must never forget that the most effective branding messages take place one interaction at a time.