Often, small businesses call upon communications firms to help them build their brands and to increase brand awareness. At Dorsey Group, prior to implementing any communications strategy we evaluate a company’s current market-share situation and how that is impacted by day-to-day operations.
5 Actionable Areas for Brand Building
Customer Service. In the old days, if a customer experienced poor service it took a while for the bad news to spread to other customers. Back then, a disgruntled customer had to be face to face with a friend or near a phone to talk about it. Today, when someone gets poor customer service they can share that experience via their social networks. The goal of customer service is to get your customers to come back to your establishment and to share their good experiences with their networks.
Presence in the Local Community. When was the last time your company offered a free workshop or product to your patrons or potential patrons? Have you supported a local, regional, or national cause? What about sponsoring a local soccer or football team? There are countless ways to get your community talking about you without spending a lot of money. If you are a magazine owner, it could be as simple as having one person on your staff to visit the local elementary school to read a story to a class once a week to promote literacy. If you are a restaurant owner or chef, you could do a cooking demonstration at a local high school or YMCA. The community supports those who support them. What are you waiting for?
Exceed the Expectations of Customers. Yes, I know that I already mentioned customer service. However, service relies on the simple contact and interactions with customers. Exceeding customer expectations has more to do with how internal practices and processes affect internal and external customers. If your gatekeepers, those who have direct contact with the customer, are overworked, unskilled, or poorly trained then your customers will get bad service. Invest in customer service training activity like telephone decorum, conflict resolution, or process improvement so that your staff will provide great service and be able to respond appropriately when things beyond their control impact customers.
Know Where Your Customers Are. Advertisements are great and so is news coverage. However, so many companies play a hit or miss game when seeking earned or paid media opportunities. Recently, I spoke with a restaurant own who spent several thousand dollars on radio advertisements. He didn’t get one new customer. While there were several problems with the promotion, the biggest problem is that the radio station did not reach his market. Since he didn’t know where his ultimate customers congregated, he wasted valuable marketing dollars and stifled his promotional opportunities.
Be A Resource. In today’s ever changing, always on media landscape, journalists need you as much as you need them. Instead of always pushing your product or service, try offering tips about relative local news items. If you’re a chef, try suggesting great summer salads that don’t use mayonnaise. If you’re an air conditioner repair man, you can help a local reporter by letting her interview you about the importance of changing air filters or selecting the right type of filter for allergies.
These are all starting places for companies to build their brands. If you need help developing your internal or external communications strategy, please contact us at info [@] DGPRwire.com.