Creating a great brand is not just about advertising; often it is the little things you do across your business that end up contributing significantly to your brand in terms of its impact on your existing customers and your new customers.
Here are some examples. When management guru Tom Peters phoned Fedex 62 times in a row, he was amazed to see that they picked up the phone after just one ring. What Fedex has done is create a brand that is all about efficiency. When Apple spent five times more than necessary in designing beautiful stores across the world, it really crystallised what underpinned the Apple brand – quality. And, finally, when Zappo’s (the world’s biggest shoe site) aims to deliver its shoes before the day they are due to arrive, it stands out in the crowd as an outstanding service brand.
Great companies create ‘brand moments’ throughout their entire organisations. Everywhere a customer experiences these companies they also experience the brands. Most importantly, however, the experience needs to be consistently delivering the same message.
To conceptualise this, draw a bicycle wheel on a piece of paper. At the end of every spoke write one place your customer experiences your brand. For example, it could be in your office reception area, via your business card, through your website, by reading your brochure, speaking to your company on the phone, at a sales presentation or through your advertising. You will probably be quite surprised at how many different places consumers come into contact with your brand.
The next step is to go through each point and come up with ways that you can strengthen your brand for each. For instance, how can you make your business card better reflect your brand message? How can you improve the design of your company’s signage so that they have the same brand feel as the rest of your marketing touch points? The sooner you put your plan into action, the sooner you’ll have a powerful brand that traverses throughout every aspect of your company.
It also means that every time your customers connect with your organisation they will speak to the same voice. This is important because research has shown that the world’s most profitable brands have all conquered this – their brands can be seen at every level of their organisation, and they travel far beyond what is said through their advertising and marketing materials.
A similar process should also be implemented that reorganises your company’s vision and how it is disseminated to your customers. A lot of security companies do not actually have a corporate vision statement and employees simply head off to work each day and carry out their respective roles.
The world’s best companies not only have a clear and compelling vision, they focus on it each and every day. A good indicator of a successful vision is that all staff can tell anyone what the vision is, the CEO talks about it all the time and major decisions are based around strategies that fit within it. In these organisations, the vision is alive and central to everything they do. So how can you do that in your company?
Making a personal commitment to living your company vision is a good start. Next you need to clearly articulate your vision in order to give it a good chance of catching on. A good way to do this is to make sure your vision statement is short, which will allow your staff and customers to remember the essence of it.
The next step is to make it visible. For example, one advertising agency put its vision on a huge red flag that hung from the ceiling. No one could not miss it because everyone confronted the giant flag every day. This made it so much easier to keep the company vision at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
You must also make sure that your vision is clear in all your main marketing materials and give awards and public congratulations to staff members who do things that reflect your company vision.
By combining these strategies you will have both a brand and a company vision that is stronger than almost any other security company in the world. Furthermore, it will stand out from the pack and your customers will be highly attracted to what you have to offer, which is the foundation for a remarkably profitable business.