For people who already did business with your brand, your image is of secondary importance when compared to the actual performance of your company. Sure, a massive PR disaster or controversy may still be able to sway them the wrong way, yet, if things carry on like they did so far, you have virtually nothing to worry about. The problem lies with potential first-time customers who still have an outsider’s perspective on your company. From their perspective, the only way to assess your competence and reliability is to take a look at your brand and pass judgment on whether they like what they see.
Start with your company values
The thing about company values is that a lot of people tend to underestimate their impact on your audience. While some values may make a difference in the infrastructure of your company, this isn’t always their main objective, which is quite controversial. Namely, if an issue isn’t closely related to the industry you’re in and the service you provide, it shouldn’t matter to your customers, right? Well, not entirely.
You see, nowadays, your attitudes on racism, LGBTQ rights and feminism may be more than enough for a client or a partner to support you or turn against you. Make no mistake, by just sliding past these issues, you may be able to go ‘unpunished’ but, from the perspective of marketing, being unnoticed is never a good thing. It’s better for 10 people to support you and 10 to strongly disagree with you than for 20 of them to be completely indifferent towards your brand.
Getting others to say good things about you
The next thing you should understand is the fact that your words always get met with a certain amount of suspicion, seeing as how you directly benefit from praising your business. Therefore, the key to strengthening your brand lies in your ability to persuade others to say good things about you. Depending on who your primary target is, you need to persuade both your customers and other businesses. Customers have tools like Yelp and platforms like Reddit to promote you, while for businesses, it’s worth displaying them on your homepage (with their permission). The latter technique might also be used in a B2C outreach, in form of testimonials, of course.
The problem here lies in the fact that your audience recognizes corporate jargon (marketing-talk) which is why these promotion efforts need to be as genuine as possible. Even if this means offering incentives that could potentially make your overall marketing expenses somewhat steeper, the ROI that comes from this is definitely more than worth it.
Create new channels of communication
The issue with channels of communication lies in the fact that they divide your audience in more ways than you can imagine. For instance, if your brand is primarily oriented towards e-commerce, your millennial and generation Z audience won’t have a problem to contact you via a DM on social networks. Other companies, however, tend to choose different channels like your official email contact or even a direct phone call. In order to help your brand make an even better impression, you should get a hold on a 1300 number which automatically increases the credibility of the brand and makes your presence on the market more formidable.
Your staff is under the looking glass
Another thing you should understand is that every single one of your employees acts as your company’s representative. When visiting your store or your headquarters, people will take a closer look at your staff and examine how assertive and professional their behavior and appearance are.
For some of the higher ranked executives in your employ, this goes double-fold, seeing as how their entire personal brand might get examined. Potential partners may look up experts in your employ on LinkedIn and other networks. In case they held lectures or published content in the past, this will be examined, as well. So, make sure to lecture your staff on the importance of their online behavior and tell them exactly what you want from them.
Share your story
Every entrepreneurial story is a story of success, a one-in-a-million situation in which you came out triumphant. The story of every single multi-billion dollar enterprise starts with an underdog who triumphed against all odds, which is exactly the story your audience wants to hear, as well as something they can relate to (if only in their dreams). In this way, they can become a part of your success story, even if they know, deep down, that they came a bit later to the party. The last thing you need to understand is that just because you aren’t wildly successful by some standards, it doesn’t mean that you can’t portray it in this way. It’s not about the story itself but about the way in which you decide to tell it.
While there might be a cap on how much you can increase the efficiency of your company, the productivity of your staff and how much you can lower the costs, when it comes to the corporate image, only the sky is the limit. After all, there’s no limit to how much you can expand your outreach or how much you can improve your business reputation.