Is Your Brand in the Right Relationship?

Sometimes you must take a hard look at your organization’s brand. What do your customers, prospects, business partners, and employees say and feel about your brand? Is the relationship rocky? Does your brand still fulfill its promise?  This article will cover some reasons your brand may not have a great relationship with stakeholders, and some of the best fixes.

Professional or Dated Image?

One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make is not having a professional logo and brand guidelines, or periodically updating them.  Digital advances, such as the growth of mobile and apps, meaning you may need a tech update so your logo, fonts, and colors display properly.  Or you may need to change fonts and colors so your organization looks current.  Believe it or not, some fonts are associated with a certain decade. Is your logo stuck in the ’90s?  The best approach is to engage a professional advertising agency to help with a new or updated logo, brand guidelines, and brand positioning. Prospective customers and partners are evaluating your organization based on your brand image.  You may not be attracting the right prospects. Or you may not have good sales conversion if your “image” is not consistent with your product or offer.

Happy or Disappointing User Experience?

Customers, prospects, partners, and employees expect a smooth, flawless experience whether they interact with your organization’s site, call center, stores, or sales professionals.  They are judging you against the excellent experiences of an Apple or Amazon.  Every organization needs to periodically evaluate UI/UX.  UI is the user interface and refers to the aesthetic elements by which a user interacts with the product.  UX refers to the experience one has with a product or service. You may be creating a sour relationship with customers and prospects if your site does not load quickly or if the purchase experience is difficult and error-prone.  Many customers are just looking for a new supplier relationship to replace one that is too much effort.  Your employees are also affected by challenges in this area.  A customer complaint due to a bad or broken process will hurt employee morale and retention.

The fix is to map your current processes and find ways to improve. Many advertising agencies offer UI/UX services. Or you may engage UI/UX specialists.  Results can be very quick and can include sales and satisfaction increases.

Also, brainstorm about what else you can do to improve your relationship with customers. Gather suggestions from your employees on how to go the extra mile to convert a prospect. It might be tangible things like free samples, interesting in-store displays, or extra loyalty points. Or it might be intangible, such as the simple act of an employee saying a warm hello to customers as they walk through the door. 

Employee Embrace or Not?

A recent article in Forbes, explains how everyone in an organization builds or breaks the brand promise.  How do you ensure your brand is perceived positively by stakeholders? It is very important to have a clear brand image and to communicate it to everyone, especially employees. Your organization should hold monthly meetings that include a branding component and your team leaders should stress the importance of the brand and proper usage.

Consistent or Clunky?

Consistency is key to brand recall.  When we think of great brands, companies like Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola pop into our heads. Their brand marks are recognizable. You see the Nike swoosh and you know it’s Nike. Or you see clean packaging and the apple graphic, and you know it’s Apple. 

One way these companies have elevated brand image is the consistent usage of brand marks, logos, and strong guidelines that cover almost all impressions and interactions.  When you see advertisements, packaging, websites, and in-store designs, everything coordinates and communicates the same thing. Think about the last time you entered an Apple store and saw clean, futuristic styling. Every display and table is designed for clear communication and ease of use. 

Finally, First Impressions Really Matter

We all wish it wasn’t so…but someone forms an impression in seconds about your brand, team, or organization. Whether he or she encounters an employee or your eCommerce website, prospects will quickly decide whether it’s worth the time to develop a relationship.  The first impression may be how store employees act or how easy it is to make a purchase from your website. These first steps drive what potential customers think about your brand. The key recommendation here is to take special care to identify the most common first interaction and ensure it’s perfect.

The Right Agency Relationship Can Help

At James Ross, we’ve spent more than 30 years working on brand image and development in a range of industries from apparel to health to non-profits. It’s important to engage professionals who will learn about your organization. James Ross Advertising’s team of strategists, designers, writers, and directors will help develop or support your vision for your brand.  The right agency relationship can help your brand appeal to the right prospects, and begin a long, profitable customer relationship.  We invite you to give us a call or email us here to get started on your brand development journey.