Who really creates your brand?


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Since I am involved in the homebuilding industry, our company has a very public and ongoing record of how well our past product is performing. Perhaps your products are not as long-lived as a home, or perhaps they have a greater potential for survivability, such as fine jewelry. Whatever the case may be, you must understand that all of your past work speaks for your future business.

In the world of business, customers can only know who you are and what you do by two things: your brand (which is really what customers say about you), and the evidence of what you do. Anything related to marketing is simply your word for what you say you’re about, but you still have to prove that to your customers before they will believe you and whole-heartedly advocate for you.

Unless you are a brand powerhouse like Nike, Intel, Coke, or Zappos, you have to ensure your customer knows what you’re about. These types of companies are providing a known entity: a certain level of quality and type of product or service that has a unique feel about it. When customers hear these names, they know what to expect and what they are getting.

This may not be the case with your business, however. While branding is a very important aspect of your business, most business people fail to recognize that a brand is actually not something that is concocted in a marketing department somewhere, but your brand really is what people are saying about your business. Your customers, therefore, create your brand. If you are known for great service, then rest assured people are telling their friends and neighbors that you are a company that delivers great service. If you are known for the highest quality products, then you can be sure that people are telling others.

If you do not have the branding of these larger entities, then the only other aspect of your business that customers have to find out more about you is your past record. What have you made, and how has it held up? How easy (or difficult) has it been for other customers to get service when needed? These are the things that push people over the edge when it comes to decisions to purchase or not.

Online investigations by customers occur routinely; in fact, if you’re an internet-only business, it’s expected. On Ebay, for example, sellers of products are listed by positive (and negative) comments and feedback for all to see. In the electronics world, do you want to find out which is the right camcorder to purchase? Go online; product reviews tell you everything from how the product has performed to the packaging it arrived in.

Everywhere you look, customers are looking for evidence; evidence that you are trustworthy and that a purchase from you would be a smart thing to do. Be sure that the products and services you are providing today are the absolute best they can be, because your brand, and your future business, depend on it.

Just for fun…

“Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.” – W.C. Fields

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Martorano
Steve has been on the front lines with customers for over 25 years. He is currently Director of Customer Services for Polygon Northwest, a real estate developer in both the Seattle and Portland markets. Steve is also the creator of ThinkCustomerSatisfaction.com, an online resource designed to provide insights and training to customer professionals across many industries.


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