Keeping your Brand Reputable – Still the Best Marketing Technique
With the emergence of the internet as an arena where brands battle and where customers' loyalties are tested on daily basis, it has become more difficult than ever for a business to keep their brand strong and to use it to retain and gain new customers (clients). One of the most solid and concrete ways to keep your brand strong and to make it even stronger is to keep it reputable. It is still the soundest marketing technique – the reputability of your brand does its own marketing.
The core of every strong brand is its consistency. McDonalds is one of the most obvious examples of this. Very early in its history, the process was standardized so that every single customer got exactly the same burger as the last customer. Every single time. People want to know they will be getting what they expect.
This is why your business always needs to come through. You need to ensure the quality of your services and products at all times. You also need to deliver on every deal you make without exception. People need to know that they can rely on your brand. Your brand needs to be a rock.
Don't Get Stuck in the Past
While consistency is important, it is equally as important not to become mired in old practices that are no longer relevant and that are actually preventing you from providing your customers with improved services or products. We live in a fluid, ever-changing world and dinosaurs become extinct much more frequently than half a century ago.
One thing to keep in mind is that innovation needs to be introduced gradually and that people often back off from something that seems too strange and too different from what they have grown accustomed to. Once you do implement innovations, make a huge deal out of it, let people know that your brand is an innovative one and one that is always looking to the future.
Do not get us wrong; there is absolutely nothing wrong with ambition and with pushing the envelope. It is the only way in which businesses grow and become big players. That being said, being too ambitious and taking on jobs that you cannot realistically handle can only harm your brand's reputation.
You may be very tempted to take on an order because it is an important new client and you do not want to seem like a second-rate operation. However, if there is simply no way to deliver on you promise, you are much better off avoiding such orders. You cannot let your client or customer down. This is the quickest way to ruin your brand.
Customer loyalty is one of the best barometers of how strong your brand is. For instance, when Toyota had to recall all those vehicles, no one abandoned them. They were loyal to the brand and the brand knew how to handle the situation to deserve such loyalty.
You should do the same with your brand. Your most loyal clients need to understand you value them and the fact that they have been doing business with you for years. You can always give them discounts or special deals. You can even reward them with gift cards that you can load with a certain amount of money. It does not have to be anything special. Just a token of your appreciation.
In short, your brand needs to be stable but not stuck in the past; it needs to depend on realistic goals and possibilities and it needs to have a give and take relationship with the clients and customers. Keep this in mind and your brand should thrive.
Image Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
About James Burbank
James D. Burbank has worked in marketing and the trade show industry for more than a decade. He is always ready to share his insights into world of marketing and business in general.