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Posted by: | Posted on: July 9, 2019

How to Make Your Brand Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace

A good and strong brand identity is one of the strongest weapons in the marketplace. Have you ever wondered how big corporations have created memorable brands?

The answer is simple: by creating a unique and impressive identity.

What is a Brand?

brand is a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in the crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value.

The legal name for a brand is the trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name. You can register your trademark to protect your brand, for example – the name of your product or service. Click here to find out how to register a trademark in the UK.

What is Corporate Identity?

Corporate Identity represents a combination of colour schemes, designs, words, etc., that a firm employs to make a visual statement about itself and to communicate its business philosophy. It is an enduring symbol of how a firm views itself, how it wishes to be viewed by others, and how others recognize and remember it.

Corporate identity is ‘out there’ sensory-experience conveyed by things such as buildings, décor, logo, name, slogan, stationery, uniforms, and is largely unaffected by its financial performance and ups and downs in its fortunes.

Corporate-identity is either strong or weak (not positive, negative, or neutral like a corporate image) and is more or less permanent unless changed deliberately.

What corporate image really is?

A corporate image represents a mental picture that springs up at the mention of a firm’s name. It is a composite psychological impression that continually changes with the firm’s circumstances, media coverage, performance, pronouncements, etc. Similar to a firm’s reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. Unlike corporate identity, it is fluid and can change overnight from positive to negative to neutral. Large firms use various corporate advertising techniques to enhance their image in order to improve their desirability as a supplier, employer, customer, borrower, etc.

The image of Apple computer, for example, as a successful business has dimmed and brightened several times in the last 30 years. But its identity (conveyed by its name and multicoloured bitten-off-apple logo) as an innovative and pathbreaking firm has survived almost intact during the same period.

How Can You Build a Successful Brand?

Create a brand that is timeless, distinctive and powerful that will help your business or product stand out from your competitors.

The right brand identity design can be one of the company’s best marketing tools as it transforms the company’s vision and values into an image that customers become familiar with.

Build a memorable brand. The brand identity design is what often helps the customer to remember the company.

A company’s brand identity can be represented through a unique logo that is often incorporated on all the company’s materials such as stationery, business cards, packing and so on. Make sure it’s easy to read and memorable.

Logo is the central, identifiable visual element that helps customers discover, share and remember a company’s brand. a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. You should follow  Smashing Magazine‘s five principles to ensure that your design meets all of these criteria.

Use the same font character and colours on your marketing materials. Look at Virgin brands. All Virgin businesses have the word ‘Virgin’ no matter what services or products they provide, and the name is written using the same font and colours everywhere.

Create a Corporate Identity Manual to be followed by all departments within your company for any internal and external documents and activities.

A good corporate image is important for almost all businesses because this is what attracts many people who aren’t drawn in by words and numbers alone. The word apple associated with the Apple computers and iPhone is the best example.

Once you know what name you want to use and what colours identify your brand and business, make sure you use them everywhere – on your website, on your business cards, on social media, in any images or videos where your brand is mentioned, but also inside your offices or retail shops.

Five Questions to Help You Identify Your Brand Correctly

Before going into designing your brand, answer these five questions.

  1. How is your brand perceived against other competitors on the market?
  2. What is the positioning statement of your brand?
  3. Who is your audience?
  4. Whats values & believes should your brand have about your business?
  5. What benefits do you want your customers to associate with your brand?

Brand identity design is an artistic and practical approach that focuses on the needs of the companies in areas such as marketing, packaging, product branding, communications and website design. If you are a business owner wanting to create a good and lasting identity in the market, perhaps the professional help of brand identity designers can benefit you.

How to Design a Brand Identity?

Large organizations with layers of management require a thorough brand identity system that provides a unified vision and tools that help everyone build the brand.

This presentation from Creative Market will walk you through the major steps required to craft a professional brand identity.

Be Really Clear on What You Want Them to Know

Your customer is the king, so make sure your brand and your marketing messages reflect this – you provide a service or a product to solve your client’s needs, to empower him, to help him, or to honour him. It’s not about what you offer, it’s about what your customer receive from you and how your product or service help them.

As Steve Jobs said in the video below, you have to be really clear on what you want them to know about you.

Don’t focus on what products and services you offer, but think about how you can help your audience.

I think one of the best definition of what a brand means was given by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO –  “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.

Posted by: | Posted on: June 28, 2018

How to Boost Customer Engagement With Proactive Customer Service

The best time to solve a problem is before you even have one. Preemptively addressing potential concerns of your customers, as well as offering help before help is ever needed, can keep customers coming back and reduce the rates of returns or refunds. Be more helpful than necessary – people will remember you for it, and your business only stands to benefit from it.

Passive Versus Proactive Approaches to Customer Service

With reactive customer service, each customer is treated like a unique scenario and occupies the time and attention of one or more members of your service staff. This usually involves some redundancy, as many complaints are common. It also throttles the productivity of customer service staff who could be focusing their undivided attention on a sole customer with a specific and unique support request instead of providing quick service to a customer who has a garden-variety gripe.

Proactive approaches may seem like more work, but in the long run, they turn out to be less work. If you provide as much service as you possibly can up front, people are going to be less likely to turn to you for common service issues and questions later on down the road. They’ll be making more informed purchasing decisions, and they’ll understand what to do. Most proactive approaches involve providing tools or resources to your customers – you only need to create them once if they’re evergreen.

Provide Useful Content and Guides

If your business offers a lot of options, especially in the way of sizes and styles or customizations, create comprehensive buying guides. Teach people how to take the measurements necessary to assure they’re getting things right the first time. Provide excellent visual examples that showcase real-life size and shape comparisons. Giving them all of this info ahead of time can reduce purchasing mistakes and relieve some of the burden on your support staff, who may have otherwise needed to provide lengthy consultations, troubleshooting, or refunds.

Providing this information can also help turn curious observers into buyers. If uncertainty about which style or size would be best is preventing people from shopping with you, they’ll have access to all the information they need to make a purchasing decision. They won’t fear that they’ll make a mistake and wind up returning or not using what they’ve bought from you.

Explainer Videos and Tutorials

Giving your customers a total breakdown of your products or services will leave them with fewer questions. One of the best ways to do that is through the medium of video. The blend of moving pictures, audio, and text will give your customers a three dimensional understanding of your products and services that suits every learning style. If you aren’t already using video, hire a video creator and editor to work for your team.

It’s also worthwhile to offer up complementary products and services to influencers who will be able to create videos based on your products. People will see tutorials and reviews from their peers and the people they trust – making this the perfect blend of service and marketing. These videos will answer the “how does this work?” and “how do I use it?” and “how does it look?” questions that people may have.

Automate Your Service Tools

Almost every grocery store now has a self-checkout. This is because people would rather do things themselves. It makes them feel more in control of their time and their outcome. Sometimes, people simply don’t want to navigate the phone or email chain that comes with customer service or support. They’ll file something away as a negative experience, they won’t shop with you again, and they’ll move on to the competitor. Automated tools might persuade them to give you another chance if things didn’t turn out the way they planned.

Offer easy returns or exchanges. Allow them to print shipping labels and a form including their reason for returns directly from your website. They won’t need to try to contact you during business hours or wait for a response, because everything they need to serve themselves has already been provided for them. They’ll skip the process and head straight for the results.

Follow Up Immediately After a Purchase

Someone has just received what they bought from you. They might not have had an opportunity to use it yet. That’s okay – reach out to them first. This is a great strategy for obtaining customer reviews and feedback, and it also immediately opens the door for compliments and complaints alike. If you get their feedback immediately, you can start putting it to good use. Making improvements or expanding readily available information to cover things that your customers mention (including building a better FAQ) will keep you growing and improving without space to pause.

Proactive approaches and automation don’t reduce the quality of service – they drastically enhance it by making help immediately available, even if it’s preemptive. If you aren’t yet utilizing proactive approaches, it isn’t too late to start. You know what your customers want. All you need to do is give it to them all at once in great detail, and you can send the service staff on vacation for a few days.

Guest Author: Evie Cooper is an experienced Project Manager and Team Leader at UKAreaCode, an online data library. Working with numerous people everyday, both clients and co-workers, has given Evie a lot of experience in customer relations, team management, and leadership – experience which she often shares online with other experts. Feel free to reach out to Evie on @CooperEviee.