Earlier we discussed the benefits of having a strong company brand.
Those benefits, as previously indicated, have been well documented and add greatly to a company’s bottom line value.
So how do you ascertain whether your brand is strong or weak?
Your salespeople are a good source for this type of information. When they visit prospective customers they can solicit feedback as to why the current prospect chose the current vendor they use.
Salespeople can find out why your company wasn’t contacted to at least submit a bid or merit strong consideration to land the business. And they can learn what the current prospect knows about your firm (if anything) and what opinion he/she has of your organization.
Some common feedback your salespeople will probably hear…
“Well, we’ve always done business with XYZ Company.”
“XYZ gives us great service.”
“My family has done business with them for a long, long time.”
“They do a lot for our community and that’s important to us.”
“Read an article about them in the local paper and they know what they are doing.”
“They’re very professional in everything they do.”
XYZ obviously has a strong brand.
Now here’s what that same person may say about your company…
“I wasn’t quite sure what you guys do exactly.”
“Are you based here locally?”
“How long have you been in business?”
“Who owns your company?”
“One of our people did mention your company but we really didn’t know if you were a good fit for what we needed.”
If the salesperson hears those responses than your branding needs some work.
Other ways to determine if your brand has any strength is to invite customers and prospects to a focus group or two and discover what those people think and “feel” about your company.
You can also determine the strength of your brand by “share of voice” in your industry. When people think of widgets in your town whom do they think of? Do the newspaper and business publication come to you for stories and quotes, or do they go to your competitors?
Finally the sales report can indicate if your brand is strong or weak. Declining sales for each year over the last five years can indicate a lot of things including the lack of a strong brand and/or the need to reinvigorate your marketing campaign.
An upward sales curve indicates your message is getting through and you have brand strength.
So if your branding needs a little work, how do you get it turned in the right direction?
We will discuss that next time.