What is a brand and why is it important for improving sales?
Your brand distinguishes you from everyone else out there. Just like you, it should be unique, easily identifiable and relatable to your target buyer. Your brand should portray your company values just like you will naturally portray your personal values in everything you do. Having a strong brand can increase your sales conversions.
Your brand isn’t just your logo!
Your brand includes your written & verbal communication and printed material.
If your business card says you offer service x but when somebody calls your office the person answering the phone doesn’t know enough about that service to speak to a potential customer about it (or to refer them to the right person who can), they are unlikely to trust your brand and subsequently are unlikely to buy from you.
What brand problems do SME & micro-business owners face?
A common problem faced by small business owners is ensuring brand consistency. This doesn’t just mean having the same logo on all your printed material, it means:
- Using the same brand colours in printed and digital media – this gives consistency and helps buyers to identify your company
- Having the same message across all platforms (website, social media, letterheads, invoices, business cards, brochures, what you say, what your staff say, how the phone is answered). If you say one thing, your website says another and your LinkedIn profile says something else, potential buyers will be confused about what you do
Why is a brand important for improving sales?
A strong and consistent brand image is a pre-requisite for an efficient sales process and can enhance sales conversions.
Think about some of the biggest brands in the world, such as McDonalds – not only is the logo recognisable everywhere, the visitor experience is consistent whichever restaurant or drive-thru you visit. The staff give a consistent message that matches their television ads, food packaging, jingles, promotional items etc. How satisfied would you be if the person serving didn’t know that they were offering a limited-edition burger you saw advertised on the television when you went to try one?
Ensure your brand is equally consistent across everything you do to support and enhance the visitor experience.
How to improve your brand for better sales conversions
Review your brand image as if it belonged to someone else – be critical, does it give confidence and inspire you to find out more or make a purchase? What values does it reflect?
If you are not sure if your brand reflects your company’s (or your own) values ask other people for their opinions – a colleague, staff member, spouse, friend etc. Request honest feedback on the image they feel your brand has. Is it positive, does it make you look large or small, does it inspire trust, etc.
Review all the places you promote your business and everywhere your message is given out and ask yourself if the message and colours are consistent with your logo. These could include:
- Your website (all pages), landing pages
- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Other social media channels
- Whoever answers the phone – what do they say? Does everyone say the same thing? Is the phone answered in a consistent, professional way? Do you need to engage a telephone answering service to improve your company image?
- Whoever deals with email/website queries – do they respond in a timely manner and in a polite, professional, knowledgeable way? Would your company image benefit from a virtual PA to deal with these queries on your behalf?
- Printed material such as brochures, letterheads, invoices/credit notes, compliments slips etc.
- Digital material such as brochures, newsletters, email templates, social media posts, email signatures etc.
- Verbal – do you/your staff say the same thing when you meet potential buyers as your printed/digital material, social media, website etc.?
Don’t put off potential buyers with a poor brand image – ensuring your brand portrays your company’s values and making sure that message is consistent across all channels will strengthen your sales process and give confidence to potential buyers, encouraging them to buy from you!