Re-Building Your Brand

How do you go about re-building your brand, if for some reason it’s become tired or tarnished?

The example I’m going to use is the England football team and what happened at the World Cup last summer.

The England football brand has suffered badly over the years due to poor performances and badly behaved players and supporters.

The public fell out of love with brand England.

While the Premiership has thrived, England have struggled.

This resulted in much less media coverage and a lack of companies wanting to sponsor the brand.

But what happened in the summer turned that around.

Why was it different this time?

Because the team under promised and over delivered.

Scarred by previous experiences, this time we had no expectations.

The result was that they exceeded our expectations so making the whole experience so much more positive.

If building or re-building your brand you should follow this approach with your business.

If you promise the world you will probably win plenty of customers.

But if you then under deliver and  disappoint your customers you can be sure that the relationship will be very short.

Even worse than that will be your word of mouth publicity.

These disappointed customers will tell their friends how your business failed to deliver on your overinflated promise.

How much better to make a realistic promise and then delight your customers by exceeding their expectations.

The result will be loyal customers who love your business and glowing referrals to friends and associates.

The England team also scored off the field as well as on it.

They managed to rebuild the connection with the fans and with the country.

The manager, Gareth Southgate and the captain, Harry Kane achieved this by the way they presented themselves.

They’re both polite, well mannered and clean cut.

A million miles away from the image some of our other footballing “heroes” have presented us with.

This resonated with middle England, who were able to identify more comfortably with them and  rebuilt brand “Engerland”.

Another lesson for business.

Businesses need to ensure that all aspects of their brand are aligned with the values and tastes of their customers and target audience.

In this way they can forge intellectual and emotional bonds with their customers thereby tying them in long term.

If you need help re-building your brand and ensuring your business builds these bonds with your customers, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk, call me on 01483 200387.

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Keep Your Customers Loyal Instead Of Having To Continuously Win New Ones

Winning new customers is hard work.

New customers have to go through the process of deciding whether they believe you are the best supplier, whether your price is right and vitally whether they like you enough to do business with you.

So it makes perfect commercial sense to do everything possible to keep your customers loyal. Bizarrely lots of small businesses tend to forget that retaining customers is just as important as winning new ones.

Keeping your customers loyal also doesn’t have to be expensive. Often very small things can make all the difference.

The following tips should go a long way to making sure your customers reciprocate your love and stay with your business.

Stay in touch

It’s estimated that over 80% of customers who change supplier do so not because they are unhappy with the service but because they don’t feel loved.

It’s so easy to avoid this. You just need to talk to your customers regularly. Keep them informed of any news and developments at your company, any special offers and any way you can help them.

Send them things you see in the press that relate to their area of business, retweet their tweets, like items on their Facebook page. Just go out of your way to have regular contact and demonstrate your commitment to them.

Get to know your customer base

Get to know who are your most profitable customers and those that you think have the highest propensity to re-purchase. Make sure you understand them and why they have chosen to do business with you, so you can give them more of the stuff they come to you for in the first place.

Show them you care

If you can move the relationship from the purely professional to a more social, friendly basis not only will your working life become more enjoyable but it will tie your customers into you. A small token of your gratitude for their business at Christmas and acknowledgement of their birthday, while admittedly not original, will certainly not go unnoticed.
How much you spend and whether you decide to take them out to lunch or dinner is up to you and how much you’ve developed the relationship.

Give them your best offers

So many businesses use discounts or attractive offers to get you ‘hooked’ and then once you become a loyal customer suddenly the offers seem to disappear.
This is really short sighted.
Your loyal customers are the ones who deserve your best prices and if they discover what you’re offering to new customers are likely to disappear in a huff meaning you’ve got to start the process all over again.

Take all these ideas on board and assuming that your core business is top quality in the first place, you find that your customers buy from you time and again and you’re not spending all your time replacing lost business.

Business Development Advisors will advise you on ways to both win and retain your customers. Please get in touch.



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Email – A Key Element Of Your Small Business Marketing

If as a small business, you’re not using email, you’re ignoring one of the cheapest and most effective marketing channels.

One of the cheapest and most effective marketing channels

Here are three ways you can use email to increase your profits

1. Set up auto responder campaigns to improve response.

Email can dramatically improve your conversion rates.

Set up an auto responder campaign that automatically sends emails to welcome new subscribers, follows up on important events or campaigns or as part of a sequential campaign, that sends prospects a tailored email dependent on how they have already responded to your marketing activity.

For example, let’s say you send a postcard to your customers driving them to a landing page advertising an upcoming event. A portion of your customers won’t sign up on that first visit to your landing page. That means you need a way to drive them back to that landing page.

Setting up an auto responder campaign that has a sequence of messages that address different objections your prospect might have and then drives them back to your event landing page in the right frame of mind can significantly increase your response to that event.

In fact, using this type of follow-up email sequence has been shown to double, triple and even quadruple your initial response.

2. Use email to get valuable information.

These days everybody is crunching numbers to ensure they are being effective and efficient with their marketing spend.

Some of the most valuable statistics are the response numbers that roll in after an email campaign is sent out.

Reviewing your numbers will help you spot effective offers, stand out content or subscribers who’d respond well to follow up.

Use this information to see what messages are working and incorporate them into your other marketing.

3. Use email to build brand loyalty.

In today’s tough economy, it’s more important than ever to keep your customers happy and engaged.  Consistent emails with interesting and relevant content give you an easy, friendly way to remind your subscribers why they love you.

Plus you can use your email to highlight your company’s strengths, reward your most loyal customers, convert leads into customers and turn your one-time buyers into repeat customers.

But remember, every email you send has got to add value to your database. You must be giving them useful information or a special offer or a tip to help their business. If you start taking your list for granted and start sending them stuff that has no value to them or that isn’t consistent with your brand, you can start to damage your reputation and potentially lose your customers, even loyal ones, forever.

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Five Strategies for Creating a Memorable Brand

Ask 10 different people what they understand by the word ‘brand’ and you’ll probably get 10 different answers.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a brand as:

‘a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.’

Unfortunately this shows that the dictionary author does not understand the word. The reality is, your brand is so much more than that!

Your brand is not a name, logo, slogan, symbol, mission statement or trade mark.

Your brand is the sum total of the emotional experience a customer has with your company, its products and services.

Many people think that branding is the preserve of large companies. It’s true that major corporations may spend millions on building brand awareness through high profile advertising campaigns which is the last thing that SMEs should do. But even at the SME level, your brand is important. Everything you do in your small business should be congruent with your brand and should enhance your customers’ perception of your business.

Here are some great tips to make your brand memorable:

1.A Brand Name is for Life  – So Choose Yours Wisely!

As a rule, short brand names tend to work better than longer ones – they’re easier to remember and tend to deliver more of an impact. Think about your brand’s purpose and meaning. How do you want prospective customers to view you? If you already have an established name, think carefully before discarding it in favour of something else. Remember the fiasco when they decided to rebrand the Post Office as Consignia?.

2.Who is Your Ideal Customer?

To brand your business successfully, you need to focus on your ideal customer. Your brand is unlikely to appeal to everybody, nor should you want it to. Doing this simple exercise will enable you to identify the values you want to build into your brand.

3.Powerful Visual Identity

Many great brands have powerful and memorable visual identities.  Nike’s ‘Swoosh’, McDonald’s golden arches and Apple’s . . . apple! While your logo is only one part of your brand, if it is memorable and contains the values of your brand, it will enhance the overall impact of your brand.

4.Do You Need A Strap Line?

A strap line is a few concise words that sit with your brand’s logo and sum up what your brand is about. It is by no means essential to have one and it may change over time as the corporate strategy changes but example like ‘Just Do It’, ‘The Future’s Bright’, ‘Every Little Helps’ are well known and become recognised as the manifestation of the brand.

5. Create Your Brand Story

Your brand story is a way of connecting emotionally with your audience. Your brand story can include your personal history, achievements and the journey the business has been through. Virgin is a great example of a brand with a story. The early days of Richard Branson’s business are well known as are his successes and failures. Steve Job’s brand story has also become well known as Apple have taken over the world.

Creating a recognisable brand is a great bonus but it takes time and commitment and as Gerald Ratner demonstrated with his infamous gaffe, your brand’s reputation can be destroyed very much more quickly.

Business Development Advisors can help you grow  your business and take it on to the next level. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.