In my post, Your Brand Isn’t What You Think It Is, I discussed the concept of what your brand really is. In the simplest terms your brand is the culmination of all the experiences that an individual has with your business.
It’s your job to influence what they think at every point along the way. By honing in on your valuable point of difference and communicating that in every touch point with your customers, you can build a strong business and a strong brand over time.
Great, but why is it a big deal?
There are five ways that building your brand will help you make more money, three ways that it will protect you from making less money and one way that it will help the success of your business snowball over time.
Make More Money #1
Building a strong brand will help make more money from your current customers. Your current customers are the lifeblood of your business, and by actively managing every touch point, you can generate more revenue from them. There are two ways to accomplish this.
First, get your current customers to purchase more often. The fancy term for this is frequency. If you are a restaurant and a customer visits one time per month, what could you do to get that customer to visit a second time every month? If you could solve that puzzle, you could double the revenue from that customer. What would your business be like if you could double the revenue from all of your customers? How much would you be willing to pay to get customers back twice as often? Would you be willing to give a special deal if the customer comes back in the next week? Would this strengthen your brand and customer loyalty over time?
Make More Money #2
Second, get your current customers to buy more on each visit. Building a strong brand will help accomplish this. If you have an auto repair shop and a customer comes in for an oil change, how many additional items can you sell? Would they like the air filter, wiper blades, and the upgraded oil? Maybe you can throw in a 100 point free safety inspection to see if there is anything else they need. In this example, you can quickly see the importance of having built a brand of trust. If I don’t trust you it might feel like you’re taking advantage of me. If I do trust you, this seems like great service and further builds the brand.
During my work in the restaurant industry we found that if you actively up-sell customers; “Would you like a chip and drink with that?” their satisfaction goes up even if they don’t want the chip and drink. This is because the experience, personal interaction, and attention can be as much as 70% of why people choose a particular restaurant. This interaction helps build a strong brand that keeps customers coming back.
Make More Money #3
Building a strong brand will help you get new customers. You’ve probably heard the old saying that it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than to get a new one. Yet many business owners focus much of their marketing effort on acquiring new customers. As this is the case, it’s best to be sure your efforts are working as hard as they can.
The obvious way to get more customers is to do what you’ve been doing and just cast a wider net. This is actually a great strategy if what you’re doing is working great. If your current marketing hasn’t met your expectations, this idea is not for you. Either way, it’s important to measure what you’re doing so you know if your money is being spent well.
Make More Money #4
The more interesting way to increase new customers is to spend the same dollars, but catch more customers. Every business wants to do this, but how? Big brands do this by clearly stating the value they offer vs. competition. Get exceedingly clear on this point and all of your communications will hit at the heart of why potential customers should choose you. Clearly articulating the value you offer will impact every touch point of your business. Your advertising will be more effective. Your customers will refer you more often because they can finish the sentence: “You should go to XXX because…” Finally, your employees will be more effective because they will be clear about how to talk to customers about what makes your business special.
Make More Money #5
Building a strong brand will allow you to raise your prices. If your customers love you and clearly understand the value you’re providing compared to competition, you will earn pricing leverage. Customers are willing to pay more money for a better product or service. If you provide one and they know it, you’ve got a strong brand.