Branding, and why it’s important to salespeople
Branding: It’s such a paradox. Of all the things a company owns – its brand can be the cheapest to initiate, but can become the most valuable asset.
Think about it: A brand is the only asset which when managed properly, will never depreciate. Buildings can fall, cars depreciate, stock becomes obsolete, staff move on. But a brand can increase in value year after year.
It’s also the only benefit your competitors can never replicate. Your brand is a personality. It’s true to itself and no one else – it stands for a set of unique values and is uniquely delivered by your company. Managed properly, it’s enough of a benefit to keep your customers coming back for more time and time and time again. Branded goods are almost always more expensive than non-branded, while their products are often of similar or inferior quality to non-branded, and come with less added perks.
And yet the power of the brand is so legendary, customers can pay ten times the price just to be associated with it.
Too many business leaders believe branding lives in the marketing department. But it’s much broader than that.
It’s the whole experience that your customers receive when they touch your company in any way. It’s how you handle an awkward customer who wants something unreasonable. It’s the language you use in your marketing and how you act on your sales calls. And it’s the extent to which your products delight your customers, and go over and above what the customer expects – all in complete accordance with your brand personality.
Effective branding makes you more visible, identifiable and memorable. It attracts attention and drives sales. You also get better margins, as your customers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies they know and trust. Branding can also improve the internal dynamics of an organization, and influence both recruiting and employee turnover – it makes it easier for employees to decide if they’d be a good fit for your organisation or not –because they know that from what they see on the outside, you’ll be true to your brand all the way through the company.
So how is branding relevant to sales?
It’s all about trust. More than anything else, customers need to know they can trust your company and service and products, and a brand is like a hallmark – they know what they can expect and they know it’ll be reliably delivered. They trust you when you say that your products or services will make them more productive, or more respected, or more beautiful.
As we’ve said – customers will pay more for that trust. And once you have gained a customer’s liking and trust, it’s hard for any other company to break in on that unless they prove they’re more trustworthy.
So this week, take a look at the touchpoints your customer is experiencing with your brand. How does it feel to phone your company, to have a sales visit from your company, to get a delivery or an invoice from your company? Is it consistent with your values? Because if it isn’t, it’s undermining your brand.
And if it is all consistent – congratulations! We’ll see you at the top.
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