Effective customer communication begins in much the same way that any relationship begins – sharing the essential elements of your identity as a fellow human being that other persons can relate to. In business terms, an essential element of this communication is your brand — a statement of your identity that rises above the advertising clutter in some memorable way, in which the public can quickly grasp what you’re about and determine your benefit to them.
To achieve this, you’re looking for an image or notion that pops into a person’s head when he or she hears or sees the name of your business. For such a brand to take hold, it must do three things: it must clearly express who you are; it must do this in a way that transcends the advertising clutter and personally connect with people; and it must be repeated and reinforced in every way possible.
One way to begin is to create the personality of your brand. Toward this end, it is helpful to think of how you would describe your business if it were a person. Such character traits might include descriptors like professional, responsive, reliable, sensitive, friendly, knowledgeable, smart, resourceful, cool. Then ask: which of these traits not only describe who you are as a company, but also differentiate you from the competition?
Another way of asking this question is what are the core values or identity statements you can make about your company? Is it your industry knowledge, your commitment to quality, your responsiveness to customer concerns, your wide-range of customer choices? Again, what sets you apart?
These are questions that everyone involved in promoting, selling and buying your product should be clear about, no matter what communication vehicle you are using, whether it be traditional print advertising and public relations, social media, how-to videos or geo targeted web ads. One of the benefits of employing a full-service agency, in fact, is its ability to assure your branding message is integrated and monitored in a consistent way across the range of communications it produces for you. This way the message is continually reinforced appropriately at every point of contact that prospective customers have with your company — not as an afterthought added as a last-minute tweak, but as one of the guiding goals of every communication you’re engaged in.