Building a brand is not easy. For many power brands like Coke, IBM, McDonalds, to name a few, brand building has taken decades to achieve, fueled by billions of dollars. For most small businesses, just trying to figure out where to start is a massive challenge.
In my research for our upcoming webinar, How to Build Your Brand with UC: Turning your business phone system into a secret weapon for brand building, I found there are hundreds of sites, articles and blogs claiming to have the magic bullet for brand building. The challenge comes when you realize that they all say something different – yet, it almost always comes back to big dollars! For a small or medium-sized business (SMB) that doesn’t have access to piles and piles of money in a marketing budget, that’s not really helpful. Most SMBs simply can’t play on the same field with the likes of Proctor and Gamble ($4.8 billion spent on brand building), General Motors ($3.1 billion spent on brand building), and Comcast ($2.9 billion spent on brand building). SMBs certainly cannot use the “let’s try everything” model and afford to throw money at experimenting with different approaches until stumbling upon the one method that works. Instead, smaller companies have to pick and choose what is most important to the business as a whole and focus their resources there.
That said, through the majority of my research on this topic, there was one theme that carried through all the different approaches to brand building, no matter what your budget. The main key to brand marketing is consistency:
- Consistency in product quality
- Consistency in customer service
- Consistency in message
- Consistency in tone
- Consistency in look
The lesson here is to start with an awesome product that solves people’s problems; then develop a consistent look and image; follow up by always taking care of your customers; and then rinse and repeat. Of course, big brands mess up, too. So just for fun, here are a few reminders of “what not to do” when it comes to building brand consistency:
- Coke: The Granddaddy of all brand blunders. Ever heard of New Coke? Hey Pepsi, don’t think you get off easy, we remember CrystalPepsi too…
- Ben Gay: Tried to expand their brand into aspirin. People thought, “Who doesn’t want that Ben Gay feel (you know, borderline on fire) in their mouth in pill form!”
- Harley Davidson: Did you know they released Harley Davidson perfume? Nothing like the sweet smell of gas engines! Or better yet, biker bars!
- Bic: Bic tried their hand at the ever-popular disposable underwear. For some reason, customers had a hard time understanding how disposable pens and lighters went with underwear.
- Coors: Decades of brand building to make one of the most famous beer brands on the planet and where did they decide to go? Rocky Mountain Spring Water. Probably not the best choice!
So how can we here at Digium help in your honorable quest to quality brand building? Better yet, what on Earth does any of this have to do with your business phone system? Well, in order to build and protect a brand, you have to develop certain tools: a great logo, website, branding strategy, and yes, an innovative communications system. Switchvox can help with that. For example, what about that issue of consistency with customer service that we mentioned earlier? Switchvox can help with that. How about consistency in tone and message? Yep, Switchvox can help.
Branding expert Taylor King of Inward Strategic Consulting told Forbes in an article on brand building, “Nothing is worse than having to repeat details of a problem again and again.” You guessed it, Switchvox can help with that too!
Join me tomorrow, October 29th at 1:00pm Central for our newest webinar:
We’ll discuss the many ways that UC can help you:
- Make a great first impression with every incoming call.
- Tell a more persuasive company story.
- Get more from your marketing campaigns.
- Deliver a consistent brand experience from desktop to mobile.
- Improve customer service and build better customer relationships.
Register today and learn all about the branding secret weapon, Unified Communications.