Published on Thursday 04 December 2014 in The Shoestring Marketing Blog
Personal & business branding
Taking your business to the next level
In a recent survey conducted by Vanarama, 62% of respondents said that the condition of a tradesperson's vehicle would influence their decision to use them. Proof, if it were needed, that perception is key when deciding where to give your business and your hard earned cash.
But why stop at your vehicle? Personal and business branding is key to growing your business. Buying decisions by consumers are made within seconds, so creating the right first impression is vital to business growth. In today's blog we'll look at a number of ways you can take your business to the next level.
A brand is not just a logo
Your brand is much more than just a pretty logo, it's how you answer your phone, it's your tone of voice to customers, it's what happens after your make a sale, it's what you wear when you arrive at a customer's home. So don't just think of your brand as your logo, look at all areas of your business and whether they are communicating the right messages. Businesses spend too long choosing the right font, nice colours and a snazzy symbol but forget some of the fundamentals that really matter to customers:
- Phones answered by a polite human being
- Callbacks when you say you'll call back
- Nicely presented and polite staff
- After sales care
These are the issues that matter to customers, not whether your logo is 3D or you've used a futuristic font. So, whilst having a nicely designed, well thought out logo is important for your branding, it doesn't make a brand alone. Your staff, your tone of voice, and the way you present yourself all go to make up your brand.
Start from the inside and work out
The mistake businesses make is to create the visual stuff first, like a great logo, flashy website and glossy leaflets. When approaching your business you should start from within the business and work outwards. That means getting the fundamentals right first, the small bits of detail that will make a big difference, and customers notice the details! So, if you've just started up or have been in business a long time, it's good to look at your business from within first. Think of your business as a baking cake, the outside might be nice and golden, but get the mix wrong and inside is a disaster!
So here are a few quick tips to help guide you on what you need to think about beyond your logo.
Do you have a process for call handling?
There's nothing wrong with a small business operating from a mobile, but it can look more professional and instill confidence if you have a landline number. If you don't have an office, get your calls diverted to a call handling service. It can be frustrating to get an answerphone, so having someone professional to answer your call and take a message will greatly enhance your brand.
Are you and your team kitted out in branded clothing?
When you arrive at your customer's home and they open the door, what first impression are you creating? By arriving in a clean, branded uniform you are sending out a message of professionalism and competence. It's one of the best investments you'll make in your business and your team. It gives everyone in your business a sense of belonging, purpose, and demonstrates to your customers that you're investing in your brand and they're more likely to take you seriously.
Do you have your van sign written?
Sign writing your vehicle is one of the most cost effective ways to get new business. Your vehicle will be seen by hundreds of people in a day, so by driving a branded vehicle you're opening up potential new avenues for business. Vanarama customer Lee Wright knows the benefits of sign writing his van, he gained an extra £10k of business in just one week from having his van sign written!