What if everyone you told about your business came to fall in love with it? You would be unstoppable, yes? Vacations in exotic locales. Lucrative speaking engagements lined up for months. And a waiting list for your goods.
So how do you get people to fall in love with your brand? You need to make them believe. Believe in the quality of your product. Believe in your company’s stability and reliability. Believe in you and your organization’s leadership.
It’s not a small task. It’s big work. And I believe it’s what great marketing communications does.
The first step in creating believers is figuring out who they are in your world. I’ve identified ten:
1. Employees Ever encountered poor customer service or a rude waitress before? Did you end up going back? Maybe relunctantly so you understand the power employees have in people perceiving your brand. Identify your employees that have the most engagement with customers keep them positive. empower all of your employees with knowledge about your product and offerings so they can feel engaged and fully support your selling efforts.
2. Partners & Investors Business partners can be involved at various points with customers. Ensuring the interaction with your business partners is consistent with your brand requires constant management and monitoring.
3. Strategic Partners & Vendors Company A says “thank you” by providing a coupon to Company B. The service at Company B is disappointing and the quality of product was poor. Do you think this affects Company A? You bet it does.
4. Existing Clients Word of mouth, word of mouth, word of mouth. always provide the best service and quality product you can. Apologize if it’s not.
5. Media There’s a reason the term “media darling” exists. Does it always seem like the same businesses in your area are quoted in the papers as experts? It’s because they’ve introduced their businesses and made themselves readily available to local reporters. Even if you can’t afford print advertising, you can afford to reach out and introduce your business to local reporters covering your industry.
6. Community Organizations People love companies who volunteer and get involved in the community. From sponsoring a local youth team to a day of picking up litter, get your logo out there and do some good at the same time.
7. Professional Organizations & Industry Experts From conferences and lectures to media appearances and interviews, networking is a great way to get yourself known and on the minds of influencers in your industry.
8. Potential Employees Ask Apple, Starbucks, Gucci and may others how it feels to have people dying to work for them.
9. Potential Customers Even if they cannot buy from you today, does not mean a business may not purchase next month or recommend you to someone else. Keep communication going with these prospects.
10. Potential Investors Maybe you don’t need them now but if rapid expansion is ever needed, this group won’t need a long upsell to invest in your company. They also can help influence prospective customers.