5 Important Business Branding Lessons We Learned From 2015

business branding

Branding is a vital component of any business practice. It plays a dominant role in sales as well as recognition. It’s how consumers see your company, which is an ever-growing concern thanks to the Internet. Although it’s relatively easy to build a trustworthy business online, it can be equally as easy to lose that reputation. When preparing to face the future, learn what worked for creating a positive influence in local and online consumers.

1. Customer Service Will Always Reign Supreme

customer service

If there is one constant throughout the Universe when it comes to business practices it’s that customer service is key to success. If customers are not happy with their purchases, there is a good chance you won’t see them again. This is especially true if you offer online services and products. The competition is incredible when it comes to online business.

Many consumers would happily pay more money to a company that has superior customer service rather than save a buck while using a company that is lacking in this regard. Thanks to the innovations of the Internet, it doesn’t take long for a bad experience to become widespread. Those customers pay your bills, and you need to care for them in every way possible.

Comcast, a leader in cable television and Internet services, has been under fire due to the actions of employees. In one instance, a staff member changed a customer’s name to an inflammatory remark when he cancelled services. Even materials that were once thought of as isolated can find their way into the hands of consumers.

2. Cost Cutting Is Not Always Efficient

cost cutting

Finding ways to cut costs is on the minds of many business owners. However, remaining efficient in this regard isn’t always conducive to your business branding. When you sacrifice quality for quantity, you run the risk of delivering an inferior product. Many companies were subjected to a variety of scandals in the past few years because they were purchasing goods from questionable sources to save money.

When it comes to cutting expenses, there are many ways it can be done without impacting your target consumer. Using Cloud-based apps, mobile technologies and other innovations can save a variety of costs around the business. Once you start delivering low-quality products, your company could be branded as “cheap” or “third-rate.”

In 2015, the popular brand of Nestle was caught in the middle of negative reports centering around slavery. The company was purchasing fish for its “Fancy Feast” line of cat food from slave ships and forced labor. This scandal filled the search engines with a myriad of coverage from Bloomberg to The Guardian. In instances such as this, the low-cost product could result in a large number of lost sales.

3. Remain Consistent

remain consistent

Consistency is part of maintaining a specific image for your customers. While it doesn’t hurt to change certain graphics such as your logo, it’s in your best interest to keep the focus on the original practice. For example, the Apple logo has been around for decades. However, it started as a multi-colored piece of fruit. Pepsi has changed its look several times throughout history, but remained true to its color scheme in almost every instance.

Products and services are another place where consistency needs to be addressed. Changing how these things are delivered to customers can influence their decisions in the future. Racking up the price of a product to make more money doesn’t always work, as experienced by several companies over the years.

The cost of living is a contributing factor in price, but increasing the product by more than 55 times can be damaging to the brand – as experienced by Turing Pharmaceuticals. Instead of selling a life-saving drug for $13.50 a pill, the company increased the price to $750. The negative backlash that ensued forced the company to drop the price back down.

4. Address Media Interaction

address media interactions

It’s always a good idea to address the media regardless if the comment is positive or negative. When you address positive interactions, the company is seen as one that appreciates the consumer. When you address negative comments, you’re demonstrating responsibility. Celebrities and businesses often come under fire, some of which fall back on “no comment.” This can be damaging to the brand as it shows that the business is unwilling to address the issue.

Accepting responsibility, regardless if the situation is good or bad, denotes professionalism. You want your brand to be related to this reflection, which is why you want to make sure people understand your position. If done correctly, even the most negative situation can be quelled by positive business branding.

When is comes to accepting social responsibility, facing the music is hard but necessary. When Volkswagen had been found out to be delivering automobiles that were advertised as eco-friendly but were not, the company seemed to be uncaring in the media. The impact to the reputation of Volkswagen was great as lawsuits began to role in. This led to a controversy and conspiracy resulting in many of the higher corporate officers within the company resigning from their posts.

5. Make Emotional Connections

make emotional connections

Consumers today relate a brand with how it makes them feel. This prospect is significant when companies address millennials. One of the reasons why social media is becoming more influential in online business is because of the personal connections that can be made. People are more likely to buy from a company that appears to be more personable rather than a “soul-less corporation.”

You want people to be passionate about your company. Passionate consumers are often the ones that can make virtually any business more profitable. These are the ones who share your posts on social media or talk their friends and family into trying your business. Never underestimate the value of a fan base.

Some of the most emotional advertisements often come from companies such as Budweiser. The ad department does an excellent job of pulling on the heartstrings of the viewers. This resonates within the consumer and makes the brand more memorable. Other companies, such as Doritos, Samsung and Coca-Cola, also contribute to the aspect of creating emotional ties with the audience.

Many companies have created a recognizable brand by keeping a vigil over marketing trends. However, many have found what worked for one didn’t necessarily work for another. When you’re trying to build your own reputation, learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others. Many practices are found to be successful through trial-and-error. Just make sure that your practices are conducive to your own success.

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