You may be asking yourself what Eminem can teach me about brand image. In his hit song “The Way I Am” he nails the true essence of brand image. What your customers, prospects and community think about you or your company is their reality and is what they share with colleagues, friends and family.
The chorus to the song goes like this:
“I am whatever you say I am, if I wasn’t than why would I say I am, in the paper, in the news every day I am.”
These lyrics cut to the chase and shows that he understands what people think about him is their reality. Why is this important to understand? Because in business your brand is only as strong as the reputation you build. So we all need to work hard to make sure that whatever our future, current and past customers say about us strengthens our brand. So as business owners and business leaders we should come to the same level of understanding that Eminem does. Think “We are whatever our customers say we are”.
Your business should follow the old adage “treat others the way you want to be treated”. That thought needs to be part of the way your company services and treats its customers. It is a foundational piece of a strong brand image.
Since every interaction with a customer or prospect can affect your brand image. It is important to develop a culture focused on customer satisfaction. Literally everything we do affects our brand image. From the way we handle questions, orders, communication, face to face interactions, delivery, complaints, warranties, response time on requests, etc…. We must have a standard operating procedure in place for every interaction type.
If we don’t focus on satisfying the customer, someone else will. Before the social media boom it was often said a happy customer will tell 2 people and an unhappy customer will tell 10 people about their experience. Today they tell everyone in their circles about both positive and negative experiences. Power users of Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Angie’s List, etc…. literally can reach thousands of people with only a few clicks of the mouse.
So what does a company do if their brand image is not solid? Start making the needed cultural changes, because it’s never too late to improve your brand image. Though it may not be easy, with time and dedication you will make major improvements.
Here are some things you can do to fix a tarnished brand image.
- Start by getting everyone in your organization to have a customer satisfaction mindset.
- Develop policies and procedures focused on making the customer experience as good as possible.
- Understand what your customers expect.
- Create and use a survey for current and past customers to provide your company with voice of the customer data so you can figure out which areas you need to improve.
- Understand and manage what people say about you online.
- Search engine reviews (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
- Angie’s List
- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
- Do a search with your company name followed by the word “reviews”
- Set clear expectations with your team and then do what you say you are going to do.
Brand image success takes a complete focus on making sure your customers are satisfied. So be sure you focus on your brand image and not just your brand, which are the logos, signs and symbols you use in your marketing.
As you can see you have to develop the processes necessary to insure that your customers, their friends, your prospects and your community have positive first thoughts when they hear your name or see your logo. Remember, “you are what every your customers say you are.”
I look forward to your feedback on the importance of brand image.
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.