Last month we were invited to speak in Scottsdale, Ariz., for Honeywell’s annual CONNECT Expo. One of the topics we were speaking on was the importance of brand, and during the Q-and-A session, some common questions from the dealers in the room were what exactly is brand, what does it mean for my company andhow do I ensure I’m doing a good job with it?
First, there are many ways to describe brand, but here’s our simplistic definition and how it applies to your security company: Brand is simply how you separate yourself from the competition; your brand sets the expectation of what potential customers can experience when they choose to go with your company over the others.
So where do you start and what are ways you can ensure your brand is consistent and being delivered correctly?
Make sure you and your staff are on the same page; this is where a brand guidebook is so important. If everyone says something different when a potential customer asks you or one of your employees what makes your company better than the competition, how are customers to know what they can expect from your company? Write down your core brand message and what makes your security company unique.
Here is a checklist of items you can use to see if your brand is consistent and being maximized across all of your marketing efforts:
1. Logo— The logo is the first impression on all potential customers. If you believe that impeccable customer support is your differentiator, then it must imply confidence, credibility and trust. If your logo looks like it belongs in the ‘70s or is a little less than stellar, chances are your brand image will fall short of its goals.
2. What is your brand message? Come up with a tagline that will be used in ALL of your marketing messaging. Burn this message into potential customers’ brains! That little white swoosh that sells shoes, can you think of their tagline? … Just do it. Right? What if we asked you, Where could 15 minutes save you 15 percent or more on car insurance? We bet you’d automatically know who we were talking about. So make sure your tagline is followed up on all of your ads — Facebook posts, tweets, on your service vans or anywhere else you can plaster that bad boy.
3. Brand experience — What will potential customers think when they land on your website? If you’re claiming to be the best in your service area when it comes to customer support, you better make sure your visual brand identity and blurbs within your website banners are reiterating this message. Online shoppers love to see visuals — show them your products; show people smiling within your Web banners or images; and use blurbs within your graphics or in your headlines such as “ABC Security, a family company that prides itself on treating our customers like family. Always there and always a phone call away!” But don’t just stop with your graphics; make sure your content is always focused on your brand. Don’t just talk about hardware or scare tactics; an alarm is supposed to protect your home, duh! But what about understanding your potential customers’ lifestyles? People don’t buy online “just because” — you need to connect.
Some other quick ways to build brand equity and to ensure your brand is being delivered and embedded are:
• Go to Fiverr.com and create a personalized hold message customers hear when they call you and are put on hold. The message can talk about your company’s values and brand.
• Service vehicles — If part of your brand is to get recognized and you decided to design your company logo in booger green, make those trucks booger green!
• Make your phone operators answer your phone with your branded tagline: Hello and thank you for calling ABC Security, where our customers come first. May I help you?
• If you’re doing radio or TV commercials, brand your company with a unique voiceover. For minimal cost you can go to Fiverr.com and choose a talented voiceover artist to be the spokesman for your company. Mercedes and BMW do it!
• Most importantly be consistent. Don’t switch up your visuals or messaging just to chase a dollar, because that is only temporary. Build your brand equity; we see first hand those with a great brand get higher leads.
Until next time, believe in being great!