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Brand Values & Guidelines


In this growth engine daily video, I want to talk about brand values and brand guidelines.

We’re working with a client at the moment, who seems to have five or six different internal departments.

I was surprised to learn that each of them, some of them are using Microsoft Word, some have got old Legacy brands that went out of fashion when the company rebranded five years ago, three years ago.

I just want you to start to think about the impact that’s having on your customers.

So let’s just take a simplified version.

What Are The Departments In Your Business?

We’ve got a sales department, we’ve got a fulfilment or manufacturing or delivery department, and we’ve got a customer service department.

Most businesses got that, whether that’s you as a solopreneur or you’ve got a bigger business, there are multiple departments.

We all need to generate revenue with sales, we all need to deliver or fulfil on that, and we all need to manage customer expectations after the purchase.

So I think that’s a fair example you’ll all agree is there.

So imagine that your sales department has got one brand.

The first thing is if your website looks like A, and then the quotes that are going out look like B, have a look at what that impact is.

Now a lot of you guys out there who are more horizontal and relaxed might be saying, well it doesn’t really matter.

Let me tell you it matters.

It matters a lot because people want consistency.

People want to know that you’re focused on delivering accuracy and quality.

If they’ve bought into a website, or a commercial on radio or TV, or just a brochure that’s maybe been picked up at trade shows or one of your sales teams handed out at networking events.

Then they come in, they’re expecting continuity of service.

Unless you’ve got such an amazing product that everybody just needs to buy it.

There is one or two out there in the world, so there’s a good chance you’re not in that.

I’m not saying your products are not good, but what I’m saying is not that outstanding that people just buy day in and day out without even blinking or looking at the competition.

Amazon would be a prime example of that.

People just go to Amazon, find what they want, hit the button and then leave.

Apple may be another one of that sort of, Google, those type of institutions.

You might see that as things like Gillette for razors, you just buy a product that you know is good.

  • It might be a hygiene product
  • It might be a health product
  • It might be a gym that you go to

It doesn’t really matter, but there’s not that many, you’re certainly the minority.

So if you’re sort of disrupting that customer’s experience by getting a quote that’s in a different brand.

Ultimately, one salesperson’s previously quoted them, and another’s quoted them and they’ve got different systems.

You having to manually type out your emails to customers and there’s no consistency.

That’s going to have an impact on your sales results, it’s going to have an impact on the customer’s confidence that you’re the right customer or the right supplier for them as a customer to buy from you.

So just give it think about that.

Then from a fulfilment.

If I’ve bought a product, and I’ve bought into that visual aspect of it, that style that a business delivers, and then the fulfilment of the packaging or the product comes to me through the post or and again that feels and looks different to what I bought.

I’m then going to start doubting, is this company also going to deliver what I think they’ve bought, am I going to get a different level of service, I thought I was buying this, now it feels like I’m getting delivered this or that, and again that creates nervousness or cautiousness in customers.

Not all customers will tell you, they’ll probably wait and see ’til it gets to be their tipping point, whether they’re happy with it, or they’ll sort of getting to the end and think that’s not really what I wanted, and that effects repeat purchases.

So what that drives into your customer service team, and when you look at that from a customer service point of view, are you putting too much weight, too much load on your customer services.

Such as calls coming in, either at the sales process, when the sales happened and that call comes in, oh I’m just unsure about this, does that happen in your business?

Oh, I’m just questioning this, or I’m just checking if this is that.

This is all coming out of branding consistency.

How are you going to address these sort of things?

Get Your Brand & Follow Your Guidelines

Number One, really get a brand that is consistent, both online and offline.

What you look like online, make sure you look offline.

Number two, make sure that your departments are aligned with what I call templated replies, and I’m not talking about being robotic or automated here so it’s that bad that it feels cold, but to help your sales team, we use HubSpot, and we use templates in there.

So when we do our reply, such as a customer will say, “Oh, could we have a copy invoice?”

We go there, hit the copy invoice template, it pre-loads it up with the brand in there, and then we will personalise it, make you think, hey, whatever the name is, great to speak to you today and learn about what you’re doing, or good to see Sally, your sister is this, or you went away on the weekend, you can personalise that.

But you can templatize it getting and that’s not just in sales, that’s in customer service, that’s in fulfilment, that’s in the sales pipeline, it’s in your marketing messages.

You can still use automation, but personalise it to make it really feel that it’s dialled down and personal for them.

So think about that, and think about the cost of it.

What does it cost to lose a sale at the front, what does it cost to maybe satisfy a customer through the fulfilment process if they get, not buyer’s remorse, but they start to get twitchy through the fulfilment, because maybe it’s not as consistent as what it should be, and it feels different to what they’ve bought.

What does it cost you to run your customer service?

What do you have to give things away to pacify customers, I don’t know.

Ultimately, just by thinking about the brand, thinking about consistency, thinking about putting templates, and systems like HubSpot, and there’s a whole host of other tools that you can use, is really going to improve how your customers see you as your business, in the marketplace.

Raise the confidence level, not only the confidence to buy themselves initially, maybe buy more off you again but also refer and become advocates for your business.

So getting that brand, getting that consistency there is pretty important.

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.