Once you’ve created your brand, you need to protect it at all costs. The reputation and success of your business depend on it! You may think that your brand is shatter-proof, but it’s not – you can easily ruin it if you’re not careful. Follow these top tips for taking care of the brand you worked so hard to build.
1. Taking Your Brand for Granted
Just because your brand is built and recognizable, that doesn’t mean you can stop putting time and effort into it. It’s of high importance to continually maintain, refresh and evolve your brand if you want to stay ahead of the competition and regularly reach your target audience. Take the pulse of your brand on a regular basis to figure out where adjustments need to be made. This includes keeping a close eye on competitors to see what new tricks they have up their sleeve.
2. Being Inconsistent
One of the cornerstones of any brand is consistency, which builds trust in your customers. People need to know what they can expect from you and your business. Consistency is important, in everything from how your staff members dress and behave to what your company’s communication materials look like. Without this uniformity, your brand may become undistinguishable or unreliable, or both.
3. Speaking Without Thinking First
Unfortunately, your words alone can’t build a brand, but they sure can break it. Be thoughtful when wording anything and remember that everything you say has an impact on your business. If you often put your foot in your mouth by accident, hire a public relations expert who can help you craft public speeches and coach you on matching your words with your brand.
4. Behaving Badly
If you’re a big shot in your company, then you represent that company no matter where you are, even when you’re not at work. Even if you think nobody’s watching, be mindful of how you behave – your actions could come back to haunt you or, worse, they could have a direct negative impact on your sales.
5. Neglecting Good Customer Service
Not only should your customers have a reliable way to reach you, but they should get a response back within a short time frame. The absolute worst thing you can do is just not respond to an e-mail or phone call at all. If you can’t deliver high quality customer service, you’re basically telling your clientele that you don’t respect them. No matter what type of business you run, your main goal is to serve the customer. If necessary, hire someone to handle customer concerns; sometimes lack of response is a telltale sign that a business owner is overwhelmed with work.
6. Letting Your Online Image Run Wild
You may try to maintain a professional air wherever you go, but you’re human and you’re going to go crazy once in a while. It’s fine to live it up with friends and family, but those wild nights don’t have to be plastered all over the Internet. Be aware of your online image and don’t do something you know you’re going to regret later – it’s extremely difficult to wipe the slate clean once incriminating photos have hit Facebook.
Don’t lie, ever, to your audience. Once you lose customer trust because you were dishonest, you can never gain it back. Plus, the terrible word-of-mouth will spread like wildfire and you’ll miss out on a lot of new business as an effect. Remember that presenting your business in an inauthentic way is lying, even if you don’t really intend to dupe your customers.