Ever spend time thinking about your sales process and ask yourself, “Why is my competitor getting new business and I’m not?” Do you ask this more often than you’d like?
The answer may lie in the quality of your company’s brand. The foundation of all company recognition, longevity, and even business development is how your audience perceives you. If you have not branded your company using a strong and detailed process, you may very well be missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Think of the standard examples: the Nike “swoosh,” the Starbucks “mermaid,” and the Microsoft “window.” You know exactly what these brands do, what they’re out to accomplish, and how to recognize them every day. They have gone deep into their audience and discovered what sets them apart from their competition. This is just as, if not more, valuable in the business to business (B2B) world.
Here are a few key things to take a look at, and what you can learn from them to take your company’s brand to the next level.
Their messaging says more than “We Do This.” Most companies don’t put the time into truly considering the psychology of their audience, down to what really makes them tick — or what makes them click. A powerful brand message will not only make it clear what they literally do for their customers, but it will concisely show them the value of what they deliver. The first place to inspire this reaction is with your brand tagline or descriptor. Consider these examples:
They have “the look.” There is a lot to consider when it comes to the colors, fonts, and imagery used in a company’s visual assets. The days of “that looks nice, download that stock office image” are in the past. Your competitor might be doing it better by showing authentic high-quality photography of their operations, their people, and their environment, which builds trust in the viewing audience. Companies also often fall into the trap of following the same kind of color scheme as their competition. Standing out visually is important when prospects are browsing the list of companies they are considering. Here are a couple of companies that chose a strong visual set that set them apart from the field:
They are purpose driven. Your competitor may have strongly outlined and represented values for their internal culture. If you don’t, and a prospect is comparing you to them, the prospect’s trust and comfort level may already be with your competitor because they’ve already warmed up to how they work and stand up to pressure. This is especially true in service-based businesses. The audience wants to see that you are a strong company with a good and stable team making it happen every day. Displaying and living by values is a way to inspire that reaction.
They position themselves as industry leaders. This all comes down to exposure, and once again, trust. If your competition is posting relevant and valuable articles and helpful information one or more times a week, and you can’t even remember the last time you sent out a press release, well you might as well forget about gaining that recognition with your potential prospects. They are going to immediately see that your competitor is more current, more knowledgeable, and therefore more capable when it comes to handling their business.
This article was originally published online at Delia Associates at www.delianet.com.
About the Author:
Matthew Taylor, managing director for Delia Associates, works with the creative and technology teams to strategize, optimize, and deliver projects for a broad spectrum of clients. He has 10 years of detailed project management experience and has attained certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM).