The keys to marketing a brand are consistency and making an emotional connection. Your brand needs to be consistent so that it delivers the same message and clients feel that yours is a company they can trust. The emotional connection includes the associations your brand makes in a client’s mind. The five strategies discussed here will help you market your company’s brand to successfully meet these two requisites.
Integrating Your Brand Strategy
You should send a clear message both online and off and integrate all of your marketing channels. A good marketing strategy is interactive and engages the client.
What does it mean to be “interactive?” In today’s media landscape, consumers are no longer confined to a few big marketing options, such as TV and newspaper, for their information. Instead, people utilize social media, Google, apps, etc. to find their own sources of news and information, including information on services they need.
To be interactive is to engage with your clients wherever they’re looking for information. You do this by establishing a presence on social media, offering apps, interacting with your website, producing videos, and so on. The idea is to create as many potential touch points as possible with your audience, providing the information they need when and where they need it.
All of these marketing channels need to be integrated so they create a web presence that sends people back and forth to each medium. For example, television spots should include the URL for your website or a message that says, “Follow us on Twitter at…” Your website should have links to all of your social media profiles and a call to action urging visitors to check them out. You can even include a link to your social media pages in your email signature. At every touch point, send clients to all of your other marketing channels.
The final element of an interactive strategy is to track analytics. If you can’t do sophisticated visitor behavior tracking on your website, at the very least monitor behavior using Google Analytics. A wealth of information can be found using this program to help you improve your strategy.
Aside from the most common brand marketing strategies, there are a few alternative tactics professional service companies use to create an emotional connection. Attitude branding involves marketing a larger feeling that’s associated in the minds of your clients about your business. This feeling isn’t necessarily associated with your services, but just with your company as a whole. It’s all about a particular feeling, lifestyle, or personal identity.
An example of this would be a private investment firm that promotes the feeling of safeguarding your future. The company does this through its mission statement, client testimonials on its website, and well-chosen images and articles about planning for retirement that is shared through social media. If done correctly, this attitude branding will engender feelings of trust towards this company.
With attitude branding, your brand contributes to the client’s sense of identity and self-expression.
Word of Mouth
The absolute best brand marketing strategy is to focus on recommendations. There is no more powerful marketing, especially in the professional service industry than a close friend telling another close friend or client about your services. Studies have shown that this is more powerful than the best advertising. This is because it’s not coming from the company itself but a trusted friend.
Today, when people are wary of being marketed to, and especially on social media where recommendations from friends are everything, it’s important for brands to focus on recommendations for their marketing strategies. The best way to get these word-of-mouth recommendations is to consistently offer superior service.
Name is Everything
The most powerful aspect of a brand is the brand’s name. The name conveys a great deal of information. The best names reflect the brand you are trying to convey.
If you are trying to convey trust you would not use a nonsense word or a silly name; you would use words like fiduciary, fidelity, and even the word trust directly in the company name. Many professional firms like to name the firm after the founding partners. Others, knowing that they will eventually sell the firm will look for a name of the company that will be meaningful to the buyer.
Be Flexible and Stay Current
Finally, your branding strategy should be flexible. Things are always in constant flux and that includes your market and buying behaviors. You need to listen and pay attention to your clients so that you can stay relevant.
A good example of this is Esurance. When the company realized the power of the internet, and how much people crave convenience, it tapped into this to create an insurance company for the modern age. As access to the internet has increased, Esurance has taken advantage of this and utilized smart phone apps to keep its product as convenient as ever.
Building a strong brand for your professional service company is crucial to success. For more information on this topic, check out the report “Brand Design for Professional Service Companies.”