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When you think of some of the best brands and companies in the world, they often stimulate an instantaneous flow of images and possibly emotions – their brand identities. Virgin Airlines, along with its charismatic founder Richard Branson, denotes a company committed to top-notch service, fun and an irreverent attitude. The Apple brand suggests simplistic and elegantly designed products that make you feel hip when you use them. Nike makes you feel that you can take action, that you can “Just Do It.”
Of course these are major companies spending millions of dollars on branding and marketing, honing their messaging and creating cultures that match their public personas. But in our highly competitive business world, there is a tremendous amount that we can do to communicate to the world who we are, what we do, why we do it, and what is in it for our clients. Creating a market for your company requires you to stand out from the crowd and to be memorable.
Look at your company honestly. Does it reflect the energy, values and personality that you want it to? To help you do this, here are three specific steps that you can do to ensure that the public perception of your company is aligned with what you believe it should be.
1) Rediscover your company’s core values
If you have already completed a session on how to arrive at your company’s core values, great job! If not, this is top priority for you. Understanding and communicating your core values and beliefs helps your employees, prospects, clients and suppliers all know what you believe in, what they can expect from you and where they fit in.
2) Make a video
People do business with people, and there is no easier way to put some personality into your business than simple videos that communicate your core values, commitment to your clients, and the value you provide to your community. Have some fun with it, and get your whole company involved. Put it on your website and social media posts. If you want to ensure that the right message is being continuously communicated, a video will do that for you – and with the technology options available, it has never been easier to do it yourself.
3) Phone Personality
When anyone calls your business, it presents a fantastic opportunity to let the caller understand who your company is. How are your phones answered? Curt Rager, CEO of Autumn Associates, a Livonia, Michigan-based insurance agency, has trained all of his associates to answer the phone by saying they are “a referral-only agency and appreciate your referrals.” It also is communicated on their hold message and in every other piece of email or corporate collateral. A key part of this section is what kind of technology you are using to handle your phone calls. If you do not have an updated phone system, something like the Syn248 business phone system from AT&T will increase the efficiency and professionalism with which you handle your phone communication by ensuring a solid signal (goodbye dropped calls) and streamlining conferencing, among other benefits.
These simple steps will constantly communicate your core values. They work. If your employees are just answering the phone with the name of your company, or your core values are unclear, or you have not grabbed a camera and gotten your message out, then you are missing a huge opportunity to be memorable, communicate your values, and stand out from the crowd.
Your company has a set of core values and a personality – make sure that it is accurately reflected to the world.