Experts say a brand drives business to your door and keeps your customers loyal. What is a brand? It used to refer to a company’s name and clever slogan. “Coke® Is It,” Winston’s “Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should,” and Nike’s “Just Do It” are just a few examples of the original definition of ‘brand.’
Today, most define it as what your customers feel when they think about your company—what image, emotion, and values come to mind about your brand. Without even knowing it, we branded our service this way at Peachtree Movers long before this current concept became popular.
We had built a reputation for finishing jobs on time, for the price quoted, and with minimum risk of damage to our clients’ furniture, computers, and office space. Our brand, though, was not our reputation; our brand was that we became uniquely known for referring great vendors to our customers—vendors who could solve their worst problems and prevent nightmares. We were like the “Angie’s List” of the relocation business. Customers trusted our recommended vendors because we refused to accept kickbacks or referral fees. This made us unique! We told our preferred suppliers that we would recommend them if they rendered a stellar service and did not pay us a compensation—no cash, no gifts, no free meals. We asked our customers to evaluate the service they received and tell us if we should continue recommending the vendors.
As part of our brand strategy, we had a preferred furniture liquidator, furniture dealer, local residential mover, long-distance mover, and office movers in other cities. Our loyal customers were constantly calling us and saying, “We know you only do local office moves, but can you please recommend someone who you trust who can…?” After the recommendations, we’d ask our customers to let us know how the vendors performed, and we reminded them that we didn’t accept payment from the preferred vendors, so there was no conflict of interest.
The combination of our stellar reputation and our brand strategy worked wonders for us. Since more than 70 percent of our business came from referrals and repeat customers, we did not advertise in the Yellow Pages. (There was virtually no Internet during my reign at Peachtree Movers.)
Do you have a ‘real’ brand? If you do, is it working for you? If you don’t, do you see where one could help you? If you do but it’s weak, what could you do to strengthen it? If you’d like free advice about branding, please join our LinkedIn group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12060567 and ask for help.
For more information on our online office moving training, please visit
http://www.officemoves.com/training/index.html or call Ed Katz at 404.358.2172.