Imagine this. You’ve finally gotten a chance to present to the one prospect you really want for a customer – the one who could be a game changer for your company.
You prepare for the pitch for days, obsessing over every detail of your proposal until it’s perfect. Then you show up to make your case…in a Pink Floyd t-shirt, board shorts, bedhead and flip-flops.
Or try this. Your company expends enormous effort and finally gets that big sales meeting, this time in your own offices. Again, your presentation is pristine. But when the prospect arrives, the landscaping is untended, the office is dingy, the furniture is worn, the carpeting needs cleaned and light bulbs need replaced.
Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? But something just like this happens every day.
A company works hard to provide a terrific product or service backed by great people at a price that offers real value. But the elements that should showcase that ingenuity and value have the opposite effect.
The company website, designed by the owner’s nephew or by the low bidder, is six years old and feels older. The company’s logo looks like clip art, while its salespeople hand out business cards ordered from whichever online printer was cheapest, so none of them match or hold up well. Sales literature feels slapped together, and features bad photography and typos.
In short, everything about the way the company presents itself undermines its credibility. And that makes it nearly impossible to persuade that elusive prospect that they really are the provider of choice.
Here’s how to prevent this brand dissonance. First, write either a collection of words or a couple of sentences that describe what you want prospects and customers to think of when they think of you. Be detailed and thorough.
Now do a brand audit, where you gather everything that faces prospects and customers, and compare it to those standards you just wrote. Look at your graphic identity: your logo, cards, letterhead and email signatures. Review your website. Your sales materials. Your Powerpoint decks. Your advertising. Your signage. Your vehicle and trade show graphics.
If everything is in sync, you’re good to go. But if not, take note of which items don’t convey the brand you need to present. Then use those notes as a checklist, and build an action plan to resolve any issues you found.
When prospects are considering you, they need reassurance that you are who you say you are. So as you head into fall, use this time to get every aspect of your brand in shape for 2019 and beyond.
(And if you need an independent brand audit to give you an outside perspective at what’s working and what isn’t, give Idealogy a call at 812-399-1400.)