When it comes to your company’s brand, perception is reality. About 72% of people say that the reputation of a company can impact their decision to buy or not to buy. How clients view you is everything, and consistency is key! Brand management is something you need to take seriously from day one and throughout the lifetime of your business.

All initiatives, events and marketing campaigns should align with your overall mission and vision. Everything from your website, to social media, to event setup should reflect what you’re about. A mommy and me cooking class would look very different from a paint and sip happy hour, and all business objectives should reflect the company purpose and outlook.

Brand Management Tips

You’ve probably heard it said that a happy customer only influences a handful of others, while an unhappy customer will tell dozens about how unhappy they are with your brand. One of the best things you can do for brand management is to offer excellent and fast customer service. If a customer has a problem, apologize and fix it as quickly as possible.

Before buying, about 61% of consumers conduct some research online and 43% of those read online reviews and opinions.

Tip # 1: Train Employees in Your Customer Service Philosophy

Every employee in your company, from the online service representative to the person who answers the telephones should be trained in the philosophy of your company. That philosophy should be one that explains how much you value your customers. If something goes wrong, whether it is your fault or not, it is important to work toward a satisfactory resolution.

Tip # 2: Use Similar Logos and Colors in All Material

From the colors and logo on your website to the business card you hand out at a networking event, everything should be recognizable as your brand. You’ll also want to take the time to think through the colors and design your competitors use. You want your brand to stand out. So, if your competitor uses orange and red, you might want to go with blue and yellow.

Tip # 3: Market to Your Target Audience

Be consistent even in your marketing efforts. If your brand is young and hip, then keep your marketing geared to this type of person. Take the time to think through who your target audience is. If you are marketing to young males, you probably don’t need a social media presence on Pinterest. On the other hand, if your target audience is women between 20-45, then Pinterest might be the perfect online marketing niche for you.

Tip # 4: Get Personal

You need more than just an online presence to reach new leads. Instead, it is important that you also interact with your online audience, particularly on social media. If someone posts a comment on your Facebook page, be sure to respond in keeping with your brand philosophy. If someone sends an email, respond immediately. Your attention to detail and to individual customers can make or break your business.

Tip # 5: Own Your Mistakes

There are some examples of complete social media marketing fails. Companies might not realize the seriousness of a situation or fail to read the underlying tones in a post. If you post something that offends or otherwise angers your audience, immediately own the mistake. Don’t make excuses. Apologize and make it up to your readers the best you can and move on. Brands can recover from being insensitive as long as they don’t double down on the error.

Brand Is Everything

Remember that marketing, whether online or off, needs to reflect your goals as a company and take into account who your typical customer is. If you are hosting a paint and sip event, you might want to offer relaxation tips for busy moms and then post that you’re offering a class for moms to have a night out. If you’re promoting a cooking event, then you will definitely want to post on sites where people search for recipes and cooking tips, such as Pinterest.

It’s easy to lose sight of who your typical customer is in the big World Wide Web. However, with a bit of planning and a narrow focus, you can get organized and keep your marketing in line with your overall goals for your business.