Is the Reputation of Your Small Business Dragging Your Sales Down?

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When most people start their businesses, they focus on how they will market the product, their target demographic and related issues. However, very few people think about branding. Few people understand what branding really entails and how the image their business is showing to the public could be affecting their sales. Here are some aspects of branding that you need to think about and how they can improve your business sales.

The Informed Consumer

Marketing has become very challenging. Today’s consumer is not like the consumers who existed a few decades ago. In the past, it was the role of the brand to tell the consumer what to like and why they should like it. However, in the current marketplace, you cannot simply start prescribing products to your customers. They are in a position to find out whether everything about the product aligns with their needs, wants, and beliefs.

Today’s consumer, especially those who fall into the millennial age bracket, is very discerning. They want to know who you are, what your company stands for and supports, and if you’re to be trusted. In regards to company reputation, Podium explains, “3.3 stars, on average, is the minimum star rating of a business consumers would consider engaging with.” For instance, you are a restaurant, they will want to know whether your food is organic or not. They also want to know where your food is from. Do you support local farmers and ranchers? How processed is your food? They may look up your business or company and see how people feel about them, and if there has ever been a problem with your product. They’ll look into if you have vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, low carb, or other food options. Understanding the information that clients want is a key strategy for getting business from this demographic.

Selling More Than Just Products

If you want to have an emotional connection with your consumers, you need to realize that there is more to the sales process than getting them to buy goods or services from you. With the advent of digital channels of communications, it is quite easy to run your PR campaigns and make sure that the right image is being projected to the consumer.

You need to have a sound CSR and CSI strategy, and you need to ensure that you talk about the initiatives you have taken part in as much as you can. NGO Pulse explains, “A public and high profile approach to CSI has distinct advantages. If you donate or give to those in need in a way that can’t be exploited or altered like in physical goods, it looks very good. When things are done in the public domain, the public tends to notice and that is a good thing.” Use your social media channels as a platform to show people what you do to add value to people’s lives. When you start showing consumers that you care about their welfare, you start boosting their brand love, and they will put your brand in a ‘good place’ inside their minds.

Customer Relations

Getting a customer to buy goods or products from you the first time is easy. The most difficult part is treating the customer well so that they can come back for the same product or service a second time. Investing in CRM and gathering the data that will help guide your future campaigns is the first step. If you want customer mentality toward your product to be positive, you need to think about each step of the sales process. Make sure that your customer support staff is trained to engage the customers in a positive manner and ensure that all their needs are met. If you operate a home-based business, then virtual office space can help you present a professional image. Davinci explains, “small, valuable businesses can compete with corporate competitors at a level they’ve never been able to reach before thanks to the evolution of traditional offices.” Holding business meetings in person can go a long way toward delivering meaningful customer service.

These are some of the simple steps that you can take to make sure that the image of your business in the mind of the consumer is a good one. Other things that might help improve the image of your business include overt and covert PR campaigns. These could be in the form of social media or print ads.

 

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