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Your Optics Could Hinder Your Business

 

“Your premium brand had better be delivering something special or it’s not going to get the business.” – Warren Buffett

Entrepreneurs and business owners continuously seek proven strategies and opportunities to increase revenue and enhance profitability. For many business owners, securing and retaining customers remain significant challenges each year.  Although there are numerous opportunities to modify and refine your products and services, as well as your customer communications, operational considerations are usually the primary focus of most companies’ improvement efforts.

Often, entrepreneurs present unprofessional and unfavorable optics—how they visually present their brand—to their current and potential customers.  These entrepreneurs unknowingly do considerable harm to their long-term success and their ability to drive revenue growth. There are significant opportunities to make a positive, immediate and sustainable impact on your business in this area.

In today’s globally competitive and crowded marketplace, the ability to stand out from your competitors, to convey your value proposition effectively, and to command the attention of high-value, purchase-ready customers requires a clear, concise and actionable breakout brand strategy.

In my view, a breakout brand is customer-centered, forward–focused and imaginative. It builds a company’s credibility, visibility and reputation for quality that contributes to the organization’s financial viability. Breakout brands provide impact in the marketplace, build trust and evoke an emotional attachment within customers.

Although you may provide exceptional products and services, the impact of an unprofessional brand on your company’s customer acquisition, revenue generation and profitability can be devastating.  An unprofessional brand can mean you are frequently overlooked or excluded from business opportunities as customers devalue, downgrade, or dismiss your capabilities, products or services.

Many brand detractors and value inhibitors yield unintended consequences for business owners. The most frequent of these brand busters include:

  • Using free e-mail addresses available from Google, Yahoo! and similar providers for business purposes.
  •  Purchasing a website domain name and setting up an e-mail address without creating a professional website.
  •  Creating “homemade” collateral materials, such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, brochures, and flyers.
  •  Employing a one-size-fits-all approach with regard to customer acquisition, marketing and business strategy.

It’s time for a reality check. Examine your business from your customers’ viewpoint, as Jim Joseph wrote in his recent article, “Experience Your Brand from Your Customers’ Perspective,” on entrepreneur.com.

Also, use our free brand assessment tool for solopreneurs and employer firms to evaluate your ability to create, articulate, manage, promote and advance your company’s brand.

Your brand is a critically important asset—one that requires your attention—because it supports the successful growth or launch of your business.  The time and resources you invest in it will yield results.

This post originally appeared on Breakout Blog.

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Renée T. Walker, APR

Renée is an accomplished strategist, consultant, speaker, entrepreneur, author, business and executive coach, and accredited public relations executive. She has nearly 30 years of strategic communications experience—including brand, public relations, crisis, reputation, public affairs, marketing and higher education—across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She is the author of Brand Power for Small Business Entrepreneurs: Breakout Brand, Positioning, and Profit Strategies to Drive Revenue Growth. For more information, visit reneetwalker.com or breakoutbrandstrategies.com.

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