The interesting thing, however, is that most companies don't actually know what their brand means to their customers.
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"Your self-image of your brand will be wrong," he said. He gave the example of a company that thought its customers went there for the customer service, but when they surveyed their customers, they found that they liked the company because of its big parking lots. The marketing people were obviously disappointed.
Asking customers is the quickest way to determine how they view your brand. But an internal discussion on the topic is also warranted, Marks said. He offered these questions as a starting point:
- If your brand was a car, what would it be?
- If your brand was a party, what kind of people would attend?
- What is your brand promise? What is your minimum guarantee, and how do you measure your performance?
Another way to determine how people view your brand? Google yourself. And join social media sites like LinkedIn and forums where your customers will likely be sharing recommendations on where to buy.
But if you do nothing else, set a Google Alert for your company name. This will send you a daily email showing you what has been posted on the web about your company. I have set up many Google Alerts for most distribution companies to ensure I don't miss anything. It's easy to set up: Just go to www.google.com/alerts.
Here's an article from the MDM Archives on branding: Build Your Brand, Build Your Future