If someone like me is trying to help an organization stand out, should I move outside the limits of traditional design and marketing? Is helping clients achieve clear, consistent, and unified branding enough? And even if a firm’s brand is well done, what else is the company doing to go beyond it? How are they working to stand out from their competitors by building a better experience for their customers?
What are they currently doing to differentiate themselves from the competition especially with all stages of client interaction? Are they thinking about all they can do to create an even better client experience? Are they questioning all assumptions?
For your company to stand out, you should work to make your clients happier—start by questioning every step of customer interaction.
Effective branding extends into the “customer” realm. Questioning all assumptions—in every level of customer engagement—is part of that.
Is a first connection with a prospect as helpful, welcoming, and straightforward as it could and should be? And if a client hires said firm, does this model—providing them with the best possible experience—extend further? Is keeping them as a satisfied, long-term client as important as winning their business?
If you’re thinking about this for your company, answer the following…
- How do you find a potential customer?
- How do potential customers find you?
- How does your company show exactly why a prospect should hire you?
- How does the competition do it?
You should take a close look at this first level of interaction—where you are trying to convince an ideal prospect to hire your firm.
This process is all about questioning the usual way you’ve been dealing with prospects and customers, every step of the way.
- What about client reports, meetings, and billing?
- Does your firm charge an hourly rate? Is this best for your customers?
- Are you looking for better, more efficient means of keeping your clients updated throughout the experience?
So, how does your company stand out? (Stop talking, start showing.)
Brand differentiation is a hot topic in the B2B world, but not many organizations go over and above their talking points to real-world action; to stop talking and start showing customers why they are different.
You could start this process by assessing how your company is now serving customers, implode the process and start afresh. Commit to doing at least one thing in a completely different way for your most valuable asset—your customers.
Enter the Loyalty Loop.
My friend, Andrew Davis, often talks about the Loyalty Loop. His three loyalty loop secrets are…
1. Finding the experience holes.
2. Starting with existing customers.
3. Leveraging outside influences to guide the Loyalty Loop.
His case studies help define what I’m trying to express here.
Standing out goes beyond branding.
I help companies clarify their branding, yes, but I work to help them accomplish even more—to have a deeper awareness of the total client experience they create, what they can do to make it better, tell that story, and detail it in their branding.
This “beyond branding” process is how marketing professionals and the companies we serve can work to both help our customers and stand out in our respective industries.
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