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Mark Ellis column: Company brand means more than a name

11:23 AM, Jul. 1, 2013  |  Comments
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Branding has replaced, or it should be stated, has taken its rightful place as the backbone of company success. Years past phrases such as sales driven or marketing would thought to be at the core of business growth.

The Business Dictionary defines branding as "The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers."

The latter statement of "to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers" is where I will focus my article on today.

When we break down all the tools provided in creating your brand that includes the mainstream forms of marketing your message from traditional forms of advertising to social media outlets, the one constant that is at the root of successful branding is your human element.

I have written on this before and it worth repeating. Your internal branding is the key your success of external branding. In other words, if your external marketing is working by driving new customers to your business you must be sure that the human element of all of your colleagues is in place to deliver on the messages that you put out.

Here is where some businesses fall short of expectation and scratch their heads when they see new traffic with fewer sales. It is most likely that your colleagues are not delivering that customer service your customers expect and deserve.

One example of investing in the human experience locally is with Festival Foods who just came to our hometown of Neenah. There are several quality grocery stores throughout the area. They all look clean and welcoming. All have specials that they market externally to get the consumer to shop their stores and my wife and I have shopped most of them from time to time.

A few months back we were told by several friends of the Festival Foods customer service experience they received and encourage us to try them. We did and found that old fashion customer service is alive and well at Festival Foods. The human experience we consistently receive every time we shop there is so refreshing.

From the moment we walk into the store, travel is aisle to check out, we are amazed that the consistency of friendliness from every employee. They truly work hard on making the shopping experience a pleasant one. And I know this doesn't by accident. Festival works very hard on consistent internal training and monitoring their colleagues on presenting the Festival brand and it shows.

I am not stating that other grocery stores are not striving for friendliness or helpfulness, but I have witnessed firsthand that Festival truly understands consistent customer service. That, along with all the marketing and advertising they do ensures repeat customers and enhances word of mouth marketing.

I have written in the past of other businesses that consistently deliver great customer service and Festival is now added to my list.

Having a strong brand message through marketing tools is always a goal to strive for. At the core of a strong brand messaging is the human element your colleagues delivering the message every moment.

- Mark Ellis owns Ellis Marketing and may be reached at pcbusiness

@postcrescent.com.

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