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Choose Your Words Carefully… You’re Building a Brand

June 1, 2022
Keeping everyone on the same page with a company’s communications, goals, mission, and successes is critical, and supporting those responsible for customer interactions, ensures that brand standards are met.

Marketing is communication.
Your website = communication.
Your job ads = communication.
Your social media = communication.
Your emails = communication.
Your sales collateral = communication.
Your customer survey = communication.

Your marketing team likely has templates, a style guide, and/or a company glossary as well as prospect and customer personas to support all aspects of creating branded communications. They attend conferences like Content Marketing World and Social Media Marketing World to help them improve their techniques with planned communications (that is, content.) Some of them may have earned degrees in communications, marketing, or PR. Some of them might have attended copywriting classes.

But not all business communication is marketing. And your marketing team are not the only people in your organization communicating with your customers and prospects. Your HR people are communicating with potential and current employees. Your customer-service staff, your shipping department, and your purchasing department are all communicating to current customers. Your front desk staff and sales team are communicating to potential customers.

Any of the staff you have assigned to social media could be showcasing your company – negatively or positively – to potential and current customers. The people in your organization are building your brand – the solutions your company is known for – one interaction at a time.

How is your marketing department supporting these non-marketing communications – which after all are part of your brand’s presence? How strong is your internal marketing communications game?

Do you have a social media policy in place, and do you share it regularly with employees – not just when they are hired? (Because social media changes all the time and your policies will need to adapt.) Is the company mission presented in a way that employees can see and internalize it? Are managers giving positive feedback on good examples of on-brand communication within different divisions, such as customer service or purchasing? Does your training program include instruction in communication for front-line employees? Are your company templates (letterhead, PPT, email signature) and brand guide accessible to all employees who interact in writing with customers? Does your outgoing communication have a brand review checklist?

Are you certain your organization understands the communication program?  Silos are fine for rural landscapes and bad for maintaining a strong company brand. The easiest way to support your team to learn more about your brand – and the company’s expectations of brand representation – is to share pertinent information regularly, across the company. A few easy options for this include:
  Reporting on the customer satisfaction survey results;
  Sending a message out to front-line staff about major product changes, before they happen;
  Updating the customer service staff on changes to the website, promotions, current ads running, tradeshows the company may be attending, etc.;
  Including a customer success story or showcasing an on-brand customer interaction in the internal company newsletter;
  Sharing articles featuring the company with staff.

If these recommendations seem a little elementary, remember that the simple things are the easiest to overlook – as well as the easiest to fix. I’ve listened to front desk staff at multiple companies who do not know where on the company’s website a job applicant can find employment information. I’ve seen numerous sales staff create their own brand templates and collateral. I’ve received customer service and purchasing emails with a clear mis-match to website information on mission critical points. I notice these brand missteps – probably more than the average person – because these are communication touchpoints outside of marketing’s control for which the marketing staff could supply support.

The discipline of marketing is an internal practice as much it’s an external job. Keeping everyone on the same page with a company’s communications, goals, mission, and successes is critical to brand-building. Giving support to the company staff responsible for daily customer interactions ensures that the brand standards are met – and actually makes it easier for the marketers to be brand builders.

Alexandria Trusov is the Director of Marketing at Euthenia Manufacturing Group and a B2B marketing consultant to manufacturers and other B2B companies. Contact her at [email protected] or visit www.truinsightsconsulting.com.

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