Your company’s brand is a priceless treasure that you need to protect at all costs.
In a time of diminished consumer confidence and increased choices, buyers have more and more reasons to seek services elsewhere — and companies have more customer touchpoints to cover.
Every transaction leaves an impression that you may never be able to change. A single negative transaction can destroy your brand and a chance of a relationship, making brand trust the crucial element between consumer and company.
That trust, fostered through positive consumer relationships, can help companies stand apart and differentiate themselves from competitors.
A study by Adobe showed that brand trust resulted in 71% more purchases, along with more recommendations and positive comments. Faithful use of data is a key to maintaining that trust.
On the flip side, customers who lost confidence in a brand were liable to stop purchasing from the company. Common behaviors that turn off customers include unwanted tracking and excessive messaging.
Sales and Marketing Efforts in Alignment
“The branding ballgame has changed,” author and futurist Ben Lytle wrote in “The Potentialist: Your Future in the New Reality of the Next Thirty Years.”
“A brand mindset accepts that, like it or not, our brand opens or closes doors to relationships. Relationships were the foundation of business and life success long before the cloud, but the cloud exponentially expands the number of possible relationships we can form and the speed at which they can be created or destroyed.”
In the coming years, sales and marketing efforts are going to become more and more aligned and customer-centric, which will make companies much stronger at closing deals.
“Sales data can give marketing insight into customer pain points, which can be preemptively addressed with prospects via awareness campaigns,” Joe Cumello, SVP and CMO for Ciena, wrote in Fast Company in a July 2022 essay.
“At the same time, marketing data on how a lead has interacted with the brand can give sales a head start on the best approach to engage a particular customer type.”
Consumers Demand More
That alignment of sales and marketing is especially crucial in helping brands establish competitive advantages as consumers demand even more of the brands they choose to support.
As Anna Madill, CEO of the B-Corp digital marketing agency Avenue, describes it, “Gone are the days of shiny, feel-good ‘cause marketing’ campaigns, now a prerequisite, and here to stay are the days where brands are held accountable to living their values, walking the talk through their actions and committing to purpose-driven impact every single day.”
Madill highlighted three components to building a durable brand promise: values, action and impact.
A Level Playing Field
Falling short on one or more basic brand promises can be devastating for companies.
“Consumers react by not buying the product again. They give poor online ratings and tell others about it,” Lytle wrote in “The Potentialist.” “People express dissatisfaction the same way in interpersonal relationships, but we often never know exactly what went wrong.”
Consumers have more and more information at their fingertips. And the availability of information means companies need to keep evolving and fostering their brand.
“The shift of power from brands to consumers, and from uninformed to fully informed, has truly leveled the playing field. What’s changed? Everyone has a voice, and the strongest brands of tomorrow will be the ones that listen, inspire and engage. The brands that shout the loudest because they have the largest budget will not always be guaranteed success — and to millennials, that seems fair,” marketing guru Jeff Fromm wrote in an online essay.
While loudness can work in getting attention, brand trust and authenticity, fostered by an alignment of sales and marketing, are more effective in keeping attention. Because If you don’t define your company’s brand, others are liable to do it for you.