4 Steps to Hone Your Brand with Sharp On Hold Messaging
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Think for a minute about where you do most of your consuming. When you have a cup of coffee in your hands, is it Starbucks, Dunkin, or a local shop? You’re getting new boots and a jacket to go to the jobsite – what name springs to mind, Dickies, Carhart, or something else? Coke or Pepsi? Be honest with yourself, you drink one or the other – unless you drink RC, in which case you probably aren’t drinking the other two. Every brand you choose in this little experiment has succeeded in becoming your brand. You, as the consumer, identify with the brand, even though what got you there was the product. That fact played a major role in almost destroying Coca-cola, by the way.
As a business owner, you need to accomplish the same thing with your brand. You need people to see something and identify with it and identify it with you. You can offer terrific deals on high-quality products and excellent service… and so can everybody else. Among the businesses you are in competition with, the person who succeeds in making people identify those qualities with his brand is going to dominate the market.
See how important branding is?
1. Learn Your Market to Find Your Brand
Here’s a secret, though: you don’t need a massive marketing budget and fancy advertising campaigns or even a particularly eye-catching logo to brand your business successfully. Everybody knows the sign that indicates the men’s room. It eliminates the need for writing out the words on a door – put little stick figure guy or on a door, bingo! Everybody knows what’s behind door number one. Put a triangle on top of that figure to look like a stick figure girl and now you’ve got two symbols that tell everybody what they need to know without writing a single word.
That’s all a brand is: a symbol. With audio branding, it’s a sound that sums up your entire business. Do you have a storefront? Waiting room? Lobby? If you own a business phone system, you can’t answer “no” to those questions – and if you say “yes”, you probably forgot that you have more than one. Callers waiting on hold are standing in your lobby, they’re looking at your store front, they’re sitting in your waiting room. That’s where you put your branding.
But to do that you need to know them. Think about your callers – what kind of person already identifies with your business? You know most of your regulars, you see them and speak with them almost every day. You know some of the customers who drop by once in a while – you don’t know their name but you’ve seen them before. What ties all these people together – besides using your products or services. If you have such a diverse clientele that you truly can’t say what unites them, then what about your products or services draws them to you. That’s your brand.
2. Establish Consistency that Grabs Customer Attention
Branding succeeds or fails on consistency. Coca-cola changed its logo alone a dozen times over its 125-year history. You’d never guess it, because aside from their logo in 1890, when they were still finding their brand, it’s had one consistent element: the signature cursive font. If you find a core element – a phrase, a genre of music, a particular voice – that you can keep consistent, you’ve found the way you can represent your brand just as well as Coke has.
Of course, Coke has struck some other genius moves with their branding – the invention of Fanta, for example, so they could keep selling their products in occupied Europe during the War. Knowing your market and responding to what grabs customers’ attention makes the difference between your brand just being a logo and being your whole company. In the realm of using On Hold Messaging to do branding, it has to be more, because there is no logo.
3. Keep Your Customers Attention
You can come up with a lot of different kinds of messaging for your customers, but everything depends on who they are and who you are. Hire professional copy-writers, but make sure they also take the time to get to know you and your business. The worst kind of messaging is one-size-fits-all, [insert product name here] sort of copy. It’s lazy, and it undermines your branding.
Consistency plays a big role in branding, but do you know who else concerns themselves with consistency? Painters and wallpaper hangers. Do you enjoy staring at the paint you just applied to a wall? We didn’t think so. Consistency does not – and cannot – mean monotony. Otherwise, instead of marketing your business, your branding will actively hurt you. Good branding maintains a theme while offering occasional and clear updates.
4. Maintain a Strategy of Messaging
This is the key step for any successful marketing campaign, especially a brand, which itself represents a constant, never-ending marketing campaign. You need a strategy, and you need someone who knows On Hold Marketing to help you develop it. How long or short your messages are, how loud your music is, what kind of music sounds good over phone lines… all of those are questions best left to the professionals. After all, you’ve got a business to run!
When you look for an on hold message provider, go with an On Hold Marketing provider that knows how to use your messages to sell your brand. Keep in touch with them, and make sure they keep in touch with you. It will make all the difference between whether you become an identity for your customers or whether you’re just another business in the swiftly aging Yellow Pages.
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