4 Steps on Your Journey to an Enlightened Brand
December 13, 2018
Customers, partners, and prospects come in contact with your brand on a daily basis in dozens of different ways. These areas of contact are called ‘brand touchpoints’ and should be managed as aggressively as you would manage any other marketing tactic – this is the process of brand development.
Because there are literally dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of points of interaction for your business (both internally and externally), capturing them all on paper can be a daunting task. However, it is paramount to the success of your brand that you take special care in analyzing both current and potential touchpoints. It’s not a quick journey by any means, but you can get through it by following these four steps.
1. Internal Touchpoint Review
The internal review of your brand touchpoints should involve employees from every department of your company – sales, accounting, customer service, management, HR, etc. By including these individuals from the beginning, you’ll get better understanding, “buy-in”, and assistance when it comes time to implement your plan.
Sit down with the department representatives and ask about their processes and how they come in contact with other people on the job, keeping in mind to consider both internal and external transactions. For instance, if you are sitting down with a person from the accounting department, you may ask questions like:
- How do we bill our clients?
- How long does it take?
- How do we accept payments?
- What do our invoices look like?
- How do we handle billing discrepancies?
- How do we handle vendor relationships?
- How do we work with the sales department?
At first glance these may seem to be purely operational in nature and bear no effect on your overall brand, but each one of these processes leads to the perception of your company, and may help/hinder your ability to deliver your brand promise. By reviewing every touchpoint, department by department, we can become acutely aware of these interactions and make educated decisions regarding their importance and priority in our brand development plan.
2. External Touchpoint Review
In this step, ask your prospects, loyal customers and lost customers what is important to them. Finding out what matters to each of these groups helps you further refine your touchpoint plan.
- From loyal customers, you can find out what won them over and keeps them coming back.
- From future customers, you find out what factors they are considering while choosing a brand – this includes things that your competition is doing.
- From lost prospects, you gain insight into the things you are doing wrong that made them choose against your brand.
3. Touchpoint Priority Chart
Once the touchpoints have been collected from the first two steps, you should begin the prioritization process. Rank each of the touchpoints in four main areas – your ability to improve, cost, amount of improvement needed, and level of importance to the overall business objectives.
4. Plan & Execution
By now you know what touchpoints your company has, and what level of importance they hold in your current and future business goals. The key now is to determine a plan of action.
- Don’t try to act on every touchpoint at once; It’s an impossible task. Pick a few that you can easily manage, measuring your progress before, during and after your work.
- Delegate the appropriate parts of the plan to the members of your cross-functional team you assembled during the internal review. These people understand what you are doing, and can help you sell and implement your changes to their co-workers.
If you follow this process diligently and thoughtfully, your customers will notice significant differences in your efforts to better serve them before, during and after the sale…and that may just result in more ringing of the cash register!
Brant Kelsey is principal and founder of Kelsey Advertising & Design, a brand marketing and strategy firm in LaGrange, Georgia. He is a Certified Brand Strategist through the Brand Establishment. You can find Brant on Google+ and Twitter.