Think about those brands that you buy from again and again, maybe even on a daily basis. Do you grab your coffee from the same place every morning on your way to work? When you travel, do you book flights on the same airline? Or, maybe you always look to the same car manufacturer when you need to purchase a new vehicle.
What motivates you to become loyal to a particular brand in the first place? It could be something tangible, like the taste, smell or fit of a certain product. Perhaps it’s reliability. Maybe it’s safety or convenience. But oftentimes, it’s the company’s values that generate loyalty.
Take American Express, for example. According to the company’s website, its mission is “to be the world’s most respected service brand. To do this, we have established a culture that supports our team members, so they can provide exceptional service to our customers.”
Instead of spouting off a list of meaningless words, American Express quickly articulates that its team members form the core of the company’s values. Think about what you, and undoubtedly countless others, want in a job: a workplace environment that you love, where you are friendly with your team members and which offers a flexible work-life balance. When employees feel wholly satisfied on the job, those same people will easily become your most loyal brand ambassadors. Their word-of-mouth marketing is a coup for your Co.!
The best brands—big or small—aim to connect with their customers (and employees) while offering a superior experience. This can be achieved through strategic marketing, whether via email, direct mail, newsletters, television, mobile or another channel. But first, you need to determine your vision! After all, you can’t give directions without a destination.
Begin by brainstorming what you envision the future of your company will look like one, five, even 10 years down the road. Ask yourself these questions: How big is your organization? Why should people care about what you do? How, specifically, do you measure success?
Once you’ve gotten your creative juices flowing, jot down your ideas and share them with other company execs and board members. When a cohesive vision has been reached, keep the document close and revisit monthly. Ideally, a few years down the road, you should review your marketing plans from the past several years to determine what has worked and what can be changed.