Whose Brand Are You Promoting?
In many businesses brand awareness can make or break you. A strong brand name can get you in the door, but preconceived ideas about that company can limit your growth. While a little known brand, new to the market might not have any history or exceptions associated with it.
So I ask, whose brand are you promoting? And, how is it affecting your business? If you are an independent contractor, are you promoting “Your Brand” or the company’s brand? Do you have a choice?
A case in point: What email address do you use? I’m probably not the first person who will start my research on you and your product by adding www to the @xyz.com part of your email address to learn about the company you are promoting.
Every time you send an email, you are pushing that company brand. Why aren’t you marketing yourself in place of that URL?
I’m floored when I see folks use emails like email@example.com, Why wouldn’t Bob set up his own email URL domain like Bob@bobscarpetandtile.com? Better yet, why use your company email as the gateway to you? Why not have all your emails go through your own account then forward to the company email address? It certainly would make it easier for you to change companies, it would ad some continuity to your business and give you control of your brand.
This works both ways. I’m equally floored to see the contact email address for the leasing person at a property as firstname.lastname@example.org. Where’s the logic there? Your residents are totally confused (What does a bassett hound have to do with this property?) There’s probably a hundred legal/liability reasons why this is poor practice. Think about it like this: What happens when Cindy quits and get’s hired at the property across the street? Don’t be surprised if most of your residents get emails from Cindy soliciting them with move-in specials.
Get your own branded emails. (Hint: Google Apps)
This leads to the associated issue of listing employee’s personal cell phones as contact numbers. It’s very easy to set up a system of automatic forwarding to employee’s cell phones. This makes for better tracking, easier break ups and continuity of the whole customer experience.
Take time to understand whose brand you are pushing, what the public sees and start implementing good practices.
As always, I’m open to your thoughts and comments.