Does your customer base recognize your brand?

Everyone knows that an apple with a bite out of it is the No. 1 tech company in the world.

The company paid a ton of cash to etch that brand in your mind. But let’s talk about the small to midsized business that has limited resources to create and maintain its brand. How does this company’s Web page look to a visitor to the site?

What about the vehicles that are delivering that company’s product or services to customers? What do all successful brands have in common?

In order to establish a presence in the consumer’s mind and attract and keep those customers, your brand must do the following:

Deliver a promise to your customer
Your brand at the most basic level is a promise to your customer. Most of the time, it also differentiates your products and services to those that your competition offers. Your brand is created by who you are, who you want to be and what people perceive your company to be.

Creates a consistent message
This includes consistency of images, color and logo on everything from the boxes your products ship in to your business cards, fleet of vehicles, website and the appearance of your team members.

Think for a second about a brand that defines a company’s message and falls short? Also, think about a brand that absolutely gets it right. The difference is often purpose and use, i.e. function.

Brand experience is well documented
Often, brands that are well-known and recognizable do the following: They define their brand as a journey, they think of every possible touchpoint that customers will have with the company and they make sure the experience is designed in a way to deliver the most spectacular experience possible.

Branding creates different meanings to your company’s customers. Professionals often say that your customers own your brand. This is important to remember as a small or midsized business owner. Your brand includes the graphics used on all of the company’s assets such as websites, products, vehicles, etc.

Effective companies are able to document the customer experience and create consistent messages and then follow through by actually delivering on the promise to their customer.

One simple, inexpensive and highly effective way to do this is using your fleet to promote your brand on a daily basis. Per the American Trucking Association, 91 percent of the public notices the words and pictures on fleet vehicles and 75 percent develop a favorable brand impression when vehicle graphics are used.

The good news is the cost to do vehicle graphics is the least expensive method of generating impressions per dollar.

When companies recognize the impact of color and the emotional impact of the products they manufacture, many businesses can stand out. The question is, are you one of them? ●

Dolf Kahle is CEO at Visual Marking Systems Inc.