Think back to your company mission statement (if you don’t have one, then think about why you started the company and what value you bring to the table). Look at your sales collateral. Read your web copy.
Does it all reflect how you want people to think about your company? And does it reflect what your company is today?
You may have refined your message since you created your mission statement, logo, and website, as you became more targeted in your pursuit of clients. You discovered your company’s strengths and the unique place it fills in the marketplace. Your brand has evolved.
Guess what? So has the way brands communicate to their intended audience. It’s time to evaluate how you outreach, engage, and inspire your clientele and ultimately, secure their business well into the future.
As you embark on a new marketing strategy with a focus on content, you will need to determine if it is time to re-define your brand or re-brand altogether.
As you explore this opportunity and determine your path, make sure that all the elements that go into your brand reflect who you are as a company and what sets you apart in an industry that is getting more saturated and competitive every day.
Does Your Brand Reflect Who You Are?
Let’s go back to Braun’s description of branding: “[Branding is] the look and feel and voice of a company or organization that transfers into people’s experiences and perceptions of the company or organization itself.”
How is your company perceived? And what are you doing to steer people’s perceptions—and actions—in a way that’s beneficial to your bottom line?
With so many new integration firms out there, it’s incredibly important for small integrators, especially, to present themselves professionally. No one is questioning the big guys who do multiple six-figure installations each month.
But for small-to-mid-size integrators, presentation is crucial and can mean the difference between winning bids or not. This includes showing up in a clean vehicle, wearing clothing appropriate for the task at hand and providing professionally prepared and presented proposals, with timely follow-up and follow-through.
Your “presentation” is reflected in the way your installers take off their shoes or put on shoe covers when they enter a client’s home and the way your project manager and team treats the other trades with respect.
It means having estimates and purchase orders available with one click so orders are never late or lost. It means having a website optimized for mobile and desktop viewers. It means acting consistently with your company branding from the moment you engage with a prospect or client.
And in today’s multimedia, content-hungry world, AV integrators also have a unique opportunity to brand their companies through content, to present themselves as utmost professionals and to increase their visibility in the marketplace so clients and prospects alike will notice and say, “These guys care. They are conscientious. They are professional. I want to do business with them.”
Where to Find Content
We’re hearing more and more about the importance of content marketing in our industry. Tom Leblanc recently wrote a piece for Commercial Integrator about how to garner media coverage while taking charge of your own message by creating the content yourself. But how?
One of the most common questions people ask writers is “Where do you get your ideas?”
It’s a tough one to answer, because most writers get their ideas in a million places, and they aren’t even really sure how this sum-total of life experiences, stories they read and hear and random thoughts churning in their mind make the leap to “ideas.”
Fortunately, for content marketers, the answer is a little bit easier to pinpoint:
- Your projects
- Your customers
- Your expertise
Notice I said “Your” in every single case. “Your” may be you, specifically, or someone else in your organization, or a team of people who understand your company and your market. It is, however, important to be authentic in your efforts.