When we think about branding we often think about it in terms of outward facing collateral such as a logo or a color pallet but branding is much more complex. While it may not be at the center of your focus as you go about the day to day of running your organization, having effective internal processes can play a major role in maintaining and strengthening your brand. If your organization is using poorly designed or outdated tools you will not be able to respond effectively to your clients. In general your clients won’t think about your struggles with processes when there is a delay or miscommunication and will develop a negative feeling about your brand. Consider the following areas when working towards putting your best foot forward and maintaining the excellence of your brand in your clients minds.

Contract Management

Contract management allows you to make sure that the contracts you have are not holding your brand back. Contract management affects both how those who you have contracts with see your brand as well as how effective those contracts are in communicating your brand to your client base. No organization wants to be seen as not being responsive because of issues with the timeliness of contracts. While what this management looks like will depend on your organization, for example healthcare contract management may look different from nonprofit contract management, there are several principles that everyone should implement. These include automating your contract management systems, standardizing processes across all contracts, optimizing security, organizing your system, and taking advantage of field specific contract management specialists. The better maintained your contracts are the better you will be able to connect with your client base.

Customer Relationship Management

Customers put a lot of emphasis on good customer relationships when making calculations on whether they feel you have a strong or weak brand. If customers do not feel heard or feel like you are not communicating changes in a timely manner they will tend to think less of your brand. You do not want a missed email or a change with no communication to possibly permanently affect your brand’s value to a customer or client. It is important that you prioritize Customer relationship management and have a point person to manage these relationships. Customer relationship management is not a process that you can do once and forget about. There needs to be a dynamic relationship if you hope to maintain your brand. When you are successful in maintaining these relationships you will gain brand loyalty which can last for years and can help your business thrive no matter what else is happening in the marketplace. 

Holistic view of branding

When thinking about branding it is important to take a holistic view. Branding is not solely  one thing or one method. Everything that goes on in your business combines into your brand. While many different moving pieces go into your brand there are also some branding methods that work for everyone such as balancing digital and non-digital communication, or regularly reviewing all your processes, procedures, and tools. For example the type of processes that work if you are a very small organization may no longer work and may allow things to slip through the cracks as you scale up your business. You should always be considering if what you are using still serves its purpose or if those processes, procedures, or tools are holding back your brand. 

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Building a brand starts by having the right tools and advice. Download our top 10 essential tools and resources to kick-start your branding.

In truth maintaining a brand takes a lot of energy and effort, and if you get distracted for a moment you may find your brand has been harmed in a way that will take even more energy and effort to fix. When thinking about your brand it is very important to remember all the sub-parts that go into it. Good branding involves good communication, control over contracts and customer relations, and thinking holistically. Your customers are not likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and will instead change their view of your brand very quickly. Knowing how important your brand is. make sure you take the time needed to make sure you are doing everything in your power to improve your brand at all times.

Posted by Steven

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