Are you in the area of field service? Do you dispatch technicians, manage call outs, and organize schedules? You might not believe me, but businesses like yours already have a leg up when it comes to brand strategy.
Brand strategy for field service
No, really. I know you’re not Apple or HP, but hear me out.
Brand image, branding and brand strategy are all ways of describing the process of how you communicate your product or service. It’s the how, what, when, and to whom of your brand communications and, if it’s done right, will lead to consumers thinking you’re more than worth the price they pay for your services – and what business wouldn’t want that?
So how do businesses that operate in the field already have a leg-up? Well, as I see it, it’s thanks to the fact that brand image is about service, not product. Sure, a shiny new gadget makes it easy to get customers through the door, but what keeps them coming back is the service they receive while they’re there, and the impression that they take away – not the product. So how does it help when your business model is light on shiny gadgets? Your businesses are already 100% service, day in and day out. You’ve got the advantage because you’ve been playing the game without even knowing it!
You already know how to keep customers happy, because return customers, the ones who call you first when they have a problem or idea, are your lifeblood. You already work on your brand strategy, each and every day, by simply showing up and doing what you do. You’re pros! All you need to do now is rein it in, and pin it down, because brand strategy can be a pretty wild and mysterious beast.
If you’re already a successful business, chances are that your brand image is already positive. Now make it stays that way, and scales with the growth of the business, by actually writing it down and making it work for you. Here’s how:
Brand strategy basics for field service providers – HVAC, telecoms, security, maintenance, and more
# Assess what you’ve got
Sit down and try to figure out why your customers keep coming back (hint: you want no. 6!). Sure, it might be because you sell aircon units, and it gets really hot in summer, but that’s why they want aircon, not why they want you!
# Figure out your strengths
What does your company pride itself on? What do you value above all else in business strategy and in your people? What do you tell new recruits on their first day, what motivational posters do you pin up in the cafeteria? Have you won awards? What for? What do people talk about in their online reviews and testimonials about your company?
# Don’t get overwhelmed
People get VERY ambitious when it comes to branding. Some companies can afford to (hello Apple!), but it’s important not to get overwhelmed by the bumph that marketers throw around in articles and online guides. You don’t need to know what your customers want before they do – or, more accurately, you do, but not with any mystical fortune-telling skills. Just get to know your customer. Once you know the customer like a friend, you’ll automatically know what will make them happy, and by doing what makes them happy, you’ll find yourself in an excellent position for positive branding.
# Don’t force, mold
Once you’ve gathered what you’ve got and what you’re aiming for, measured the distance between the two, and added in what you think you can to to improve it, you’ve got yourself a brand strategy. The important thing here, however, is to work with what you have, molding it and encouraging it among your business initiatives and employees.
Harsh changes – and hopefully they won’t be necessary – will upset the status quo. And while a little bit of “disruption” keeps things fresh, too much will make employees miserable. Encourage them to feel like stakeholders in the strategy, to take pride in your brand image. Almost everyone, whether old-timer or millennial, loves to be able to say they’re proud of the company they work for. Leverage that.
# Do it from the get go
While existing employees need gentle molding, you can be far more upfront with new hires. Make sure recruiters are crystal clear on your new, explicit brand strategy, and hire accordingly. Even if you do the recruiting yourself, consider getting some HR advice to make sure your interview technique is right for filtering the candidates that will do you proud.
Feel more confident about developing a brand strategy? If you’ve got any questions, send us a Tweet!
Header image thanks to Alexandre Normand – does your brand make your customers just as happy?!
Article originally published on Aug 17, 2015.