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Agents: Whats in your Brand?

By David Goodwin, Principal and Co-Founder, ATC

As an independent agent, have you ever felt overpowered when calling on an enterprise customer or prospect? For example, how does your brand stack up against Sprint, Verizon or AT&T, to name a few? While no independent agent is going to have the brand recognition as the providers referenced above, there are ways to improve your companys brand image in your niche market. So the question is, What are you doing to improve your companys brand?

We hear all the time just how important branding is, but it does not always find its way to the top of the priority list for some independent agents. While you may be able to get by when dealing with smaller customers, how do you get your foot in the door when moving upstream to larger, enterprise-type organizations? Of course relationships are important, but some customers want the warm and fuzzy feeling of a big name or brand.

So, how do you go about building your brand? It starts with a consistent message. Some areas that you can focus on would include: the company Web site, marketing material/collateral and company logo. Articles that youve written and press releases are also a great way to increase brand awareness.

While business cards may have been an afterthought in the past, you would be remiss if you didnt incorporate them into your overall marketing strategy. Dont leave the back blank. Utilize this space to further cement your companys message. Taking it a step further, your e-mail signature, phone greeting and on-hold message should also be included. Basically, any interaction that you have with your customers, or that your customers could have with your organization, needs to be portraying the brand.

In a recent Business Courier, marketing experts Matthew Fenton and David Wecker state, Your brand is not the name on your sign or your letterhead; its every action you take, big or small, that creates an experience or a perception for your customers. Put another way your brand is everything you do.

When addressing all of these opportunities with consistency, you should find that your companys brand recognition will begin to emerge. In my experience, an emerging, well-defined brand will allow you to swim upstream with the largest of companies.

David Goodwin co-founded Advanced Technology Consulting Inc. (ATC) in 1999 to introduce a new approach to selecting, managing and optimizing telecommunications services. He leveraged more than a decade of experience at Cable & Wireless where he learned all aspects of the telecom industry and earned national awards for his performance.


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