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First impressions are important for everyone – including businesses. However, unlike meeting someone in person, an individual can form an opinion of a business based on anything from advertising to how the receptionist answers the phone. In an interconnected world, how does a business manage its reputation?

Brand identity is not what your company writes down on a piece of paper. It’s the collective perception of your company, name, and mission that an audience recognizes. Price, quality, and service all factor into brand identity and building loyalty. Building a positive brand identity means controlling first impressions and subsequent interactions as much as possible. Make sure your company is sending the right message with these tips:

  1. Discover your company’s voice – A brand has a personality, just like a person. Companies that recognize their brand’s personality and use its voice to control interactions can build a strong and recognizable brand identity. Is your brand formal and professional? Or more laid back and inviting? Use language and imagery that matches your company and your audience.

  2. Hire individuals who understand your vision – Everyone at your company from the file clerks to the call representatives should feel included in a brand’s mission. Hire people who want to work with a team of people to forward the mission of a company, not those who are just looking for a job, and you’ll have the best sales tool of all. The right human capital can make every campaign your business takes on more effective.

  3. Celebrate often – If human capital is a key to controlling customer perceptions, then keeping up morale in the office is incredibly important. Use positive interactions to encourage employees to engage similarly with customers. Reward employees who exceed expectations and make team efforts and friendly competition a fun part of the workplace.

With the right attitude, management can mold a team that speaks honestly and positively about their company and products. People can sense smiling through the phone, so encourage happiness in your call representatives to make that smile come through for a great first impression.

  1. Watch online engagement – Today, businesses have to be concerned with more than what they post online. Employee comments, customer reviews, and independent website commentary can all affect brand identity. Invest in online reputation management and react quickly to address any inconsistencies with the image you want to project. Develop a comprehensive online policy for employee online behavior, and regularly update websites and social media sites to stay engaged with the community.

  1. Use reliable telecommunications services – When someone calls a company, they automatically expect that the interaction will be facilitated by a strong connection. A dropped call should be the last thing that a call representative has to worry about during a chat. Booth offers reliable, scalable communication solutions that businesses can customize to fit their goals, and prevent personal calls from being confused with business calls.

  2. Focus on content – Marketing content may be the first impression your audience has of your brand. Carefully craft all blog articles, website language, product descriptions, and social media interactions to reflect your brand’s voice and mission. Spend time building content repositories online that hold a real value proposition for your customer base. Use your industry expertise to answer common questions, address current trends, and make your brand identity stronger. Use infographics, video, and interactive designs to make content more shareable.

  3. Develop a mobile presence – Many individuals use their smartphones and tablets to do purchasing research. If your company is not well-represented on a mobile device, it may preclude you from a sale. Invest in responsive web design that makes your brand look great and easy to read on a mobile device.

  4. Dress the part – Use your brand’s personality to come up with an appropriate dress code for your business. The days of strict business attire making or breaking a deal are over in some industries. Depending on your audience, you may be able to encourage more creativity in clothing or need to err on the side of conservativism. Many businesses fluctuate between casual and business dress depending on the day’s agenda. Think about the first impression your clothing will make to find the right balance.

  5. Invest in customer relations classes – Everyone who engages with your customer base should use body language, verbal interactions, and an attitude that conveys your brand message. Initial classes and refresher courses can serve as good reminders of how a brand representative should come across to prospects during meetings, phone calls, and online interactions.

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Josh Christy

Founder of Booth, passionate about helping to grow businesses that matter.