Times have changed. COVID-19’s arrival has had a huge impact on how businesses engage with their customers. Exhibitions are out, conferences are out, networking events exist on video but are tough to make workable, meeting existing customers is again via video, meeting target customers is very difficult. Manufacturing companies or other companies that are operating on location are strict on access, they cannot afford a COVID-19 outbreak in their business. It is tough enough without – and even with a vaccine, will it ever return to how it was before the pandemic?
What all this means is the most common form of communicating with customers and target customers is online. It is your sales team, your exhibition stand, your conference presentation, your breakfast briefing. It is replacing all of your human-to-human interaction at this time, and likely to be a greater influence even after the pandemic.
When you combine the pandemic scenario with the fact that more and more target customers want to enable themselves rather than be sold to, your online tools are vital to success in the sales cycle.
Your visual brand is how you are first perceived online
So why talk about the visual brand? Your brand is how you are perceived by your customers, and It can be affected by many things. Your brand is influenced by the quality of your products or services that your customer experiences, the actions of your team, the innovation that you utilise, how responsive your company is, there are many more examples – but one key area that affects your brand is your visual brand. It is the tip of the iceberg that everyone sees first, if your business is new to that target customer, your visual brand is how you are judged first. It is normally the most cost-effective part of your brand to improve.
Does your branding do your company justice?
Many manufacturing and technical organisations have a brand that does not do them justice. If your brand looks like it is outdated, looks unprofessional or looks like a second thought, then it is likely they will judge the rest of the company to be the same. You will be compared with your competition. Is your brand highlighting high quality and innovation? Does your brand portray you can cope with complicated or large orders/projects? If your brand is created internally, it is likely to look that way – are you a technical brand specialist organisation?
Your brand should help generate sales – even in a technical world
Your visual brand should open doors, keep doors open (and make them larger), enhance the value and expertise in the business, state quality and innovation, beat and differentiate from the competition, be a brand that your staff are proud of.
In a digital time, your branding must extend from your website (shop window) outwards, including LinkedIn, webinars, downloads, sales tools, infographics (that help with fast customer enablement), photography, videography and animation, email signatures, press releases and more. Consistency is vital to portray quality and professionalism.
Positioning your technical and industry knowledge effectively
In many customer organisations that we deal with, we have the privilege of working alongside some excellent specialists in their world, from cyber security to rail electrification to civil engineering and fluid dynamics. The key is highlighting that technical industry knowledge effectively to their target customers, making sure they know that working with our customer organisations will benefit their business. The visual brand is a key foundation element in making that process happen.
If you are questioning if your brand is delivering what it should for your business please talk to us, we have specific processes for brand evaluation.
For some examples of brands we have developed (including example infographics), please view some of our customer projects. Not all customer projects are on the site, so please contact us if you have a specific industry area of interest.