When a company is in the early stages of development, there are so many questions asked. Where will the company operate? Who will the company hire? Who will help the company raise the capital needed to get it off the ground? But here’s one of the most important questions that is often glossed over: What is the branding of the company going to look like?
A company’s brand is the story it tells, the things it believes in and how it conveys these beliefs to its customers. Branding is one of the most important ways in which a company can interact with its customers and stand out from its competitors. So how does branding work?
Establishing a brand means carefully selecting a company name, logo, colors and tone of voice. The company should then use that brand consistently across all materials, including printed marketing materials, digital websites and social media, as well as when speaking with customers. Inconsistent brand usage, such as using varying colors, logos or taglines, can create confusion in the market. Customers will wonder if they are actually interacting with the company they intended to contact.
Companies can recover from using inconsistent branding, though. According to a survey conducted by Lucidpress and Demand Metric, companies who had such issues saw their revenue increase by an estimated 23 percent on average once they began presenting their brand consistently.
Co-branding with professional organizations
Co-branding is a strategy that involves using one or more additional brands to highlight the superiority of a company. For example, many companies highlight their National Pest Management Association (NPMA) memberships and QualityPro accreditation to show involvement with the pest management industry and demonstrate meeting national, third party standards for professionalism.
QualityPro sets the standards of excellence for professional pest management companies and their employees through education, training and certification, which provides consumers with protection and confidence when selecting a nationally accredited company. For QualityPro accredited companies to effectively communicate this prestigious credential to current and prospective customers, a clear and consistent brand voice and image is crucial. That’s why QualityPro has created a brand guide to raise the level of professionalism in the pest management industry to the highest standard and to foster a sense of authority, trust and excellence.
While companies are not required to co-brand with QualityPro, co-branding is one of the most impactful ways companies can maximize the value of their credentials. In addition to promoting companies’ commitment to excellence, co-branding with QualityPro increases brand awareness of the industry’s credentialing program. When consumers know to seek out a QualityPro accredited company, such companies will stand out, the industry will grow stronger and more communities will be protected by the highest-quality pest control.
In the brand guide, companies will learn about proper tone of voice and logo usage, as well as how to use the name QualityPro in written communications and how to highlight service certifications and potential member applications. QualityPro accredited companies will receive a brand guide in the mail, but they can also find the materials online at QualityProTools.org.
How technology is changing branding
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, savvy pest management companies need to regularly evaluate their online branding. Companies can now speak directly with customers in a much more natural, conversational tone. When assessing their digital presence, companies need to be aware that customers are not only looking for professionalism but also for a personal connection.
Furthermore, the future of technology is unfolding before our eyes, and soon there will be new platforms on which companies can showcase their brands. The adoption of wearable devices such as Apple Watches and Google Glass, as well as voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants like Alexa by Amazon, are changing how people find information and services. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of all internet searches will be made without a screen.
Going forward, companies will be able to interact with customers in more ways than ever before, so consistency in presenting their brands will be more important than ever. With branding that tells stories and builds community, that is authoritative and professional and that promotes trust, companies will be able to make the most of the ongoing technological revolution.
By Allison Allen, BCE, Executive Director, QualityPro