What are your credentials?
by Dan Antonelli

Notoriety—it’s the name of the game for all network-centric professional positions. How great are your recommendations for others in the field? How quickly do you close sales, scale infrastructure or drive the needle forward in your particular slice of the market? And even more important, what are your credentials?

In the marketing realm, we recognize that it often takes the perfect storm of qualities and opportunities to make your brand have impact. When it comes to certain industries, 
decision makers often have vastly more control over those qualities. Trying to deliver better customer service? Be happier. Trying to prove you’re reliable? Conquer time management and see every promise to fruition. Trying to look the part for the prospective customer who’s only heard of you from a friend?

That last part is usually where an experienced agency comes in. They can help build the outward brand identity that aptly compliments your inner quality, creating the second half of your holistic customer experience. In essence, they build up the brand promise, and you fulfill it with your excellent service. And just like that, you start the engine for serious market segment takeover.

It all boils down to a simple intrinsic fact: If you look the part, you probably act the part. It’s why you dress tidy, smile at first meeting and extend your business card. Perhaps unbeknownst to you, you have either won or lost the customer already. The prospective customers either have established secular faith in your abilities, or they are going to continue to wait until you stumble, ever so slightly, thereby validating their skepticism. Now, it’s true that you can’t make everyone happy. But with a strong, united brand identity, you sure can make it to the top percentile.

That means everywhere you advertise, publicize and operate, your brand identity should resound. What you’ll need is a strategic assessment of the competition: What are they doing and how can I do it better? Your budget will dictate the additional tools you can add to your marketing arsenal. However, it should start with a website and unique brand identity. That identity needs to span across every outward marketing tool, from business cards and signage to newspaper advertisement and social media.

If you’re having success already, you’re on the right track. Delivering exceptional service to clients and colleagues alike is your bread and butter. However, if you are trying to grow your notoriety, in this digital age, you’re going to need a fully integrated brand; one that’s so well executed, it makes the sale for you.

To learn more about creating a recognizable brand, look for "Five Secrets to a Stand-Out Brand" in the August issue of HomeCare.