Build Your Business and Brand Authority

“The ethics on which brands are built need to be ingrained in the business if the brand proposition is to be credible to consumers”. – Paul Gaskel

Even though authority is described as – influence, power, fame and other such words – in the dictionary, for companies it translates to being able to attract new customers, delight current customers and create more opportunities for success to all those who are connected with them. Everyone desires to build their business and brand authority thus but not all are able to really make it happen. They fall drastically short of the intended levels of customer service.

The truth is irrespective of how you want to or actually position your business and brand, your company cannot really assign ‘authority’ to themselves. This authority is given to you by your customers and those who interact with you. These people and customers would only recognize and speak about your business and brand authority when your company has earned the recognition through hard-work, consistency and elevated levels of customer service. Your company should have been able to positively influence something important and must be doing so on an on-going basis. If you are able to affect even a small yet respected set of customers and have made them believe in what you are and your professionalism, the business and brand authority would be in play. This is perhaps the most crucial element of promotion and marketing now for any business or individual trying to gain a competitive advantage.

– It is said that ‘seeing is believing’ and ‘actions speak louder than words’, well, this bodes true for business and brand authority too. Your brand, offerings and customer service should be eloquent enough to make people ‘see’ this authority. Any business – whether a start-up or established, would need to consistently focus on delivering the best of service, value for money, reduced customer effort, actively listen, respond to customer feedback and a lot more. If your company is doing all this, soon enough you will be able to establish your business and brand authority. We have discussed earlier that first impressions, last – and if you are able to get that first impression bang on, the rest of the journey will be a lot smoother. Customers will associate business and brand authority with your company and some of the best people in the industry would want to work for and with you.

– Social media is a boon, if managed smartly, in establishing business and brand authority. One message gets across to a very large number of people in a single instance. Leverage the force of this communication channel and interact effectively with customers and prospective ones to place your company in a position of influence. As customers interact and begin to see the value you bring to them, a relationship of trust and confidence is built. Posting regular and relevant updates, responding to comments and keeping open discussion forums are some of the ways to veer the power of this medium towards building business and brand authority. Companies that have yet not been able to rein in this power will find themselves getting left behind and fading away. Being visible and active on this highly influential platform opens countless doors and opportunities to make people acknowledge your business and brand authority.

– Whatever you post on your website, social media pages and any other form of written matter is content. Provide your customers and target audience with content that adds value to them, which means that the content must be something that your audience will lap up and recognize it for its value and utility. Adding fresh content on a regular and unfailing basis creates a positive impression and perception and establishes subject matter supremacy and in turn business and brand authority.

– If business and brand authority is your aim, then make sure that what you do makes you stand out from the multitude. Be known for something that no one else offers – a unique selling proposition USP. Associate this ‘something’ to your brand in an exclusive way such that when people hear of it or see it, they instantly link it back to your brand. Think what will work for your company and your customer base but ensure that whatever it is, will make your customers feel appreciated and special and be of value to them. Create a niche through your USP that will have existing and potential customers be drawn to you. Gradually but surely you will have established an irreplaceable business and brand authority. It’s all about grabbing the attention and mind-space of your customers and other target audience.

– As we said earlier, business and brand authority just doesn’t happen. It is not a factor of a one-time marvel or instance of delighting customers. This authority is established and handed over to your company only when you have ‘consistently’ delivered on the customer service parameters – which we all know, are never stable but rather constantly changing. Use a market leader as a benchmark for your company. Check out what they did ‘right’ and why they are a leader. The one thing that you will notice is that great quality and service excellence has been delivered ‘consistently’. The key is being consistent as in the mind of the customers that translates to being reliable, dependable and hence extremely trustworthy. An industry winner is named so because they have been around for long delivering the kind of products and services that customers desire. They have moved with the times and given the customers what they need and through the means and channels that the customers want. Everything their brand does, positions them in a place of authority. Emulate these techniques but tweak them to suit your company and gradually you will establish business and brand authority.

When a company is able to position itself as a potential leader by displaying its ability to innovate, create and be a front-runner irrespective of possible risks, it will get people to understand its point of view. Everyone may not agree with your views, but you would still be able to build critical points of differentiation – your way would be ‘the way’. A great method to build business and brand authority!

It is highly desirable to be seen as different in a good way but that entails getting people to trust that your way works. Being able to connect people with your train of thought is a relentless and continuing pursuit and journey. This will involve stages and a number of contact points, through which customers will receive what they want. It will also have its set of challenges and stumbling blocks, but those who can tide over these will take their customers from a state of awareness to the highly desirable place of being profitable and loyal. A loyal customer base does a great deal for any company – they trust, repeat business and are enthusiastic and vociferous brand advocates. This in turn establishes your business and brand authority in a way that will leave your competition frustrated and far behind.

Building a connection with your customers is vital and can be done in a number of ways. Start with having well-trained and knowledgeable front-ending customer service representatives. The way customers are treated at the first touch point will help shape the impression customers have of your company. Deliver great service, meaningful and relevant content and communication and remain enthusiastic and courteous at all times if you wish to establish your business and brand authority. Go about creating awareness and education in a structured manner that will not only engage but also convert potentials in to customers who in turn would generate excellent testimonials and referrals.

Companies often struggle to build business and brand authority, with small and medium businesses having the giant share of the trouble. People are more inclined to listen to and be attracted to the ‘large and authoritative companies’. There is no doubt that there is a lot of competition and it is fierce, but building business and brand authority starts with a few small steps and will ultimately lead your company to establish itself as an ‘authority.

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