Must-Know Best Practices for Supply Chain Branding and Marketing
With worldwide competition more robust than ever before, effective branding and marketing are crucial to the success of supply chain businesses. Customers have endless options when it comes to partners and can work with vendors from all around the globe. Ensuring your branding and marketing are up to snuff will put you at the top of your game and give you a leg up on your competitors. This is your guide to best practices for supply chain branding and marketing.
Define Your Brand
Your brand is how customers perceive your business. If you do not take the time to define it thoroughly, the market will. With the success of your business on the line, it’s not worth the risk of leaving it to chance. The following are the key elements to defining your brand:
- Develop your Unique Value Proposition – Explain what you have to offer and what sets your business apart from competitors.
- Define target markets – Who are your ideal client businesses, and how can you meet their needs?
- Visual elements – Create visual elements (e.g., logo) to use across all platforms, paper and printed, that evoke the emotions you want your target audience to feel.
- Define your voice – How do you wish to communicate to your market? Whether you choose to take on a jovial tone, a serious tone, or anything in between, the tone should be consistent across all media.
- Establish goals – It is essential to know where the business is headed. You cannot guide your brand without having goals in mind and implementing a strategy to achieve them.
Above all, it is crucial to be honest and transparent about who your company is, what it stands for, and what it has to offer if you plan on being successful in the long run. Defining your supply chain brand with a positive perception builds trust among current and potential clients.
Well Thought-Out, Modern Website
It is no longer sufficient just to have a website. Think about how you shop around for vendors and partners. When vetting potential partnerships, it matters what their websites look like and how they function. Let’s face it. A website that looks like it was created back in the days of AOL and dial-up is an immediate turn-off. The most effective websites have the following features:
- Mobile-first- Work is often conducted on mobile devices. Websites designed primarily for desktops look antiquated and often do not function correctly on phones and tablets. A mobile-first approach shows that you are modern and forward-thinking.
- Branding – Ensure your site is branded with the same visuals as other media, such as print collateral and social media. A branded site builds trust with current and potential clients.
- Integrations to support marketing – Modern sites should include integrations that support marketing campaigns. Just because someone visits your website doesn’t mean they are sold on your products and services, so leverage tracking technologies to keep in front of your prospects.
- Integrations to support supply chain branding – It is also vital to include integrations that support the products and services you offer. Whether it be the ability to interact with a demo before purchase or for a visitor to create an account within the site, integrations go a long way in helping to define your brand.
- Informational – Websites should offer value in the form of information. Potential vendors and partners should understand what you have to offer and how it will benefit them. Sites that are vague or lack information often come across as sketchy and untrustworthy.
- Call-to-Action – If it is difficult for clients to obtain your services, they will look elsewhere. Include plenty of call-to-action buttons that allow interested visitors to make a purchase, schedule a meeting, download a demo, or whichever action is appropriate to begin a professional relationship with your business.
A well-executed website makes it easy for visitors to understand who you are and why they should partner with your business and reduces the workload on your team. Additionally, the integration of Google Analytics will tell you where your website is successful and bring awareness to wasted efforts that need to either be scrapped or tweaked.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
As mentioned above, identifying your target audience is part of defining your brand, but it’s so crucial that it deserves a little more attention. There is a common misconception that in order to be successful, you have to target as many different demographics as possible. This is far from the truth. If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up servicing accounts that do not really fit the bill for what your company offers. It’s a lot of energy for little gain and takes away from the ability to properly service the accounts that are the right fit. To rub salt in the wound, you will waste marketing dollars on campaigns that aren’t reaching the right audience. Your target audience is those who are most likely to buy your product. These tips will help you define your target audience:
- Identify what problems your products or services solve.
- Which demographics face these problems and need a solution.
- Create a persona for each type of client that is the right fit for your company’s offerings
For instance, if your company manufactures automobile headlights, your ideal target audiences are auto parts stores and mechanic shops. Marketing to home improvement stores is a waste of time.
Harness the Power of Digital Media
Digital media marketing is a powerful tool in your arsenal when used correctly. With a single campaign, you have the potential to reach millions of people around the world. Examples of digital media marketing include:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Search engine marketing
Digital media marketing is incredibly flexible. One campaign can be used across multiple channels. For instance, content you place on your website can also be used in an email campaign. The key to harnessing the power of digital media marketing is to know where your target audience lives. There is no point in advertising on Facebook if your ideal client doesn’t live there. The other thing to note is that when measuring success, clicks and engagements are good, but conversions are the ultimate goal. The bottom line is that digital media marketing may have a bit of a learning curve but can pay off in spades once you’ve mastered it.
Do Not Underestimate Trade Publications
Much of the world may be digital now, but publications still have their place and, in some ways, have more of an influence on customers than digital channels because they are seen as trustworthy. Providing valuable content to relevant industry trade publications is a great way to build trust with current clients and market to potential customers. Sticking with the example above, if you manufacture headlights for automobiles, placing content in automotive publications can be massively beneficial. It’s a great way to hit a large part of your target audience and use your marketing dollars efficiently.
Reviews and Case Studies
Think about the process you use when making purchases online. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you’ll seek social evidence to make a final decision. This is most often reviews. What are people saying who have actually bought and used the product? Most likely, the one with the best reviews is the product you purchase. In fact, 90% of customers read online reviews before visiting a business, whether online or in-store.
The same is true for your business. Social evidence is crucial to the branding of your business and is a marketing opportunity. Encourage customers to write reviews. If you are at a loss on how to get reviews, these tips will help:
- Start by just asking for reviews. You will be surprised by how many customers are willing to write a review.
- Create a process for asking for reviews and implement it into your business’s overall strategy.
- When possible, automate asking for reviews. For example, an email guiding the client through the review process is automatically sent when a purchase is made.
- Offer an incentive such as a certain percentage off of their next purchase.
- Send a thank you to each client who writes a review. This can be automated as well.
The second thing you can do is create and distribute case studies from some of your most successful clients. You can then distribute case studies over various channels, including your website, social media, and even YouTube if you’ve made a video. Case studies double as a supply chain branding strategy by creating and building trust and a marketing tool for telling potential clients why they need your products or services.
At the Cutting Edge
Customers want to work with only the most modern and capable partners that will, in turn, ensure their company stays at the cutting-edge of its industry. Effective branding and marketing is the best way to convey that your business offers exactly what they need. The best practices discussed above will help you stay at the forefront of the supply chain industry.
Here at Symbia, we understand the importance of having a reliable logistics partner. We are a family-owned warehousing and fulfillment provider who cares as much about your customers as you do. From a dedicated team to powerful integrations, we are committed to delivering exceptional results and sustained value to our partners. Request a quote today.