What is a Brand?
Brand image is important for any business, including wholesalers and distributors. Your brand is how people perceive your company and its products. It includes their perceptions about your product quality, the value of your wares, the range of items you carry and the shopping experience you provide. Brand marketing is how you shape those perceptions. It is the standards you set and the impression you leave at every touchpoint from advertising to a voice at the end of the phone.
Why controlling your brand’s image is important
Controlling your brand image is important for several reasons. Perhaps most notably, your brand image tells customers why they should buy from you instead of a competitor. It explains what makes your company unique, and that translates into a real competitive advantage. Most people "want something that feels customized or personalized, or they want to feel like they've found something special that other people don't have,” explains NPD Group industry analyst Marshal Cohen. The problem is that other companies will try to copy your recipe for success . Cohen says that, in turn, “the idea starts to become a commodity, even though the intent is to be separate.” The silver lining here is that, while business concepts can be copied, a truly unique brand cannot.
When it comes to controlling their brand image, wholesalers can:
Have a clear brand vision
You can control your brand image, but you have to start with a clear idea of what your brand is first. The aspects of your company you promote with your brand function are a promise to your customers. It says what they can expect from your products and the services you provide. If you fulfill those brand promises, your customers will associate your brand with these promises, but if you miss the mark, your reputation could be damaged.
In other words, be careful about what you promise your customers. Spend time developing a clear brand vision and assessing your brand values. From here, you need to think about how your brand looks — you want to make sure your logo and the colors it uses reinforce that brand concept, and you need to monitor what your company offers. Consistent quality and dependable delivery are just as important as having a great look and brand concept.
Create a brand experience
You should also consider your merchandising display and packaging. The ways your products are presented and packaged are almost as important as the products themselves. After all, the fonts you use, the colors you pick, the feel of the packaging materials can impact how customers experience your products.
There is a limit to what works, especially when you consider scaling. As your business grows, labor-intensive packaging won’t work. If you get big enough, even taking the time to tie a bow on every box could become impossible, but changing your packaging would then make your brand appear inconsistent. It's better to adopt a brand experience that can scale with your business.
Make the buying experience great
Your buyers’ experiences with your company contribute to your brand image as well. Providing excellent service encourages loyalty just as much as great products do. The best brands offer a consistent customer experience. Deliveries are on time, your packaging is standardized, you’ve set fair terms, and correspondence is regular.
Taking these extra steps to offer your customers a great shopping experience helps ensure that the retailers carrying your wholesale products become as enamored with your brand as your end customers.
In conclusion, your brand image is important for your business, especially if you’re a brand owner. Even if you’re supplying products to rival retailers, you need to maintain control over your brand’s image by defining a clear brand vision and work on creating a brand experience. Setting a high standard for your brand can translate into new business opportunities, especially if you offer them timely deliveries, standardized packing, fair terms, and up to date information.