Wednesday, December 21, 2016


As we think of a company what do we remember about it? The logo, the slogan, the price or the experience we have with the store or product? For most shoppers, it is the experience they have they remember the most and for the longest. This is because it helpful in solving a need the shopper had at the time or a pleasant impulse purchase.

For stores to attract customers, they need to provide solutions to the desired customer’s needs and desires.  This self-created image allows the business to stand out and be noticed by the most desired customers and to attract customers who have just entered the marketplace for the store’s product mix.

The image or brand is often described as the promise made to customers about what and how they will experience when they shop the store.  This image helps in creating the identity that people can relate to while shopping. This philosophy must then run all through the operation to be successful at every customer touchpoint.  For example, Disney has a strong family entertainment philosophy and their branding portrays families, fun, clean environments and strong customer service.  This idea extends to the employees also where they are called “cast members” instead employees. 

The benefits created from a strong brand are helpful in growing a business. According to the Kauffman Foundation, “businesses with strong brands often see these benefits: 1) enjoy a higher perceived value of their products or services, 2) maintain higher margins over their competitors, 3) create loyal customers who don’t switch easily, 4) cross-sell other products and services easier and 5) develop new products and quicker.

Some questions a business owner should ask regarding how to communicate the brand to customers and prospects are: 1) What can my customers expect from doing business with me?, 2) Why will customers choose my business over my competitors?, 3) What are the core values of my business?, and 4) How do I want my customers to describe my business to others?

Once those answers are developed, then the owner can look at how to tell the story of the business.  That story needs to contain the mission statement and core values of the business in a way that clearly tells why the business exists and relates to the customers. That message needs to be included in all touchpoints with customers, employees, suppliers, etc. so all users see a consistent message.

None of this happens overnight but rather over time spent thinking and rethinking.  Often it helps to spend time with a person skilled in this area to help the business owners really get the message down pat and ready to be used daily.  Your local University of Missouri Extension Business Development Specialist can help you at no charge in this process.  The owner just needs to call Richard Proffer at 573-243-3581 or email him at

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