Sometimes people forget just how far their brand reaches and they almost always forget who is impacted by their brand the most — their employees.
Zone 1 – Internal
This is the most important group impacted the most by your brand and the one that reflects your brand to the rest of the zones. Everyone that works for your company, from top to bottom, needs to understand your brand, company values, image, and what your company does.
This zone can actually be broken up into office & field staff or management & employees depending on your company’s size and structure.
Zone 2 – Customers
Your customer zone usually appreciates your brand the most, many times more than your employees, because customers choose your brand instead of having the brand forced on them. [Yes, employees choose the brand too, but do not necessarily agree with the brand – it's just a job.] Oddly enough, many companies abandon their customers once they start buying from them because they “have” them already, however, consistent marketing & messaging is critical because any good business person knows it is easier & cheaper to maintain a customer than to replace them. Also, you can’t grow your company if you’re always replacing customers. Social media has allowed customers to connect with their favorite brands like never before and smart marketers are listening and reacting for the first time customers are able to impact the brands they love. A great brand is having a dialogue with their customers through social media instead of a 1-sided conversation via advertising & marketing.
Zone 3 – Vendors
Many times vendors are partners and you share clients. I’m not talking about the office supplier or the water company, I’m talking about the companies that you NEED to get your job done. For us, its PR firms, printers, programmers, coaches & consultants. For a construction company, its subs, architects, engineers, and probably other general contractors that have a different specialty. Don’t forget to tell your vendors/team members what changes you’re making. When we created The Brand Constructors from our parent company, Design the Planet, the first people we told were our partners so they could give us input before we went “live” and so they could refer business to us. A few strategic phones calls and a blast email should be a minimum.
Zone 4 – Prospective Customers
This is generally where all the money is spent. You definitely need to concentrate on acquiring new blood, but as I’ve mentioned this shouldn’t be the only zone that gets your attention. “Hunting” with a rifle and scope versus a shotgun, means we are targeting prospective customers and spending more time & money on them instead of casting a larger net to just anyone. Find out who are your best customers and your favorites and try to replicate them. Do you like building high schools? Then why are you talking to a strip center developer? We like working with the construction industry, not doctors & lawyers, hence we do construction marketing.
Zone 5 – Community, Neighbors, Name Recognition Only
This is probably the hardest zone to target and to measure ROI, however I remember the first time going to a networking event and multiple people had heard of The Brand Constructors. Even though they only had name recognition, it was a start. One of the hardest things to sell is your services and your company – people don’t want to risk their money & time on a new company that is not proven in their eyes. This is why established companies can charge more than a start-up. Think about how you see different brands around you, in particular the ones you do not buy from and know little about. Do you judge them by their signage, cars in the parking lot, and litter around their office? You probably do, even if it’s only subconscious. The best marketing for a restaurant is a crowded parking lot – it means good food. If I came by your office and your office had numerous empty desks and parking spots, I’d assume you’re either planning on growing or more likely, you’re shrinking.
So, you might want to ask yourself: How do we market to each of these zones throughout the year? Do we “touch” each zone regularly and show the brand image you want representing your company? If not, your brand may not be “reaching” all the opportunities available to grow your company.