Filed Under branding
Is your business built on referrals?
Below is a deep dive on how strong branding has a direct impact on a healthy referral base. While some industries are dependent on referrals for survival, even those that do not use referrals as their main lead generator can agree that this is a huge opportunity area. As experts on branding, we are excited to give you our top 3 reasons why branding is a must in maximizing your referral potential. This is an opportunity most businesses are not optimizing.
You’ve been there yourself. Someone is asking if you have a go-to person for “this” or “that” and you’re hesitant to throw just any name out there. Referring someone is no small thing. You’re putting your reputation on the line when you give a referral. Whether the person seeking a referral is a professional contact or personal acquaintance- there is a sense of urgency in providing ‘just the right’ suggestion.
Who would be the best fit? How can I know what this contact is looking for exactly? What if they don’t provide my contact with the same experience I had?
This scenario often goes one of two ways. You give a mediocre suggestion and your contact may or may not follow up. Or – you don’t provide a suggestion at all.
Our goal is to arm you with the formula needed to never miss out on this opportunity.
So what builds that confidence in someone to the point where they will refer you? There are many factors of course, but an often overlooked factor is the power of well developed and applied branding.
Why is it overlooked? It is overlooked because the value it delivers is completely intangible, as is most often the case with branding. As a brand owner it can be tricky, difficult even – proving the value of branding on the bottom line, yet ample resources are put toward these efforts.
So how can branding help you generate more referrals and make them more likely to convert? Let’s examine how strong branding can speak for you – even when you’re not in the room.
Each time someone sees you or encounters your brand in any way- it is an ‘impression’.
Branding is a reliable way for each of these impressions to be more valuable to your brand.
This is accomplished by arming you with everything you need to be clear, concise and consistent in your messaging.
This shows up in a number of ways. The most common interpretation of branding is a logo, fonts, and colors. Branding extends far beyond these more well-known elements. Branding encompasses all of your messaging efforts, the voice of your brand, and the core values you promote.
When all of these elements are represented in a clear, concise, and consistent way – the impact it can have has the potential to completely excel your business to where you want it to go. However, this is no piece of cake. It takes strategy. Strategy in design. Strategy with extreme intention.
The result of these efforts is clarity. Clarity is the cake. The sweet piece of goodness you get to enjoy from those upfront efforts. Clarity is the golden ticket to that almighty referral. The more a person knows exactly what you are about, the more likely they are to refer to you.
Clarity works overtime – so you don’t have to.
It creates a conscious confidence in a brand. There is also a subconscious effect of hearing the same message before you get to the point where you naturally associate the message with the messenger.
Clear and consistent messaging leverages a compounding effect by making your message easier to understand, remember and recall. By providing a clear message to your audience – consistently – you are programming them with confidence in what your brand represents. This is why consistent impressions build confidence.
Through up-front efforts to create quality branding, you reap the benefits for the long-haul while it continues to work for you. Think of it as an investment in your brand’s future.
When you have reached clarity and there is no confusion about what you stand for and deliver – it makes it that much easier for someone to refer you to their network. While brand recognition is essential, your values are just as impactful.
Think about it. If you have two friends who are both talented musicians – whose name comes to mind when a local charity needs a band for an event? The one who focuses solely on music? Or the one that has been outspoken about wanting to help others through music? Naturally, you think of Joe – the musician with a vision to change the world. Joe now has a local gig that will give him more exposure and open new opportunities for him. How exciting for Joe.
Know what you stand for. Be like Joe.
Allow this to be reinforced with your branding.
People want to feel connected. They naturally yearn for connection and a reason to connect with others, including brands. This is accomplished in a variety of ways. Relatability, aspiration, and many others. There is an appeal in having something to believe in. When your brand is authentic to you, consumers can sense that – and will “buy into” your mission.
Knowing what you are for and what you are not for creates confidence.
Having strong branding in place – allows you to effectively communicate your mission and values in a clear and concise manner. The end result is a reliable reputation and steady stream of referrals.
This is huge! The most important thing your brand can do upon having received a referral is to match their expectations or exceed them. Think about it, someone just said “these are the people to talk to” and when you scope them out they look even more legit than the referral source led on. That’s powerful.
Sounds impossible, right? How can you possibly manage someone else’s expectations?
We do this through a strong digital branding experience. Imagine having a fantastic logo and developed messaging but no place to display this. How much of a bummer would that be to have all of those efforts come to a halt. By having a website that strategically aligns with your offering and other established brand elements, creates a complimentary impression to a referral.
Having the right resources in place to propel your brand from first impression to a client is key.
Referrals have a huge impact on the survival of many industries, but they are also a huge opportunity area for all brands, regardless of industry. 3 ways branding is a must in maximizing your referral potential:
By applying the formulas throughout to your brand strategy, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your referral base and converting those leads.
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