A successful brand strategy can help increase revenue

December 31, 2020 By    
Photo: MicroStockHub/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Sharing your brand values with your customers will help create trusting relationships with them. Photo: MicroStockHub/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Branding in the propane business is often overlooked, with most of the expense budget tied to employees, fleet and equipment. Yet, research has shown that the consistent presentation of a brand across all platforms has the potential to increase revenue by 23 percent.

Your brand is much more than your logo, although signature color, font and design of your logo can be important factors in leading your brand. Propane consumers buy from you because of their customer experience and the value it provides. The way you do business shapes your brand image. A bad reputation quickly leads to a brand that consumers avoid whenever they have another choice.

What does your current brand say about your company? It may be time for a rebranding effort if:

Your brand does not differentiate you from your competitors. If competition in your area is at an all-time high, why would you want a similar logo, byline and look as the other companies out there? Sharing your brand values with your customers will help create trusting relationships with them. On the other hand, stating that you have “great service” and “low prices” won’t do much to make you unique, especially if your online reviews tell a different story.

Your current branding methods are inconsistent. Consistency is the key to a successful brand. Your delivery and service vehicles should have the same branding. I have visited many propane bulk plants where every truck has a different version of branding, depending on when the truck was put into service and from whom it was purchased. Consider bundling all of your company’s graphics needs under one graphics company to maintain a sharp, professional look.

Your branding should also consistently cross over to your website, social media, hard copy sales and marketing materials, as well as your roadside and building signage. You may need help from a marketing professional in developing branding standards so all of your branding shares a common denominator.

You have changed and expanded your business. Whether you have grown through acquisition or merger, expanded your territory or expanded service offerings, your brand should keep up with those changes. Sometimes all it takes is looking the part.

Your brand may not need a major overhaul. It may just need a tweaking. Do your research with loyal customers. Why have they been with you all of these years? Talk to your employees to see where they feel your company excels and to help locate the weak spots. Research your competitors to see what they are good at and where they are weak. And finally, do some internal research. A SWOT analysis will help you determine what makes your company different from the rest. Examining your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is key to improving the look and feel of your business.

Form a plan of action that includes all changes to be made to strengthen your brand. This branding process could take months to complete. Take it across two budget years if splitting the expense will help you justify the effort. When your revived brand is ready, communicate the changes to your employees and consumers across all platforms available to you.

If all of this seems overwhelming, consider calling in an industry expert to help guide your rebranding effort. Remember that your company’s long-term success depends on how well you define your brand and implement it day to day.

Tom Jaenicke is vice president of propane marketing services for Warm Thoughts Communications. He can be reached at 810-252-7855.

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