SCORE

Building a brand secures your space in the industry and must be done across all your channels. You need to pay attention to how your company is represented both online and in person.

You create your brand in your company mission and vision statement, and you deliver on your brand promise with your products and services, as well as your interactions with customers. This article will focus on building your brand and fulfilling your brand promise in person.

What components go into being “presentable” when you’re trying to make an impression in person?

Business cards

A well-designed business card indicates a professional, organized operation, and it shows your contact information. When you’re meeting with your target audience in person, whether in trade shows, in your own store, or at networking events, be sure to bring business cards so potential customers or partners can reach out later. Your business card can help to position your brand as one of authority in your field.

Knowledgeable, well-spoken representatives

Your brand is as good as the people behind you. Pay attention to who will represent your brand in front of the general public. They should embody your own brand ideals. If your brand strives to be friendly, approachable and enthusiastic about snowboarding, then make sure your representatives are the same.

Above all, your representatives must be knowledgeable about your product or service. If someone approaches your stall at a trade show and asks a question about your product, he or she expects the booth representative to be able to answer (or at least get back to them later, which we will discuss later on in the article).

Having an in-person representative who is well-spoken, helpful, friendly and knows your product will go a long way to making a good impression on behalf of your brand. You can hire for some of those qualities (ie. friendliness, desire to help, resourcefulness), but others must be trained. Invest in a training or onboarding program that will equip everyone who represents you with knowledge of your product and what your brand stands for, and how to deal with customers in-person.

Giveaways

Your target audience has to remember plenty of information throughout the course of the day--meetings, what time they have to pick up their kids, that proposal they need to put together, and the ingredients they need to pick up for dinner.

Make things a little easier for them to remember your brand, even after they leave your store or booth with branded trade show giveaways.

These are items that were chosen with your target market in mind. They should be useful, clever, and have your contact information for when a potential customer wants to reach out. For example, if you run an optical shop, look into card-sized magnifying glasses that can slip into a wallet. If you sell dinner kits for busy professionals on-the-go, offer a pocket-sized 5-minute recipe book or a tote bag they can leave in their car for whenever they find the time to do the groceries.

Organized follow-up

Following up after in-person contact shows you care about each customer as an individual. It also helps to capture leads, gauge the effectiveness of your in-person communications, and gives you another opportunity to reflect your brand promise.

For example, sending out a friendly, branded email thanking everyone who visited your booth at a trade show will give potential leads a touch-point to delve further into your company. Provide links to your website or possibly even a coupon for online or in-store purchase.

We hope these tips will help you when building your brand at trade shows or in your stores.