When you think of sales and marketing, you typically think about driving demand generation and new leads. But the reality is that the roles bring so much more to the overall business than just those functions.
Sales and marketing teams are on the front lines of building the company brand and brand equity with customers every day. Brand equity is the value that a brand has in the minds of its customers, which is established by repeated positive experiences and by creating overall general awareness of the market.
Building this trust is critical for any business, from the smallest SMB to the largest enterprise. Not only does it keep customers returning and referring new potential business, but those organizations with strong brand equity can also often charge more for their services than those with weak brand equity. Customers are nine times more likely to buy new products from a company they are already loyal to.
As one example of this, 80 percent of customers now say they refuse to do business with a brand they don’t trust. On top of that, they are seven times more likely to forgive a brand with high brand equity in the event of a mistake.
Sales and marketing teams play a critical role in delivering and protecting brand equity. Marketing teams are typically helping to define, shape, and refine the company brand through its messaging, content, and campaigns to reach new customers. Then, sales teams are often on the front lines delivering those messages to existing and potential customers.
Building brand equity isn’t something that can be accomplished overnight. It must be a total team effort from every corner of the SMB business, from the CEO to sales, marketing, and back-office. It starts with clearly stated values and purpose, then aligning actions and results to those principles. If sales and marketing teams can consistently deliver on those promises, they will inevitably build trust with their customer base and the broader market.
Sales and marketing can play a front-line role in testing these values and desired outcomes with customers, then providing feedback to the team on how it is resonating with customers. Perhaps they may discover that the messaging needs to be tweaked to build brand equity more effectively or that creative elements aren’t resonating in the way they were anticipated. They can also adapt quickly if a customer is receiving a negative experience that could impact brand equity.
The teams also play a critical role in delivering these messages about the brand to potential customers in the market. By building brand equity more broadly, an SMB can hopefully reel in new customers and retain them for the long term.
No matter who the target audience is for brand messages, the key is always consistency. By remaining true to values and consistently delivering on them on all fronts (from every part of the organization and across every platform, from in-person, to social, to digital), a business can build long-lasting trust.