Develop Your Brand Using Numbers and Talk
Branding is a powerful business concept that often spells the success of companies that do it effectively, or the failure of those that don’t. A “brand” is simply how a company distinguishes itself from the competition in the eyes of consumers. A successful branding campaign creates the consumer perception that a company and the service or product they provide is unique or superior. That distinction, whether tangible or ethereal, can be very difficult to instill in consumers. Here are five ways that business Voice over IP (VoIP) helps a small business brand itself.
1. Virtual Numbers
Business VoIP allows subscribers to select their own customized phone numbers that appear in marketing materials, on the corporate website, and on business cards. It’s a lot more memorable to consumers if a hot tub business has an 800 number that reads: 800-555-TUBS, or a hair salon’s number is 800-555-HAIR.
Small business owners have to “pound the pavement.” It’s important for public relations that representatives are out among the public at trade shows, conferences, and other networking events to increase brand awareness through market visibility. Networking often means being away from the office, however.
With business VoIP, telecommuting is a cinch. Phone extensions are easily added, altered, and managed from anywhere a WiFi signal is available using cloud technology. So, employees can field important inbound calls from anywhere and spend more valuable time in the field.
3. Unlimited Calling
In between trade shows and networking events, companies need the tools to reach out to and respond to as many potential clients as possible. The high cost of long-distance and international phone calls on a traditional business phone system should never hinder the potential outreach of a growing business.
With the unlimited long-distance and cheap international rates featured in VoIP service plans, a company can influence a wider radius of consumers, and increase their brand awareness without the concern of being sideswiped by an enormous monthly communications bill.
4. “Green” Image
Ernst & Young reports that 67% of CFO’s cite “Image among consumers” as the number one driver in implementing eco-friendly corporate initiatives. According to consumer choice-patterns it’s almost always a good idea to cultivate a “green” sensibility into a company’s branding scheme as a “sub-theme”. It allows the customer make sustainable choices by proxy.
Business VoIP is an eco-friendly countermeasure to the environmental harm done by copper landline production. For example, traditional faxing is estimated to fell 2 million trees every year whereas internet faxing (paperless) not only reduces paper consumption, but brands a business as socially responsible.
5. Consistent Message
In The Nine Principles of Branding, Greg Stine says an effective way to make sure a company is making decisions that are consistent with their brand is to continually ask themselves the question, “Does this decision communicate our brand qualities?” The answer to this question, he says, is always a good starting point for making better business decisions.
Choosing business VoIP shows clients, consumers, and partners that a brand is socially responsible, cost efficient, and tech savvy. If these qualities align with a company’s brand qualities, then business VoIP is the right choice.
If a business aspires to have their brand carry the impact of McDonalds’ golden arches, the Mac apple, or the Nike swoosh, they need to convey the qualities that the company embodies in practice and policy. Choosing VoIP conveys a dedication to forward thinking, cost-effective choices that benefit the greater good. The money saved is just an added bonus.