Branding is a big part of my responsibilities. I obsess over corporate colors, logos usage, sales materials, web content and advertisements all to support a unified image. A key part of that branding needs to incorporate a human element; a platform of good will that shapes and rounds our brand’s value. People buy from people and if we want to build better relationships we need to continue to show our human side.
Advanced AV gives back. I have been amazed on how many employee-directed charities we are involved in. I tell friends and family about it all the time. There are so many great ideas that come from within…like the “Wing Bowl” (buffalo wing eating contest for the United Way): this event brought our staff together and raised money for a good cause — even the local press was involved. The bake sale this month was truly heartwarming to see how many people took time out of their busy lives to bake and volunteer. A box of Girl Scout cookies goes out with every service call thanking them for their business, and our clients are happy in more ways than one.
We were involved in the opening the Ryan Seacrest Foundation’s (RSF) new broadcast center in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We were brought in just two months prior to the opening. We supplied about half of the gear plus design, programming and commissioning, and also provided the hospital with a service contract. Everything was donated and truly was a miracle that it all came together in such a short time…lots of long hours but our crew was happy to be a part of it.
I could go on and on and on.
If this good will makes me proud to be a part of this company, wouldn’t you want to do business with a company that has a human side? I know I would.
I dedicated a section of our client newsletter to Community Outreach — this is not limited to Charity — Advanced AV participated in the Be Well Philly Office Challenge (Philadelphia Magazines version of the Biggest Loser); I included the contest in our newsletter and that section gained the highest click-through rate during the series; higher than any industry news item or product announcement. Clients followed our employee progress month to month and read blogs and updates on their weigh-ins. They found a connection with our staff. They can see we are more than just AV.
We feature an employee spotlight each month as well. I love to link a face with a name and to learn a little bit about that person and what they do both in the office and out. It makes the relationship a little more personal.
Social networking is fostering new relationships and allows us to nurture them as long as there is a real person behind the computer. We need to do more than just push out content. Our President Mike Boettcher recently wrote “We are very close to being spellbound by our electronic life with our phones and other social media platforms. It really is easy to get lost in all that commotion and before you know it you find yourself spinning in the grayness.” Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves to come back down to earth.
Aligning content, messaging, technology, delivering better leads, educating clients is all part of the mix of our branding. But in the end Marketing is about meeting our client’s needs and satisfaction. It’s about our teamwork and the interaction with a human being that achieves our success. It is something that we need to remind ourselves often.
That is a brand I would want to do business with…wouldn’t you?