Did you know your mail center has a brand? Just like any other business, a mailing service has a distinct identity that sets it apart from its competitors. This identity, or brand, is a combination of your business's vision, mission, values, and customer experience. Even in-plant mail centers have a brand.

If you are not managing your brand, you leave it up to others to define your operation and determine what they say about you to others. As Amazon's Jeff Bezos says, "Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room."

Managing your brand doesn't take the resources of a vast enterprise like McDonalds or Nike. Mail center managers can take steps on their own to create a strong brand identity for their mail services business. You can implement most of these strategies at low cost.

The question isn't whether your mail center has a brand identity. But who is in charge of fabricating your organization’s reputation.

What do people think of when they hear your business's name? What experience do they expect when they interact with your crew? Your brand answers these questions, and you should be the one that crafts the messaging.

Why Your Mail Center Needs a Brand Identity

Have you ever stopped to consider what your mail center's brand identity is? Does your mail center even need a brand identity? If you belong to the group of business owners and managers who have not given this much thought, it's about time you do. Your mail center requires a solid brand identity for several reasons.

Credibility and Trust

A brand identity is integral in establishing credibility. A brand can serve as a powerful testament to your business's legitimacy and professionalism. This cultivates trust among your clients and prospective customers. They can rely on your services, assured that their packages and documents are in capable hands.

A strong brand identity can also help build credibility for a mailing services business. A consistent and professional brand image can give the impression of a well-established and trustworthy business. This can be especially important for customers who send or receive important or sensitive mail.

Brand Differentiation

The mailing services industry is saturated with many businesses offering similar benefits. Here's where brand identity comes to the rescue. A well-defined brand identity sets you apart from your competitors, giving your business its unique persona. It's your business's unique selling point, a reason for customers to choose you over others.

By defining unique brand values and messaging, a business can stand out in a crowded market and attract customers who align with those values.

Emotional Connection

A brand identity creates an emotional connection with your customers. It humanizes your business, allowing customers to associate positive emotions and experiences with your brand. This connection deepens customer loyalty and promotes positive word-of-mouth, driving your business’s growth.

Use people to make emotional connections with customers. Publish brief profiles of your employees, highlight career milestones, or acknowledge achievements. Allow customers to see your crew as interesting people with something to offer instead of cogs in the wheel.

Positive Brand Experiences Foster Trust

The importance of branding in building trust cannot be overstated. A strong brand identity influences the level of trust earned over time-the cornerstone of any successful business relationship. Your mail center's brand is an embodiment of your values, your commitment to service, and the promise you make to your customers.

Every interaction a customer has with your brand is an opportunity to build trust. From consultative sales meetings to prompt deliveries, superior customer service, and quick resolution of issues, positive brand experiences foster trust and loyalty. A brand that consistently meets or exceeds expectations deserves to be trusted.

Your brand reflects your business promise. How you fulfill this promise builds trust and ultimately determines your success.

Building Credibility through Brand Identity

Your brand identity is the soul of your business, your company's DNA that sets the stage for how you interact with your clients. Your identity is a combination of your brand values, personality, voice, and visual elements that convey who you are, what you do, and why you do it.

A brand identity aligned with actions builds credibility in the eyes of your audience. They trust you not just because of what you say, but because of what you do. They see consistency across all touchpoints.

Building credibility through your brand identity might sound like a tall order, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Here's how you can use branding to improve your organization’s public image:

Define Your Brand Values: What does your brand stand for? Do you stress reliability, speed, or innovation? Your brand values should reflect what you believe in and what you promise to your customers.

Create a Consistent Brand Image: Your brand image communicated through your website, social media profiles, or physical mail centers should be consistent across all platforms. This creates a cohesive brand experience and reinforces your credibility.

Communicate Your Brand Message Clearly: What is the message you want to convey to your audience? Ensure messaging is clear, compelling, and consistent. A powerful brand message is one that resonates with your audience and compels them to choose you over your competitors.

Deliver on Your Promises: Consistently meeting expectations is perhaps the most crucial aspect of establishing credibility. It's not just about saying the right things, but doing them. If you promise fast delivery, make sure you deliver on time. If you pledge creative approaches, your team must live up to that promise.

Differentiation: Stand Out from Competitors with Your Brand

In the fiercely competitive world of mailing services, a strong brand serves as a beacon, distinguishing your mail center from a sea of similar businesses. A unique identity makes your business memorable and differentiates you from the competition. The question is, how do you build this unique brand identity that sets you apart? Differentiation isn't just about being different; it's about being different in a way that's meaningful to your customers.

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

You need to recognize what makes your mail center unique - your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Note: Your USP is not low cost or excellent customer service - every company makes these claims. Perhaps your company is distinguished because of your organization's experience in serving a particular industry, handling sensitive documents like health or financial information, or working with non-profits. Whatever it is, your USP should be a primary component of your brand message.

Define Your Brand Values

Your brand values are the guiding principles that dictate your business behavior. They resonate with your target audience and form the backbone of your brand identity. Are you committed to environmental sustainability? Do you prioritize security and privacy? Understanding and articulating these values can differentiate your brand in ways that are meaningful to your customers.

Consistent Brand Messaging

A crucial aspect of standing out is consistency in your brand messaging. This means ensuring your unique selling proposition and brand values are reflected in every interaction with your customers. Your brand message should be unwavering in email notifications, social media posts, blog articles, or in-person conversations.

Visual Brand Elements

Finally, consider your visual brand elements. These include your logo, color scheme, fonts, and any other visual cues that represent your brand. These elements should be distinctive, easy to recognize, and consistently used across all platforms and materials.

Creating a consistent brand image across online and offline channels is crucial for a mailing services business. Achieve consistency by using the same brand elements across all marketing materials, including website, social media, business cards, newsletters, and brochures.

Another important aspect is to maintain a consistent tone of voice and messaging. This means using the same language and style in all communications, whether it's a blog post, email, or customer service interaction.

Consistency also means being present and active on all relevant online platforms, such as social media, review sites, and industry directories. This helps reinforce the brand image and makes it easier for customers to find and engage with the business.

Offline, you can achieve consistency through physical branding elements, such as signage, uniforms, and packaging. These should all use the same visual identity and messaging as the online channels.

Review and update the brand image and messaging regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and resonates with the target audience. You can do this through customer feedback, market research, and analysis of competitor branding strategies.

Control Your Brand Identity

Your brand message should clearly convey your values, mission, and the unique benefits of your services. This clear messaging not only differentiates your mail center from the competition but also establishes credibility. Customers trust a brand that communicates its values and commitments effectively.

If you've never given much thought about how your current and future customers perceive your organization, this would be a good time to take a step back. Consider simple ways you can confirm your company's image by defining your company's mission and communicating your message through published content. Pay attention to branding at all customer touchpoints.

A strong brand identity can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention. When customers feel a connection to a brand and its values, they are more likely to continue using that business for their mailing needs and recommend the company to others.

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business” - Steve Forbes

Mike Porter at Print/Mail Consultants creates content that helps attract and retain customers for companies in the document industry and assists companies as they integrate new technology. Learn more about his services at www.pmccontentservices.com. Follow @PMCmike on Twitter, or send him a connection request on LinkedIn.