There is always lots of discussion about what a company brand looks like or what it should look like. How is a company brand created and most importantly, what do customers feel or say about your company brand.
Your company brand is based on your company’s culture, your core values and mission statement. In my early years of business this really meant nothing to me. Company brand? Culture? Core Values? Mission Statement? I was very naïve as to what any of this meant or just how important a company brand really is.
The word “brand” is one of those words that is used often but is unevenly understood. A good example of the importance of branding would be cattle ranchers. Years ago they “branded” their cattle so ownership could be easily determined. It separated one cattle rancher from the other. Some cattle were better than others.
Fast forward to today and nothing has changed even in our industry. There are certain brands in our sector that are simply best in class. Best carriers, Best service providers… you get where I’m going? In many cases the best generally do business with the best. Great carriers deal with great service providers because the service providers help make the carriers better. In most cases when you deal with the best it is reflective in the price. Great service providers and carriers tend to charge more. Why? Because they can! They are confident that they will do a better job and supply better service than the competitor and their customers know that.
Put simply, your brand is what your customers and prospective customers think of when he or she hears your company name. Your brand exists in someone’s mind.
Consistent strategic branding is about brand equity. Brand equity means the added value brought by your company’s product or
service that allows you to charge more for an identical product/service offered by another company. One of the most obvious examples of brand equity is Coke and Pepsi. They are still able to charge more for their soda than the generic brands even though the products are identical in nature.
At KRTS our brand has been built on the quality of our people. Our core value is people and our business circle revolves around our people. It looks something like this, as owners, we look after our people by paying them well, offer them a healthy work environment and supply them with the best available tools to do their job. We communicate regularly in reference to our goals and objectives, treat them with dignity and respect and, with the exception of ongoing education and periodic guidance, we get out of their way so they can do what their best at in their respective positions.
The associates in turn understand our culture and expectations. They appreciate how they are treated and want to be a part of something successful which results in them going above and beyond for KRTS ever day! By doing this their efforts affect the level of service we are able to provide and our customers receive best in class service.
When your customers feel and experience this quality of service they are successful and doing well. When they accomplish these two things they talk about our business in a positive way which, in turn, effects our bottom line in a very positive way. It also affects our brand and separates us from the “generic” version which generally means cheaper but the results are never the same.
Our brand has been built on quality, service, reputation and most importantly our core value being people. A great recipe for a great brand!
About the Author
Kim Richardson has been in the transportation industry for 33 years. Currently he is the President of KRTS Transportation Specialists Inc. a multiple award winning family owned and operated business. Under the KRTS group of Businesses is Transrep Inc. and The Rear View Mirror. Kim is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Truck Training Association of Ontario (TTSAO), Board of Director of the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). He is the past Chairman of the Board and current board member of Allied Trade Division of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and past founding director of the Owner Operators Association of Canada (OBAC). Kim is a proud husband, dad, grandpa and loves his community, Caledonia, Ontario.