Your brand is your business identity, it is how your customers recognise and refer to you. It represents your position in the market and gives you a platform and a voice which, coupled with your data, allows you to stand out from your competitors.
In the increasingly noisy digital landscape of today it is crucial for your business to be not just visible but to stand out from the crowd as you compete on a global stage and in multiple economies.
With brands contending for the number one spot on search engines and consumers being inundated with choice, your brand needs to shine through and grab potential buyers by the horns.
This article will explore some of the reasons why you should always ensure you control your brand and own your data.
YOUR BRAND IS AN INVESTMENT
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”
Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief of Forbes Magazine
Every business and marketing decision you make should reflect your brand values and support your brand identity, and utilising any suppliers to carry out any part of your business functions you should consider the following:
– Do their core business values align with mine?
– Will this directly benefit and boost my own brand?
Online bidding suppliers such as 3rd party marketplaces can be a beneficial first step if you have little or no online presence to initially leverage or enhance your brand, but the best investment would be a solution that allows your brand and tone of voice to be the main focus, something that is fully customised and aligned with your business and its values.
With brand being such a crucial investment to any business, you should never trade this off in return for a service that does not support this in the long-term. A strong brand will deliver value to your organisation well beyond your physical assets.
BRAND OWNERSHIP GIVES YOU CHOICES
Brand ownership means being in control of what your customers think of you. This can be diluted or lost depending on how you execute your processes. Take a typical transaction, process or customer journey within your business and think of how and where your brand appears. Then also consider whether the parts that represent you externally, via a 3rd party perhaps, are acceptable and representative of your principles and values, or even if your brand (not theirs) is reflected on their platform at all.
In fact, consistent presentation of a brand has been seen to increase revenue by 33 percent (Lucidpress, 2019). By keeping your processes centered solely around your brand gives you full control over your marketing choices and long-term growth, as well as maintaining control of your data and how you want to use it as part of your business strategies. Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your marketing efforts, saving time and money.
YOUR BRAND IS AN ASSET THAT SETS YOU APART FROM COMPETITORS
“When you brand yourself properly, the competition becomes irrelevant.”
Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author
From commercial and industrial auctions to fine art, there is potentially another auction house, or marketplace, that can offer the same or similar to you. You want to be the go-to for a particular item and you want people to instantly think of your auction house when they think of or see a particular item or category.
You also want to be at the forefront of a vendors mind when they are scoping out a selling channel for their goods. Branding promotes recognition, and people tend to do business with companies they are familiar with, enabling them to also feel at ease doing so. One survey showed that 81 percent of consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy from them (Edelman, 2019).
Offering online bidding via a private label provides you with an extension of your branding, further cementing your position in the auction industry and providing another route to enhance your brand awareness.
DATA HELPS YOU MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
All businesses’ no matter their size, generate data. Any business with a website, a social media presence, and transactions of any kind is collecting data about customers, user habits, web traffic, demographics, and more. All that data is filled with quality insights if you know what to extract from it and how.
For any auction houses where marketing budgets need to be justified, this data can offer a strong supporting argument behind a strategic decision, helping leaders make smart decisions about the direction the company and the effectiveness of their marketing strategy.
Without your brand or your data – what are you? If you can’t stand out from the crowd then every part of growth and success becomes limited and without a strong buyer base that you can freely communicate with, your future marketing strategy becomes impossible to execute and insight becomes non-existent. This is an important consideration to have when using a marketplace to run your auctions as you lose a large proportion of insightful data – the data gathered will be owned by the supplier and will not contribute towards the growth of your internal database.
DATA IS YOUR MULTI-FACETED KEY TO SUCCESS
Data can help you solve problems and if harnessed correctly can inform on the following:
- Finding new customers
- Increasing customer retention
- Improving customer service
- Improving marketing efforts
- Tracking social media interaction
- Predicting sales trends
“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”
– Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web
Your data is the foundation of why you exist, you need to look after it, control it and own it. Data helps you improve processes, understand your customers and uncover insights that will guide your auction business into the future.
BIG DATA HAS BIG VALUE, BUT NOT TO SMALL BUSINESS
“Consumer data will be the biggest differentiator in the next two to three years. Whoever unlocks the reams of data and uses it strategically will win.” – Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple Inc.
Your data has great value to your business but in the grand scheme of things is relatively small data, albeit of vital importance to your business. When you share your data with a third party it becomes part of their big data and that data has a big value to their business, but not to yours.
If you list your auction on a third-party marketplace you are giving that marketplace your data, and not just your buyer data. Every time one of your bidders logs in to their website, they can track their user journey. They can begin to profile that buyer to understand what they look at on the marketplace website, which items they view, bid on or buy, how many items they buy, what they spend, where they live and so on and so on. This profiling is so powerful because it gives the marketplace insights in to how they can sell more assets from your competitors to your buyers. It also gives them buyer and underbidder pricing activity metrics and an understanding of what buyers are interested in, as well as what they will pay for it. It gives them a massive advantage should they ever want to become a marketplace that connects a seller with a buyer directly.
In short, you are paying a company to provide you a service that means you take less on your hammer price because they are charging an additional online selling fee and, at the same time, you may also be giving them the building blocks to dominate your business and monopolise our industry.
At Bidpath, all our tools are created with auctioneers at the heart of everything we do. We want to supply you with the technology to grow your sales, your brand and your data. If you would like to discuss the many ways in which we can help, then please get in touch with a member of the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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