Supply chains and fulfillment services are being used for more than just for packaging and shipping products to your customers. They are now highly effective branding tools that can engage your customer base and establish your company as a credible, trusted organization.

You can compare these functions—formerly considered simply back-office necessities—to brick and mortar retail employees who greet you happily, call you by name and package your purchases before your eyes. While catalog and e-retailers lack access to in-person brand enhancement, your shipping services can offer similar opportunities to strengthen your image.

Your best advertising tool

Companies that focus on supply chains and fulfillment services as marketing/branding opportunities are enjoying consistent success. Using packaging and shipping materials to help your retail brand stand out can be as simple as wrapping your product in festive colored tissue paper, or as distinctive as using highly recognizable shipping boxes. The marginally added cost to ship products can return wonderful rewards, in excess of expensive advertising media campaigns.

With companies spending around $150 billion per year on branding efforts that result in gross sales of $786 billion, it’s reasonable to correlate branding success with revenue generation. Can you think of a better branding plan than emphasizing your outstanding products and customer service as your customer receives that much anticipated package enclosing their desired product? A multimillion-dollar Super Bowl ad cannot reach your customers more effectively than a personal branding message that they can see, feel, and touch.

 How to leverage your fulfillment services

According to the American Marketing Association, companies that understand the true meaning of a strong brand, “a name, term, sign, symbol or design . . . intended to identify the goods of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers,” also comprehend the value of using fulfillment services as an effective vehicle to improve a brand.

First, you need reliable, timely supply chains and channels to have access to your products when you need them. You must also have trusted fulfillment services to get your products to your customers in a timely fashion. Finally, you must take advantage of the branding opportunities offered by these required necessities to cement and improve your credibility and customer confidence.

Understanding the needs and/or wants of your customer base is crucial to designing the optimal branding strategy. The easiest and most accurate measure of their desires is their purchasing of your products and anxiously awaiting their delivery. Use this reality to its maximum by using fulfillment services to enhance your brand.

Capitalizing on this opportunity is a cost – effective strategy. Giving your audience what they want creates engaged and loyal customers. Efficient order fulfillment is an effective starting–not end–point. Establishing efficient supply chains is the foundation of this effort.

Combining your branding strategy with order fulfillment will generate exciting and profitable returns. Fortunately, there is little inherent risk of dollars or credibility. Catalog and e-sellers can use packaging, special offers and, even, company news to further cement their strong relationship with their customer base. Using supply chains and order fulfillment as branding tools is a winning combination.