How To Promote Your Certification
Certification to ISO or another standard is highly useful as a marketing tool. While the main benefit to attaining certification is the improved efficiency and accountability it brings, it is also a unique selling point and a great way of setting your business apart from the competition.
While the general public is becoming more familiar with ISO certification, a lot of its nuances and potential benefits will be lost on your audience if you don't take steps to market them properly.
Here are four of the dos and don'ts of promoting your organization's ISO certification to keep in mind.
1. Focus On Value
Having a management system certified is great, but what does it mean to your customers? Make sure any messaging you put out to market your achievement is focused primarily on how your certification affects those who use your product or service. Here are some ideas:
Quality Control: ISO certification is all about repeatable, scalable processes — a certified quality management system ultimately means your customers can expect a more consistent experience every time they work with you.
Lower Costs: Certified businesses are more efficient businesses — let your customers know that because you run a more cost-effective operation, you don't need to cut corners to keep prices competitive.
Accountability: ISO certification also provides tools for addressing problems when they occur. While you don't want your messaging to focus too heavily on this possibility, let your customers know that being certified by a third-party accredited certification body helps you achieve greater transparency and more effective communication.
The specifics of your business and industry will determine how best to focus your messaging, but the key takeaway is that when promoting your ISO certification, always put the customer first.
2. Don't Get Caught Up In Specifics
ISO certification is a complicated, multi-step process. However, your customers don't need to know all the details. Keep things simple and straightforward.
An excellent example of this is the terms certification, accreditation and registration. While there are technical differences between these terms, they aren't necessarily relevant to your customers. By being consistent and using one phrasing exclusively, you may sacrifice a little bit of accuracy, but you'll avoid confusion and deliver a stronger message.
One way to incorporate, as well as define these terms, is as follows — the client gets certified, and the certification body gets accredited. The client can also get registered.
3. Promote Your Certification In The Appropriate Forums
As important as social media is to your broader marketing initiatives, its emphasis on short, impactful content means it is probably not the best place to promote your ISO certification on an ongoing basis. Instead, consider white papers, case studies and other forums where you can go into depth about the benefits it offers your customers.
When you're sharing the release of these documents across your social media platforms, however, it's an opportune time to utilize hashtags that note your certification. Even if a reader doesn't proceed with reading the content right away, they'll see that hashtag and make the connection that your company is certified. You can tag the accredited certification body too, establishing a relationship with the team monitoring that organization's accounts.
4. Use Consistent, Appropriate Branding
Each accredited certification body has a unique registration mark or logo, which, with certain restrictions, you are entitled to incorporate into your branding.
The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), for instance, does not permit you to use their symbol on buildings, primary packaging or products produced with an accredited product conformity scheme. The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) also carries rules for incorporating their symbol, which vary by your accreditation type. A management systems accreditation, for example, cannot apply the ANAB symbol to any and all documents— only those that pertain to accredited activities.
Some places where you can often apply the logo of an accredited certification body include:
Your email signature
Your company letterhead
Your building's signage, front lobby and branded vehicles
Trade show or convention advertising
If NQA certified your organization, get in touch with a representative for details about proper registration mark use. Want to learn more about the certification process or request a quote? Contact our office today.