When the word “brand” is mentioned in business, what comes to mind? For many, it is a logo. It is the visual look of the home page or the quality of print materials.
In actuality, a brand is much more than that. A business’s brand is cultivated in every public-facing interaction. This, of course, encompasses the examples listed above, but they only begin to touch on everything that goes in to building your brand.
Everything you do for advertising, marketing and sales will leave an impression of your business – and these activities serve as the building blocks of your brand. Compelling digital marketing and print work can give your brand a professional feel. But your brand is even larger than that. There are basic fundamentals that can shape your audience’s view of your business outside of your marketing collateral.
By this point, you should understand your business’s mission, vision, and value. Before you start building a business – before you start building a brand – you should know exactly what you want to accomplish. That’s part of the discovery process. You should probably also have your brand’s name locked down. That’s an important aspect as well.
Before you get into marketing automation systems or any details designed to attract new clients, it is important to consider what you are doing to build the core tenants of your brand. You are either knowingly or unknowingly constructing the look and feel of your brand identity in nearly every business decision that you make.
Building Value With Your Brand Communications
In order for customers to want to do business with you, it has to be apparent that your business provides value. This is accomplished in a number of ways. If your customers have questions, make sure to give thorough answers. Talk to them with an understanding that they don’t know as much about your industry as you do, but also without being unintentionally condescending. As you have a conversation, you can point them to additional resources to answer their questions.
That value can also be provided through web content, blogging, and other marketing materials. Customers can find the answers to their questions anywhere on the internet, yet they chose you. Providing quality content that answers the most pertinent questions will create value for your audience and establish you as an expert they can trust. This is true even when it feels counterintuitive to give key industry expertise away.
That value proposition doesn’t stop at the moment they decide to buy, either. Your customer may literally have hundreds or thousands of places they could have gone for what they needed, but they chose you.
Find a way to give them something beyond what they asked for. Deliver on the brand promise uncovered during the brand discovery process.
Below are some suggestions for going above and beyond:
- If you sell a product, include a pamphlet with tips for use or suggested alternative uses within the shipping. Include a thank you card, or follow up with a call. These are opportunities to create a positive interaction.
- If you sell a service, show them how your service provides value. Explain why you do things a certain way, and why that benefits the customer.
- You can always create value in your marketing. Offer as much free content as you can conceivably produce. It helps to give your readers an idea of why they need your product, tips for how they can use your product and as much social proof as possible through testimonials or case studies.
- Provide exemplary customer service. In an industry where the products and services are similar, the way a customer is treated can make all the difference in the world. Quality customer service creates loyal customers.
Creating Positive Interactions With Your Brand
When you go in for a job interview, the common advice is to be well groomed, have a positive attitude, and be able to effectively communicate why you are the right person for the job. This is sound advice if you are representing your business in front of potential customers as well.
- Do you have an elevator speech prepared? How do you explain what you do in 30 seconds or less? This effective, succinct communication can become the lasting impression that a face-to-face customer has about your brand.
- Carry business cards everywhere. Potential customers or business opportunities surface in all areas of life. Having an unusual business card format can also help define your business and your brand.
- Develop a professional web presence. An aesthetically pleasing, high-impact website that immediately connects with new users and adds value as a resource to both customers and search engines for the visibility of the brand.
- Plan for effective and memorable event experiences. The opportunity to connect in person with your audience activates emotions and forms first impressions that are memorable and vivid. A hand shake, a smile, and the demonstration of a tangible product can all help.
Whether it’s personal grooming, presentation or marketing collateral, make sure to pay attention to the small details. When it comes to building a brand, your efforts are more likely to be thwarted by a mosquito than a dragon.
Once someone is pulled into your sales funnel, how are they treated? Do you make the extra effort to ask people if they have any questions, or what they thought of their experience? These simple follow-ups can go a long way. Don’t forget about your former customers and clients when it comes time to gear up your marketing efforts, either. Reaching out to long-time customers and clients to see if they need anything can help keep them satisfied, and create more business for you.
Creating value and positive interactions are extremely important with any marketing interaction. Email, blog posts, web site content, or any digital marketing “touches” can all help shape a customer’s perception of your brand. But mastering the fundamentals of building your brand before diving into the complexities of digital marketing creates a solid base from which to work.
Your brand is the very core of your business. It’s the essence of everything you do. Are you paying attention to the details in every outward-facing interaction? Mastering these perceptions of your business will strengthen your brand for the future.
If you are looking for ways to build the core of your brand, contact Joint Media Marketing today.