Cementing your Business’s Online Brand
By Marketecture on December 6th, 2012
Who here has seen Friends? You know how every time Joey Tribbiani walks into a room you just know he is going to say something hopelessly and gloriously off-color and inappropriate? He is consistently wonderfully Italian, cutely dim-witted, and highly promiscuous.
Think of your business as a character on a television show. Who is your character? What are their identifiers? What is their personality like? Your brand is, essentially, the personality of your business. It is the way people identify you – it’s how you interact with customers, handle problems, convey your professionalism, and market yourself. Just like Joey’s personality seeps out of his character and is hard-to-miss, your brand should be easy to recognize.
But…how? How do you let your personality shine through on the internet?
Exclusive: Brand Your Business Online
Here’s a few tips to help you out:
1. Pick a logo that resonates—
Pop quiz: what is McDonald’s logo? What about Nike’s? Apple’s?
All of these companies have logos that are easy to remember and stick in the mind of the consumer. When you think of McDonald’s, you think of the golden arches (…along with dollar Diet Cokes, crispy fries, and stomach aches). When choosing a logo, choose something that will help you to stand out and that will look professional and clean on your website, cards, letterheads, etc. and then…
2. Repetition, repetition, repetition–
For something to truly stick in the minds of consumers, you have to be somewhat repetitive. Slap a logo on the end of all your emails, constantly remind your customers of your mission statement and business goals, share your slogan at any time possible.
3. Dear Customers, We love you…
Your customers are valuable pieces to the puzzle of building a brand identity. Let them know how much they are appreciated (in the most non-threatening way possible…) and leave them with a good impression. Having killer customer service is an easy way to build a brand identity that will resonate.
4. Your website should enhance your company—
Have you ever visited a restaurant only to be immediately turned off by the messy counters or water-stained cutlery? Think of your website this way—is your website conveying the right message about your company and projecting your professionalism? Take a hard look at your website and ensure that the graphics, fonts, text, and design are all reflecting your company positively.
5. Embrace and utilize social media—
Social media is a bridge that everyone should be jumping off of—millions of people are using it, and you should too! Using social media allows your customers and potential customers to see you in a multitude of lights. You can further build your brand by communicating and engaging with potential customer. It will also give your brand dimension and more opportunities to share your personality. Create a Twitter account, activate a Facebook page for your business, start a blog, make a YouTube channel…just get connected.
6. Keep it consistent—
Whether you are using words or not, your company is constantly saying something. Keep it consistent! If you offer a customer great customer service one visit, aim to provide the same caliber of service time after time. Keep your tone and language consistent when interacting with customers, too. Get everyone on your team on the same page with the personality you want to exude.
Remember: you are a character – now play it!
7. Be yourself!–
We know, we know – being yourself is such a cliché line used by mothers far and wide, but they have a point! Let your personality seep through your content and service! Nobody wants to talk to a robot (well, actually…that would be pretty cool…).
8. Listen to your customers—
Say it three times: The customer is always right. They are! Responding to your customers’ feedback can be tricky and, really, there is no exact science. But adapting the motto we repeated can really transform your business and help you to be more customer-oriented.
It’s human nature to think we are never wrong (you never are!), but the customer knows what they want and should be valued. Plus they have a little something called money, sound familiar? Ultimately it’s the company’s responsibility, not the consumer’s, to bridge the gap between brand expectation and satisfaction.
To make sure you meet consumer expectation, you need to analyze all the feedback you’re getting and ask yourself if there is a common tie or string between them. Do most the surveys point to disappointment with your layout? Confusion with your check out process? Where does it seem that you are continually falling short? Using this data and brainstorming changes can help you to provide consumers with the experience you promised to give them (But! Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to implement every change that’s suggested. You can’t make everybody happy while sticking to your budget and maintaining sanity!).
Getting accustomed to your brand identity can take time, so be patient. Make sure to always measure how people are responding to your ‘personality’ through page views, frequent visitors, and new customers.
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