1 — SERVE FIRST, SELL SECOND
social media if you’re working solo or creating Instagram story templates to help your employees be themselves on your professional feed. If your approach isn’t relying on social media as much, you could add interview-style testimonials with your clients as videos on your website. Or show up on their websites as a guest interview.
Have you ever walked into a store and had a clerk come up to you immediately and ask if you want to buy something? Or landed on a website and had a pop-up asking you to buy something right away? No one enjoys having this happen to them, so why do brands consistently put selling first? Today’s consumers are savvier than they have ever been. They are touching base with brands on social media, at conferences, and in stores— online and locally—before they talk to a single person at your company. When you’re thinking of how you manage your brand’s communication channels, are you providing value outside the products or services you sell? Part of building an exceptional brand presence is being generous with the wealth of information you have on your area of expertise. Educating or entertaining your customers with the knowledge that you have gives them a glimpse into who you are and why they should buy from you. It also works toward providing those magical 7 points of contact needed for your audience to decide to take out their wallet. For you this might look like providing informative articles, putting out video tutorials, giving free talks at local meetups within your industry or even just spending some time answering questions on Facebook groups. The more value you put out to serve your customer, the more identifiable your brand becomes. The most influential role of your brand is the relationship that you establish between you and your customer. Top companies everywhere are looking for the best way to connect with their customers, so you end up reading a lot of advice that says to ‘be authentic’ online, but what does that really mean? Well, that comes down towhat brand strategy you have in place for your company and how you can incorporate a more human-centred approach to your brand. This could be something as simple as adding more images of yourself into your 2 — TRY A HUMAN-CENTRED APPROACH
3 — ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH TO YOUR BRANDING
In our digital age, it’s all too easy to lose a sense of a real connection with your friends and family. It’s just as easy for your brand to lose a genuine relationship with your customers. Take a second to close your eyes and think of a time that you received a hand-written note from someone. Maybe it was your real estate agent checking in, or a client who appreciated the extra time you spent with them. It could also be the last holiday card you received! When you get something that took an additional couple steps, like a handwritten note mailed to you, it sticks in your mind and gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings. For me, it was when I signed up with Mailchimp for my first-ever email campaign. I remember feeling unsure, happy, accomplished, and a little anxious about what people would think. These days I hardly think of any of those feelings. I think about something I received in themail a week later—a pair of adorable socks from Mailchimp to congratulate me on sending out my first campaign. It changed the way I viewed the company. It built loyalty to them. And most importantly, it makes me think of them every time someone asks about an email service provider. These are small investments that will see a return for your company in personal use and referrals for years to come. So, take the extra time to use the digital ‘disconnect’ to your brand’s advantage.
by Brittany Pickrem A fter hundreds of branding consults, the most common thing my clients ask for is a brand that people will love. What they’re really saying— most of the time—is that they want to have a logo that people will love. In this article when I’m talking about ‘branding,’ I’m not only talking about your logo on its own. I’m talking about the total sum of your company’s identity: • How you interact with your customers • Your marketing materials (business cards, website) • Your photography choices • Touchpoints in your sales processes • The way you write content on your website • The way you interact on social media • The list goes on and on
In a world where 89% of B2B businesses are citing brand awareness as their top priority, companies that aren’t focused on how their customers think of them are losing out on sales, referrals and the coveted loyalty of a ‘household brand.’ One of my favourite parts of being a brand consultant is helping business owners create a strategy around their whole brand that people will fall in love with! I want to get you started with seven things you can do to take your audience from ‘dimly aware of your company’ to head over heels in love with your brand.
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER 2019
69 SEPTEMBER 2019 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
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