As business owners, we hear the word ‘branding’ a lot. We hear we need to be consistent with it, it needs to represent who we are, and it’s how our customers recognize us. You may wonder, “what the hell is branding, exactly?”
Your “Brand” is how the world sees your business: the impression they get of you, and the conclusions they make about you as a result. Yes, your ‘branding’ has a lot to do with the logo, colors, and fonts you use. But branding goes far beyond your visuals. (And if you want to know more about visual branding, here is the podcast episode for you: Episode 21: Why Consistency Is Key
Let’s dive into what goes into creating a brand for your business that covers all the bases.
Your Brand Culture
Your brand culture is how you run your business from the inside out. It’s built on your mission, vision, and core values, and it should be reflected in every decision you make for your business. Your customers should be able to recognize your commitment to what matters most to you by the way you show up online and off. Here are some things to consider:
Walk the Walk –
Your company’s mission and values should be more than just a section of your website bio. They should be tangible, visible things that are present in the everyday. From how you talk to your customers to how you handle customer service issues, it’s crucial for branding success that your team is on board with those values and clearly demonstrates them in their daily actions. Be authentic to your brand.
Showcase Your Story-
Your customers want to connect with real people, not faceless corporations. Showcase the histories and day to day stories that make up your company and give people a window into who you are and why you do what you do.
Support the Wider Community-
Your customers want to know that your business is part of something bigger. Find ways to give back and support the wider community, whether it’s through donations or volunteer work. This shows your values matter outside of your business and shows a commitment to doing more than just making money for yourself.
Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is how you speak and the words you use to communicate with your customers. It should be consistent across all platforms, from email marketing and website content to conversations on social media. Here are some things to consider:
Write it Down-
Being consistent with your voice can be challenging. Take the time to really consider the word choice, tone of voice, and even the punctuation you will use for your business. There are a lot of different ways to say the same thing! This blog has some great examples for you.
Once you have written your ideal brand voice, make sure it’s reflected across all of your channels. You can set up notifications and alerts when one of your team members speaks on behalf of the business or when any content.
Be Mindful of Grammar-
It’s a jungle out there, and there is no faster way to be attacked online than poor grammar. Make sure all of your content is grammatically correct and you are using the correct punctuation. There are some great tools out there if auto-correct isn’t cutting it. Grammarly is what we use over here at Social Siren!
Your Customer Relationships
There are few things that are more memorable for customers than off-the-charts customer service. With social media, customers expect to reach out and get a response quickly. Here are some things to consider:
Make a plan for communication –
You should have a plan in place for how you will handle customer inquiries and complaints. This includes response times, who is responsible for responding to what type of inquiry or complaint, and how the team will go about resolving any issues quickly.
Make it Conversational –
Your customers want to feel like they can talk to you. Write conversationally as if you were speaking with them directly. This will help build genuine connections and make customers more likely to trust you.
Remember that Brand Voice –
Again, consistency is key. Make sure that your customer service team is reflecting the same brand voice as you would use on social media or any other platform. This will help customers recognize and trust your brand no matter where they come into contact with it.
Ultimately, branding isn’t just having a flashy logo or tagline – it’s about building relationships with customers, showcasing your values and mission, and creating an authentic voice that people recognize. When you put in the extra effort to really consider these elements, it pays off in spades. Customers recognize a great brand when they see it, and they will be more likely to stick around because of it.
The Social Siren Team.