Summer is coming to an end and we hope you were able to relax and spend some time with family and friends and maybe even squeeze in some beach time. But now it’s time to get back to business and round out 2016 with some serious success.
To that end, here are five best practices for building your brand.
1. Create better customer experiences. Your brand is about so much more than what your logo and website look like. Your brand involves experiences, as in how do you make your customer feel every step of the way? Think about the experience you want your customers to have and make sure everything you do and every interaction you have helps create this experience.
What to do: Take a hard look at the different areas of your business—customer service, social, sales, customer loyalty strategies, and so forth—and see what needs improvement. Pay attention to customer feedback. They won’t be shy in telling you what’s working and what’s not, but it’s up to you to take action. You will learn the most from your biggest critics, so listen carefully.
2. Be consistent. If you’re touting one string of messages on your website and another on your social channels, then this creates a disconnect. Be consistent with your messaging across all channels.
What to do: Conduct an audit of all materials/places where your core messages appear and see if the messages are consistent. Better yet, ask someone else to look at your channels (e.g. website, social, online ads). Use a service like UserTesting.com if you need help. For each channel, ask the person what the main message is. Based on the feedback you receive, identify any inconsistencies and correct them.
3. Make sure your content marketing supports your brand. All the content you produce should reinforce your brand, and not just in terms of messaging, but also the look and feel.
What to do: If you haven’t been using one already, get in the habit of creating a content calendar. A calendar provides a clear snapshot of all your content so that you can easily spot holes or issues (for example, perhaps you spend too much time on one message while neglecting another). Conduct an audit of all layouts and make sure the physical presentations align with your brand from a visual perspective as well.
4. Do something different. If you want your brand to truly stand out, then you need to do something that will make it stand out. And, yes, we’re talking about something bigger than simply stating on your website the ways you’re different from your competitors. Here are some ideas:
- Create a company mascot and use it on everything
- Become an industry thought leader
- Publish books or eBooks, whatever works for you
5. Develop brand ambassadors. You can’t do it alone. The way to build your brand and get the word out is by tasking people with the job of promoting your brand—both employees and customers.