Cementing Your Business Brand Online
Think of your business as a character on a television show. What is its character? What is its personality like? Your brand is essentially the personality of your business. It is the way people identify you, how you interact with customers, handle problems, convey your professionalism, and market yourself. Just like your favorite TV character’s personality is usually hard-to-miss, your brand should be easy to recognize.
How do you let your personality shine through on the Internet? Here are 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 consumers’ minds — when you think of McDonald's, you think of the golden arches. 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, and other marketing materials.
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, and share your slogan with whoever will listen.
3. Dear Customers, We Love You
Your customers are a valuable part of building a brand identity. Let them know how much they are appreciated and leave them with a good impression. Having killer customer service is an easy way to build brand identity.
4. Your Website Should Enhance your Company
Have you ever visited a restaurant, only to be immediately turned off by messy counters or water-stained cutlery? Think of your website in this way — is your website conveying the right message about your company and projecting professionalism? Take a hard look at your website and ensure that the graphics, fonts, text, and design all reflect your company positively.
5. Embrace Social Media
Millions of people use it, and you should too! Being present and active on social media allows you to engage with customers and potential customers. 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...all are ways to get connected.
6. Be Consistent
Your company is constantly saying something, whether or not it is said with words. Keep it consistent! If you offer a customer great customer service on one visit, aim to provide the same caliber of service each 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
Being yourself is a cliché used by mothers far and wide, but they have a point! Let your personality shine through your content and service. Nobody wants to talk to a robot.
8. Listen to your Customers
Say it three times: The customer is always right. Responding to customers' feedback can be tricky and, really, there is no exact science. But adapting this motto can transform your business and help you be more customer-oriented. It's human nature to think we are never wrong, but the customer knows what they want. Ultimately it's the company's responsibility, not the consumer's, to bridge the gap between brand expectation and satisfaction.
To ensure you meet consumers’ expectations, you need to analyze the feedback you're getting and look for common themes. Do most surveys express disappointment with your layout? Confusion with your checkout process? Where does it seem that you are continually falling short? Use this data to implement changes that provide consumers with the experience you promised 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.