4. Be consistent.
Customers, like you, need to know what to expect. This pertains to all of your customer-facing activities. If your company has multiple brand personalities – pick one and stick with it. Imagine if Tiffany’s, known for their signature blue box, decided to offer a rainbow-colored assortment of boxes. More than likely they would stand to lose significant brand equity that took years to build.
5. Create a clean, sharp and informative persona.
If your company was associated with a person, what would that person be like? For most founders that launch as solopreneurs this is easy, because you create your company based on your own image. But, if this isn’t the case consider your ideal customer and what he or she relates to most.
6. Communicate your brand well.
So, that selfie you took in the bathroom? Yes. That one! It should not take up residence on your company website. Neither should your photo bombing escapades be sent to media outlets when you’re looking for press coverage.
Invest in your brand; hire a photographer for one-hour to take professional, press ready photos that reflect your brand. Not in the budget? Get creative and stand against a well-lit, white wall and ask a friend to put your smartphone’s camera to good use.
If you own a luxury home furnishings line and hand me a perforated business card, it says to me (your customer), “I am inconsistent and not living up to my brand promise.” As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”
7. Strive for cohesiveness.
While your brand is not one specific thing, it is the sum of your company’s parts. That being said, if someone were to place photos of your logo, business cards, website, social media pages, and marketing materials, side-by-side they should “look and feel” the same. Don’t cut corners; focus on quality over quantity.
8. Partner with complimentary brands.
You’ve likely heard the adage: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with (Jim Rohn).” If the law of averages holds true in your personal life – it certainly impacts your business. As you grow, partner with brands who compliment your brand. If you’re an eco-friendly designer then you should partner with “green” suppliers. Like it or not, you are known by brand association. Not convinced, ask Lance Armstrong’s former sponsors.
9. Start a listening campaign.
Most of us start out in business with the urge to shout from the rooftops about how great our products and services are, how our company will change an industry and why we are better than the competition. But before you start talking – listen.
What are customers or prospective customers saying about your company on social media outlets, forums, etc? It helps to listen because these types of insights can drive improvements in your marketing messages, interactions and help shape perceptions.
10. Have fun.
In a buyer’s mind your brand is factual (the things they can see) and emotional (the way they feel about you). Make sure that you’re evoking the right type of emotions from your customers. The best example I can think of is Fab.com’s mantra: “Smile. You’re designed to.” It’s on every email from their CEO, Jason Goldberg, and it is a simple reminder that everyone can benefit from.
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