What makes a brand stand out from the competition so much that people will stand in line for hours to buy from you?
There are 3 stages of branding that every business should pay attention to. Don’t worry, none of this is technical. You can start implementing this today. It doesn’t matter if you’re an online business, a donut shop, a dentist, or a real estate agent. This stuff works for any brand.
Be Endearing – Prove you care
The first stage of a successful brand is to be endearing. Show your customers that you care.
It’s that simple.
But it’s about the execution that makes all the difference. I’m not talking about being nice to your customers and thanking them for their business. No, I’m talking about going out of your way to make their day. You don’t have to do it for everyone but if you do it will set you aside from everyone else.
An unexpected gift can be the talk of the town
My daughter is turning 1 next month. When she was born my wife and I had the option to do a cord banking (saving the umbilical cord blood for emergencies). Whether you agree with it or not, keep reading. So we signed up and sent the samples and thats it. I actually forgot that we even did this.
That was until a few days ago when we got a package in the mail from the cord banking company CBR. Inside the package was a note saying Happy 1st Birthday. And what was inside? A children’s book. Pretty neat.
What a great way to remind your customer’s about you. Surely by now, being a parent I am more likely to know other people who are about to have kids. Now that we’ve got a gift like this, we’re more likely to openly talk about it. Or blog about it.
And this certainly softens the reality that a bill is likely to be in the mail next month.
Go out of your way to make someone’s day brighter. It can be an automated process for all customers, like the above, or a simple follow up phone call asking how things are going. Don’t try and upsell during this time… just be genuine. People like that. People being like to be acknowledged.
Bottom line, show your customers you give a shit*.
But don’t be fake. You need to show sincerity.
A good foundation will provide long lasting structure
The second tier of branding only works when the first one is followed relentlessly. When you’re endearing and show you care about your customers – your brand becomes enduring. It will continue on. You’re business will grow because you’re building a following of loyal customers. They know you care and they love it.
After a while, something funny happens with your branding. You move past tier 3 into what’s known as a runaway brand. This happens when your customers become your marketing department. They love your brand so much that they tell everyone about it.
They will pay double for what you have because they believe in your brand so much, they must have it.
Would you be interested in free marketing?
Of course you would. But it requires time and thought.
You can’t get to the last stage by doing the same old thing. Think about your business from your customer’s perspective and do something different. Something that gets their attention and something that acknowledges them.
Find a customer that you know will appreciate the extra touch and find out what they like. Then get it for them. It takes some research but you can find out what people like such as sports teams, favorite movies, or favorite places to eat. All from public social media profiles and some crafty Googling. With that information, you can go above and beyond by showing how much you truly care.
And just for the sake of saying it, you actually have to care. Not a half-assed ‘I kinda care but customers are stupid’. Yes, people can act stupid – but the good ones outweigh the bad ones.
Do this and your marketing becomes free.
*I’m from NJ, we can only talk with our hands while cursing. It’s a fact.