The secrets to building a memorable brand
Branding goes beyond your logo. Customers experience your brand at every touch point they have with the business, from emails and sales scripts to how you decorate the office.
Memorable brands are cohesive. Customers immediately understand what they stand for and the problem they can solve. This means small business owners need to make sure every touch point is consistent and has an impact.
This post breaks down four simple techniques that will help you build a more memorable brand.
Start with why
Simon Sinek’s ‘start with why’ method advocates building businesses around a cause, purpose or belief. This helps inspire the people your business touches, whether it’s clients or staff.
It’s a handy place to start. Your 'why' provides a reference for business decision making and helps ensure communication is cohesive.
An entrepreneur running a fitness business might deliver boot camp courses in their local park - that’s ‘what’ they do. Their ‘why’ could be: 'Making exercise comfortable for regular people.' This sets them apart from the imitating gyms full of muscle-bound fitness gurus. They want to have a positive impact and immediately identified with their target audience that’s struggled to find comfortable situations to exercise with other people.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Why did you launch your business? What impact do you want to have?
Spend time reflecting and talk to your team and customers to try and nail down why you do what you do. Communication, product development and even the organisational structure should flow from this 'why' statement. The consistency and purpose-driven approach will make your brand more memorable.
Take stock of your marketing channels
It’s common for small businesses to set up accounts on the popular social media sites. Plus there’s a tendency to sign-up for whatever’s new to reserve your brand name. You could have Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and perhaps a YouTube or even a MySpace account that’s been forgotten about.
It’s important to remember your customers could find any of these profiles. The first thing to do is take stock of what’s out there. Ask the team, Google the company name and get everything you come across into a spreadsheet.
Update all the logos, branding, images and text to make sure it’s consistent. Each social network will have its own unique style. But your brand should feel and look the same whether you’re posting formal advice-led content on LinkedIn or short Facebook videos.
Think about what you want to get out of each of these platforms. What social networks are your customers using? How do they drive business results? It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to have a presence on every site. But it's far more effective to run two or three accounts well.
Social media shouldn’t just be about selling. Providing helpful content related to your company’s purpose will make the brand more memorable. The fitness business could post exercise videos that are easy to do between workouts or blogs posts on understanding how diet impacts exercise.
Write down your values and keep talking about them!
Company values should make your brand more memorable. They help your team understand how they should communicate with clients. It’ll define your marketing. It can help shape investments in developing new products or services too.
Think about half a dozen or so statements about behaviour that are specific to your company. This is similar to coming up with your ‘why’ but builds upon that process by providing more details and guidance for employees. Again, the consistency of behaviour will help make your brand more memorable.
Try to make your values as specific to the company as possible. If they could be applied to lots of your competitors it’s not going to help your brand stand out.
Your staff won’t remember and embody these values if they’re just written on the wall. Find opportunities to reinforce them as regularly as possible. Voting for an employee of the month could be based on achievements around a specific value.
Here are a few examples values from social media tool Buffer:
We hold ourselves and each other accountable
We have fun and work hard
We’re supportive and collaborative
This work behind the scenes helps create a memorable brand. Customers might not read the list of values on your website but will experience them through interactions with your brand.
It’s the little things that make a big difference
The public often uses small and independent businesses because they want a more genuine experience. Corporates can be faceless. There’s no comparison between buying a coffee from a Starbucks employee and a local coffee shop owner. You can see this trend manifest itself in the number of independent breweries.
What does that mean for creating a memorable brand?
Small businesses have the opportunity to make customer interactions special. To do things that don’t scale and are impossible for larger companies.
Think about what personal touches you can add to the sales process. This could be anything from sending handwritten Christmas cards to including employee reviews of products.
Complaints offer a big opportunity too. Spending time with a difficult customer and refunding products can make sales unprofitable. But there will be huge brand benefits if it turns them from a detractor into a brand advocate.
Making your brand memorable is one of the most enjoyable aspects of running a small business. Feedback can be a massive morale boost, from customers that love and return to your company to supportive reviews.
Taking time out of the day-to-day running of a business is always difficult. But the small business owners who invest in making their brands more memorable will make more sales and get more joy out of the process.