Branding and the Customer Experience
What does your customer think of when they think of your brand? Do you know? Have you planted the seeds of your brand carefully? Branding is more than a logo. You’ve invested in a design, look, feel and colors to represent your company, but if itdoesn’t resonate with your message it’s not doing you any favors.
Your brand is what clients and customers think of your business when it comes to mind. It’s been said that it’s about what people say or think about you when you’re not around.
Actions, values, and being in alignment with your message are crucial components to branding. When tackling your branding initiative consider not only the way you want your image to feel, but what you want it to represent. What is the reason behind your business, or your why? As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Steve Krug’s memorable book on usability says, “Don’t make me think.” That’s an important message in all aspects of marketing. If you need to constantly reiterate who you are and what you stand for, your branding isn’t working for you.
• Control the conversation with smart branding
• Make sure your branding is aligned with your actions and values
• Know your why, and don’t overcomplicate your message.
Is your Business Brand Aligned with Your Values?
We briefly touched on alignment, but there’s no better way to emphasize how important this topic has become when thinking about companies that have hurt themselves due to poor judgement. With poor messaging, bad choices, or working with other companies that don’t align with their values—it sends a mixed message. In turn, it changes how clients view your company.
You wouldn’t want to buy from an earth-friendly business who creates heavy pollution to get the job done. You thought you were involved with a company doing one thing, but their message, values, and actions simply don’t align.
Just like a dentist wouldn’t promote sticky candy, a clothing company that sells children’s t-shirts with loving and inspiring messages but is found to use child labor is an example of misaligned values.
Today’s consumers are more brand aware and want to know what a company stands for. Does your branding make it easy to understand who you are and what you do? Does your message get across why you do it?
Is Your Brand Properly Targeted?
Who is your ideal client or customer? Is your message properly targeted? Does your outreach or inbound marketing attract the right client you’re looking for? What does your message say? Have you considered usability factors when creating content or web access? How does customer service tie into the branding and customer experience?
A consumer that feels valued, understood, and taken care of is a loyal customer. They in turn not only become repeat clients but share their experience and become brand ambassadors by telling others about you. Have you considered the entire buying or service experience of your customer from start to finish? That single voice can send out brand signals, good or bad.
They say that a happy client tells 3-5 people about their experience, while an unhappy client shares that experience with over 10 people. It also costs a lot more to gain a new client than to retain a client. You can see a wide range of customer service stats here. Now add social media into the mix, and suddenly there’s a viral post that’s caused more damage than you ever thought possible from one unhappy person.
Branding Helps Show What Makes You Different
In a sea of online businesses, everybody starts to look the same. How are you standing out? What makes your brand unique? Branding is a great way to help your future clients and customers understand what makes you different.
It takes multiple touch points to gain a client, whether they are in the awareness phase of their buying journey or a decision-making process. When it comes to converting potential clients into buying clients, it often comes down to what sets you apart. Why are you the right match for what they need? What problem are you solving?
Is Your Branding Cohesive?
When a client moves from your website to your social media channels or speaks with somebody in customer service, is the message cohesive or disjointed? Are your employees on the same page? Do they understand the importance of conveying your values?
If you’re not all on the same page, the customer experience becomes diluted or confusing, and the potential customer is left to make up their own mind about what your branding is. Your message needs to be concise, easy to understand, and cohesive at all angles. That means taking the time to make sure everybody on your team is working toward the same goal and focusing on your brand’s core message.
When future clients think of your business, what are they thinking? Smart, strong branding means they think of your company exactly how you’ve intended. They understand who you are and know why you’re the best solution to their problem.
Control the flow of conversation and make the full customer experience work for you, not against you.
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