The Way You Interact is Part of Your Brand
When people consider branding, the first thing most think of is a logo, but it’s far from the only component that speaks of your branding. In fact, while your logo can be a marker of visibility, it can’t speak for you the way an integral and cohesive message can.
Recognizability is the marker of a memorable logo, but what does it represent? Does it say what your company is about? Does it explain who you are as a business, or speak of the reason why you do the things you do?
Each element you choose to represent your company is a piece of your voice. Let’s look at how even the smallest things can be seen as part of your brand.
What is Your Brand Saying?
The coloring and marketing materials you choose can speak of your brand. Do you use bright, bold colors or muted earth tones?
Are your sales and customer service reps laid-back or aggressive on a close?
Do you bend over backwards to meet your clients’ needs?
Do you help clients even after the close or wash your hands of them?
Does everybody on the team respond with a clear, concise message?
Every interaction, yes, every single interaction is a part of your company’s culture and speaks of your branding whether you like it or not. You don’t get to choose how a customer sees you if you don’t put the effort in to mold that experience.
When you’re front and center and are there with them, it’s easier to control the flow of the conversation. What about when you aren’t there, and they’re talking to another local business, a partner, or their friends?
Do they recommend your services or say something else?
What do they say when you aren’t listening, and you aren’t there to respond?
What opinion do they truly hold about the way you treated them?
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou
Choosing how to interact as a group is a vital component of your branding.
Help Your Team Find a Cohesive Voice
Are you all on the same page? Or does your marketing department answer things differently than your sales department? Maybe it’s time to find out. It’s easy to overlook this crucial step, because we often assume everybody on the team knows who you are and what your company is about, but what if the messaging is off?
Imagine this scenario. You make face-masks due to the COVID outbreak. You’ve shifted gears and have adapted your manufacturing. Somebody asks what you do and why, and each department has a different answer.
You: We made the change to help the crushing demand for personal protective equipment in the health care industry. It was important that health care workers have the materials they need. I was moved to make the change when I saw the impact it was having on the medical staffing who are working tirelessly and didn’t have enough safety equipment for their personal protection. I am proud we were able to adapt and will continue doing this until there is no longer a need.
Your marketing or sales department: We make personal protective equipment. There’s a big demand, so we jumped on board. Check out our cool styles. We especially like helping doctors and nurses. Did you see we have a lot of patterns, so you can personalize your style? Look good while you keep working.
Customer service: We used to make shirts, but we make masks now. Sure, we can suit you up. Why did we change? Seemed like the thing to do. Besides, we’re good at it. How many did you need? I can get those out to you next week. I’m not sure how long we’ll be making these, but for now we have them in stock. We’ll eventually go back to making shirts.
What would it sound like if you all had the same message?
Branding Includes More than Just Your Marketing Materials
It’s who you are. It’s what you do. It’s why you do it.
What do you want people to remember about you?
Why do you do what you do?
Have you made your employees clear on these valuable reasons?
What can you do to help create a strong, tightly branded, and cohesive message?
Where could you strengthen your messaging?
Succinct messaging means that everybody is on the same page. Everybody understands what your company is about, what it stands for, and what you’re hoping to accomplish. When was the last time you asked your employees these questions? Take a moment to listen to what they’re saying, it may surprise you.
When it comes to branding, there are multiple layers involved. Yes, your logo is important. You probably spent a long time thinking about what you wanted it to look like, what shape, what colors, and how it might look printed on a business card or up on a sign, but did you truly look at your branding as a whole?
Branding speaks for your company when you can’t be there. What does your branding say about your business?
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