Many people think of graphical elements like logos, websites and brochures when they hear the word brand. But a brand is SO MUCH MORE than that. Your brand is made up of the TOTAL EXPERIENCE that your customers and prospects have with your business—at each and every touch point—and how that experience makes them FEEL. It is the foundation that all of your marketing, products, services and programs are built on. Here are 3 critical steps to strengthen that foundation.
Step 1: Get clear.
The first step is to get clear on exactly who you are as a business and what you stand for. Here are some questions to consider:
- Who do you serve?
- How do you serve them?
- Why do you do what you do?
- What results do people get from working with you?
- What makes you stand out from competitors?
- How do you want your customers to feel when they interact with you?
- What do you want to be known for?
Step 2: Do your research.
Now that you’re clear on who you are and what you stand for, it’s time to see how well you’ve been doing in getting that message across. Reach out to a few of your current clients, past clients and prospects to find out how they describe you and your business to others. Once you have a sense of the words and phrases they’re using, it will help you strategize the changes you may need to make in your marketing and business practices to help your community better understand what makes you unique, special and different.
Step 3: Integrate your brand into everything you do.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, every day, in everything you do, you are communicating your brand. So be intentional and consistent in creating that ideal experience for your customers and prospects. Here is a sampling of places you can begin to integrate your brand more purposefully:
- Your elevator pitch
- Your customer service practices
- Your sales/enrollment conversations
- Your client welcome kit
- Client “extras” (e.g., birthday cards, gifts, special “inner circle” discounts, etc.)
- Your voicemail message
- Your email signature
- Your business card
- Your website
- Your lingo
- Your business model
- Your charitable giving practices
- Your personal appearance
- The quality of your products and services
- Your content
- Your social media posts
- Your personal story
- Your signature talk
- Your follow-up
- Your logo & visual elements
- Your events
I’d love to know…What did you think of the steps outlined here? Do you have any additional tips for building your brand? Please share in the comments below…