3 Ideas To Ick-Proof Your BrandErin Ferree
October 18, 2011 — 1,286 views
Do you ever feel like your brand is out of alignment with your values system? Like you have to do things in your marketing that you wouldn't want your mother or your mentor to see?
If you said "yes", I'm curious: why is your brand icky?
Your brand is made up of the look, the feel and the experience of doing business with you.
Does it look like a mess? Is your design all over the place? Have you outgrown them and become more sophisticated and evolved?
Does it feel pushy or sleazy? Are you using tactics that you think you need to use to make sales? Do you find that when you market, you wind up feeling like a slimeball?
Is the experience in your brand one where your clients feel comfortable, cherished and welcomed? Do they understand what's going on every step of the way with you, so that they know how to make the most of their time working with you? Or do they feel like you're just trying to get them to buy, and then rushing through the deliverable so you can move on to the next client?
In any case, an icky brand is no fun. It's gross and uncomfortable, for both you and your clients.
Join me in stamping out ickiness in branding.
Your brand should represent you with integrity and make you proud. Your marketing should make your precious, ideal clients feel special, honored and seen. And once you welcome new clients in, they should be made comfortable and really taken good care of - throughout the process of working with you.
What if you could move away from the icky energy of trying to "make" them click this, opt-in, buy from you, or rush through your service delivery, and create a brand you're proud of and that your clients love?
Here's 3 ideas for how you can create your ick-proof brand:
Brand from your values. There's a lot of talk about creating a brand that "targets a niche" or "stands out". While those are both things to consider, they're certainly not the place to start from in your brand.
With standing out and branding for your clients, then you're reaching outside of and shining the light on things outside yourself. Which are both important perspectives to consider in your brand, this leaves out the most important part of your brand of all - aligning your brand with your values.
Your values - what you think is right and what you think is wrong - show up in your brand in a lot of ways: They show up in your:
- Core positioning: What you and your brand stand for.
- Words and tone: How you speak about your beliefs and the level of passion and conviction you convey.
- Consistency: If you're not in alignment with your values, your brand will be inconsistent and all over the place. Once you're aligned, consistency becomes easy.
- Affiliations and recommendations: Are you promoting for profit or because the people you recommend will help your clients?
- And, really, everywhere and all throughout your brand.
Know that you're not strapped into your brand's look forever. If your brand's look has gotten messy, your business has outgrown your brand, then never fear! You can always evolve and change your brand to make it look as good as possible, and to match the current level of sophistication in your brand.
There's a common belief about branding - that when you design your brand, you're stuck with it for life. There's nothing that could be further from the truth.
In fact, here's the thing... when you're an evolving, growing, learning entrepreneur who's always going deeper into how you serve your clients, I don't think that it's possible to design your brand at the beginning and then have it be relevant for the life of your business.
You're learning, growing and changing. Your clients are becoming more sophisticated as they work with you. Your brand needs to grow and change with you as you evolve, and as they grow with you - to keep up with how awesome you've become.
Your charge is... to evolve and stretch it with care and in a way that keeps your clients comfortable.
Take excellent care of your clients after they buy. The emphasis in branding is on marketing and selling. This approach doesn't take into account the most important part of your brand - the experience that your clients get with you after they buy your services.
There's a statistic that 20% of your clients will make up 80% of your business. That's a comfy place - where you're serving a small, close-knit group so well. You can really transform them!
In order to make that magic ratio happen, you've got a responsibility to your clients - you've got to induce mutual comfy-ness. Make them feel welcome and secure, and like they know what's going on throughout the process with you - so they can surrender their trust to you.
These 3 ideas will give you a solid, non-icky start to creating a brand that's inviting and welcoming.
If you want to get your hands on 10 more ways to create an ick-proof brand that invites your clients in to work with you, head over to http://brandstyledesign.com to download your free party favor.
Brand Style Design
Erin Ferree is a branding coach, design genius and strategic thinker. She loves connecting the dots between passion and profit, mixing strategy and inspiration and shaking things up. She's branded over 450 small businesses in the last 10 years.