Let’s face it – we’re all obsessed with creating a great brand. We have to be! With so much competition, so many ways to reach out to customers, and so many chances to be overlooked we have to fight for attention and placement in customer’s top of mind. And that takes creating a brand that doesn’t just exist, but that is irresistible. Because, as the great Unmarketing states, people don’t share “meh”. They only share awesome.
So how do you do that? How do you make your brand one that customers want to share with their friends? By following the 4C’s. No, we’re not picking out a gem here, we’re simply creating one.
The most important facet of your brand isn’t your logo or the colors you decide to use on your Web site – it’s the content that you put out. It’s your brand message and the “thing” (or things) you’re using to unite your customers. And I think that’s something many small business owners fail to realize. They want to create a great brand and do things to make their customers fall in love with them…but they don’t give them anything to fall in love with. You gotta give us something to unite around and a reason to carry you through the streets. We want to do it, but we need your help. This is where your blog, your quirky product descriptions, your Twitter account, your Facebook page, your email newsletter, your videos, your Yelp offers, your FourSquare deals, etc, all come into play. Use every piece of content you can to create and convey your message.
You’re not just creating any old brand here. You’re looking to create a brand with a cohesive message that users will be able to trust over time. And a big factor in their ability to do that will be consistency. That means your logo, your Twitter account, your site colors, the text on your home page – all have to be delivering the same message and making good on the same brand promise. If your Twitter account is quirky, but your home page says ultra-conservative, you’re going to confuse people and they won’t be able to understand who the real “you” is. Someone should be able to recognize your brand independent of where they come across it. It’s through creating that consistent message across the Web and their buying cycle, that will allow them to recall it. Too much fragmentation and you’re going to lose them.
Who are you? Or, should I say, who do you want to be? I talk a lot about creating characters (yikes, more Cs!) when it comes to personal branding because you want to be the version of yourself that allows you to best connect with your target audience. But, of course, that means understanding who your audience is, what they’re looking for, and where you (and your company) fit into the mix. You need to be clear about what you want your brand’s connecting fibers to be. If you were a potential client, what would traits would you be looking for when hiring a vendor like yours? How can you become that?
Your brand will not grow overnight. If you want it to blossom, you need to cultivate it over time. It’s about doing all those little things that, when collected, add up to a strong and cohesive brand experience. What type of activities does that include? It means commenting on blogs, participating in appropriate online communities, responding to people when they mention you, being proactive about building relationships, and being open to letting customers inside your organization.
Those are my 4 C’s to irresistible branding. What do yours look like?