When someone asks you the question, “What do you do at (Insert Business Name)?” your answer is essentially the start of your brand in their mind. How your brand continues to evolve in their mind happens through their first visit to your business, any follow-up correspondence, and your involvement within your local community. So what might you be doing wrong that could hurt your brand?
Problem 1: Not Having a Good Origin Story
People remember stories more than they remember names. When someone who has never heard about your business before asks you, “What do you do?”, your answer should be more than just a list of common services you provide and the hours that you are open.
Your answer should tell the story about what makes you unique. To develop this ask yourself questions like:
1. What separates us from our competitors?
2. Why did we originally open our doors?
3. How long have we been open, and how does that longevity compare to the competition?
4. How are we more accessible than our competitors?
The answers to these questions become your origin story.
Problem 2: Not Having Your Own Unique Language
Some of the most successful brands in the world have their own unique language. Jimmy Buffett fans are called Parrotheads. Star Trek fans are called Trekkies. What are fans of your business called? Do you have a unique name for them, and is there a way for them to proudly display their name or loyalty in public? While it may sound silly at first in your business setting, your raving fans may actually love you for it!
Another way you can incorporate a unique language into your brand is by creating special days of the week where you do something unique or special for your customers. Perhaps you have “Trivia Tuesdays” or “Donut Wednesdays”, where customers know they can expect certain things when they visit your business on certain days. The key is to giving these things unique names, not just descriptions.
Problem 3: Not Creating a Community of Brand Ambassadors
No matter what type of you business you have, you should look for ways to create loyal ambassadors for your brand. Fiskars Scissors has done a great job online creating a community of “Fiskateers”. Can you think of a way to create a community for fans of your business?
One easy thing to do is to give away t-shirts to fans who post positive reviews about you online, especially on your Yelp, Google, or Facebook Pages.
The idea behind creating a community of brand ambassadors is that you allow your customers to become part of something bigger than themselves. In order to make this happen, you realize that in your customer’s mind, it’s not “YOUR brand”, it’s “OUR brand”.
Problem 4: Not Creating Exceptional Experiences
People are hungry for in person connections. Each time a customer comes into your business, or sees your company at an event, what type of experience are you creating for them? Do they feel like they have just left “another business”, or do they feel like they have left from a visit with people who truly care about them? Did they get a great experience they will want to share with others, or was it just like every other visit to any business in town? How are you supporting and loving customers who truly love you back already?