When most people think of a brand, they think of colors, logos, fonts, and tone of voice. This barely touches on the anatomy of a brand. It doesn’t really capture the complexity of a brand!
Your brand is what other people experience when they think of your company! This concept is best known as “brand experience.”
Let’s take a look at a strong brand as an example — Nike. When I hear the word “Nike,” you undoubtedly can picture the iconic “swoosh” logo… But that’s not all you’d associate with the brand.
I might think of certain products you’ve used that you liked or disliked from them. You might think of athletes they’ve sponsored. Or of their bold commercials. You might even just feel certain emotions when you hear the word “Nike.” Nike has worked to evoke feelings of strength, courage, and quality.
So, instead of focusing on that perfect logo, you can start by thinking of your customers first! What do you want them to think, feel, say, and experience with your brand? What would they say about your brand to their friends and co-workers?
Now you’re starting to think like a brand that converts!
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin
Every brand I work with is different, but the goal is ultimately the same. You want a brand that converts more and retains customers longer! The steps we take to get there depend on the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and overall experience you want to give people in association with your brand.
Although it does vary, here are some commonly shared steps that will improve your brand experience:
Strong brands don’t magically appear. You should first plan for the brand your want! Take a break from the many other things you’re doing to grow your business. Even just 30 minutes will help — trust me!
Now, imagine a random person on the internet that happens to run across your brand… What feelings do you want that person to have? What might lead them to choose your brand over any other? What would that person need to experience in order to start building trust and loyalty in your brand?
Write it all down! Just let the thoughts flow. It might be an unorganized wall of words on a page, but you can organize it later! You just need to have an idea of what you’d want that person to experience. That’s what will help you start being intentional about your brand.
“If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.” – David Brier
If you ask me what gives a brand converting power, I’d point you to your customers first. Understanding them better is at the center of building a brand that really converts. Talk to them!
The simplest way to talk to customers is to ask if you can interview them about their experience with your brand for 20 minutes. You don’t need to offer any compensation! Most people are willing to help out small businesses without expecting anything in return.
I recommend keeping the conversation as open as possible, prompting customers with “Tell me about your first experience with us.” Or you can try questions like “What words would you use to describe our brand?”
Then follow up each question by digging deeper when possible. The real nuggets in these interviews come once you dive in further! Follow-ups can be as simple as “Tell me more about that!” or “That’s interesting. What specifically do you think made you feel that way?”
Establishing brand values can help you stay aligned with the brand you want to build. Your brand values should sit at the core of your business and influence every decision you make!
For example, you may have noticed my brand on the Meet Marisa page. Are my brand values clear at a glance?
Boldness, Assess & Improve, Creativity, Knowledge = Power
At any point, I can look back at my core values and check if the company is on the right track. Brand values act as a guard rail for achieving the strong brand I envisioned from the very start.
I recommend choosing no more than 4-5 brand values so you can hyper-focus on them without getting overwhelmed.
In order for your brand to convert, people need to experience your brand in some way. Likely, they’ll need multiple encounters with your brand before associating more trust and emotion with it.
In order to increase the “surface area” of where people can encounter your brand, it’s important to choose several channels to interact with potential and current customers. Some examples of common channels are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, podcasts, trade shows, workshops, and even your own blog!
This is another time to be very intentional. Think about where your customers spend time online or in person. Choose a few of the most likely ways for you to have more touchpoints with people that are most likely to convert. Make plans to spend time associating with people in these specific ways.
Hopefully, this article didn’t make building a brand that converts too complicated. It’s absolutely within your reach to help your customers experience the thoughts and emotions you hope for them to have with your brand!
If you still have questions or would like some help putting your best foot forward for your brand, don’t worry — I’m here to help! Specifically, I have a branding service that has something for everyone, no matter how much help you’re looking for.
Best of luck! You’ll be building that brand into something you’re proud of in no time!
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