Most small business owners did not go to school for marketing and not too many have the time to take classes in branding. So… here is a resource I came across for you that I hope is quick and helpful. Sasha Strauss offers a meaningful lecture about connecting with today’s generation of consumers.
Boiling it down
Strauss encourages businesses interact in an honesty way with their customer base as if they were real human beings. That’s it? Well that’s the bottom line anyway. This is more than skilled customer service, however, and it takes intentionality. Instead, it is listening to, enjoying, and developing meaningful relationships with the people with whom you are doing business. Here are Strauss’s 7 rules for branding. Some of these may vary depending on the nature of your business or what you’re selling, however, generally they are helpful principles
1. Assume nothing
Don’t market to you audience as if you know exactly what’s happening in your space or what the general customer base wants. Take some liberty in rediscovering your customer base, competition, etc.
Don’t talk to your customers like they’re customers. Don’t make them feel like a dollar sign. Be a genuinely interested and engaged with them. This also applies to your employees. It’s a bad idea to treat your customers better than you do your employees if you want to keep a strong workplace.
Celebrate your audience. Don’t make your product about you. Make it about them.
4. Invest in Relationship
If people feel like they are simply a potential transaction, it’s insulting and brings no desire for them to continue to interact with you. [Discover card has locked onto this with their campaign “We treat you like you’d treat you.”]
Don’t broad brush your customer audience. Speak to the individual groups within your customer base and package the things that are most relevant to their lives.
Rather than sell to your audience, provide meaningful information to them. Give them something new to learn rather than shoving a product in their face.
Give legitimate time to help others in need. Prove that you care by your actions. This improve the quality of your business and speaks to your customers.
Overall, these are good habits of a responsible company that’s in it for the long haul. If you’d like to see the full presentation, visit: Strauss – “Branding in the New Normal”*
*Disclaimer: some elements (e.g. crude language) may not be suitable for children.