Category: Brand trust

Don’t let your business be desperate and dateless

There are many things that have changed in business.

One of them is that more people and businesses are competing for a slice of your pie from all over the world. They’re building trusted relationships with people on your doorstep.

Your competitors aren’t physically visiting, they’re just connecting to your target audiences via online channels. They’re winning the hearts and minds of the people that are closest to you.

So what does this mean to the way you advertise? 

Well… think of this as a marriage where the ‘sale’ is the wedding day.You wouldn’t just meet someone in the street and propose marriage. Things would be moving waaaay too fast!

Yet many businesses do go to their audience cold. No dating, no introduction by a friend, no desirable glances across the room even. 

Other businesses from around the world are cutting your grass because they’re building relationships first. Consumers usually choose the brand they have a relationship with first. 

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It takes an introduction, there needs to be attraction, the relationship needs some nurturing and trust needs to be built for when the ‘time is right’. Ignoring the need to build relationships first will mean one or more of these three things:

1. When they’re ready to buy, someone has already stolen their heart.

2. You’re not even in the dating game, so you’re missing so many opportunities.

3. You’ve tried to go straight to seal the deal, and they want to slap you in the face for coming on too strong.

We call the process inbound marketing. It’s all about attracting the right customers to you rather than you chasing them.

The point: Start building relationships with your target audiences in the places your target customers hang out. And… don’t go straight to home base with any of your marketing. It’s called first base for a reason… start there!

P.S. Think of the internet as speed dating. If you’re not in the room, you may as well not exist.

Playing with the Formula

Consistency. It’s a bit of an objective term, but one that’s oh so important.

Great brands are built to a formula. They’re consistent in delivering an authentic service experience. Fans (brand ambassadors) become conditioned to know what a brand stands for. The funny thing is, business owners often get bored of things before the customers do. Think about it…you experience something every day, generally your customers won’t so it stands to reason that you’ll get tired of the repetition before the market has even really got to know you.

I was in a cafe not long ago…it was quiet. This cafe usually has the music pumping. I felt self conscious. I felt like every word I said could be heard by those all around me. I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I usually do because it didn’t match my expectation.

Another time I went to a restaurant and they decided to change the style of music up a bit. I liked the new stuff…but I’d have preferred it in a different restaurant. It wasn’t what I’d come to expect. I know I sound picky, but music is one of those things that make you feel at home. It gives you a sense of ease.

When we look back in history, Coca-Cola was probably the most classic example of why you shouldn’t bugger with the formula when they introduced New Coke in 1985. This wasn’t done out of boredom but out of fear of Pepsi gaining market share. But either way the change was almost disastrous to the point of Coca-Cola having to setup ‘help’ lines for people who just couldn’t handle it.

Another analogy is driving a bus from Melbourne to Sydney then one day deciding to take your passengers for a quick trip to Adelaide. Not sure they’d be impressed… Imagine if Arnotts changed the recipe of Barbecue Shapes!

But while my blog post was going to finish right there, I realised I must tell you the flip side…that is, if you stay the same the world will pass you by. Even worse brand fatigue can set in…meaning both you and your market are bored of you!

So what do you evolve and what don’t you change?

The non-negotiables are your core values and purpose. Being true to what you stand for is essential. Keep the service standard the same too, and introduce signatures that you know can be delivered day in day out.

Now when it comes to change, I prefer to use the word ‘evolution’ because this infers incremental change and maintaining relevance rather than just chopping and changing for the sake of it. Evolution is good. It’s a constant set of steps toward achieving your vision. Evolution shows you have purpose and will do what it takes to deliver on it.

A great brand, big or small, is about a strategic formula. Every part of the experience delivers a touchpoint that will build the total sum of your brand. If you want people talking about your brand with a common voice, then all of the experiences have to have a common thread. The secret is to stay true to who you are and the experience people have grown to love, but be ready to evolve with next big things that keep you and your market excited about the journey.

 

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