Making your business brand personal rather than corporate is key if you're shooting for a lasting connection with potential customers. The most important concept within the world of "social media" is that it allows people – or in the case of a business, customers – to interact in a manner that isn't solely a one-way street from business to consumer.
Social media not only allows the business to obtain information, opinions, and data from customers, but it also serves as a tool for businesses to personalize interactions with customers via comment threads on the company's website and social sharing sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
According to Inc.com, today's business owners have many tools at their disposal to create a personal and likeable brand.
"Personal branding tools will start trending even more, helping businesses gain individuality and reduce the number of direct competitors. Look into personal branding tools to increase business in 2017."
Even if a business isn't the brand of a single person (such as a YouTube channel that stars one personality), the concept of making business personal should be a goal of every business that does any selling online. It's also a valuable goal for businesses interested in connecting with millennials. Inc explains further:
"People are tired of being sold, and Millennials can tell they are being sold from a mile away. This is an instant turn-off for these buyers, and once they sense any type of selling, they move on to the next company. What is working though are apps and services that connect people to what they want."
6 Key Ways to Make Your Brand More Personal
1. Be Clear on Your Brand Personality
No matter who your customers are, they are more likely to connect with humanized brands. Your challenge is to figure out what kind of human your brand is. Is it hip and edgy, cool and professional, or gentle and laid back?
Scott Huntington explains it like this: "To help you answer this question, think of your brand as a stock character. Think of what qualities people normally associate with brands like yours. Then, think of your brand's positive but memorable qualities that subvert customers' expectations."
Getting clarity on what your brand represents, and making sure that your entire company is on the same page about your brand identity is a crucial first step. Choosing a brand personality that comes naturally to you and your team is a great place to start.
2. Be Consistantly Authentic
Once you understand the voice and tone of your brand, you need to be consistant across all platforms. If your brand is a bit irreverant, you can convey this in your logo design, the things you share on social media, the way your employees interact with customers, your TV spots, really anywhere and everywhere.
This personality needs to emerge naturally. Authenticity is almost currency with millenials, and if your messaging appears forced or inconsitant, people will pick up on it.
3. Be a Little Silly
People often get sucked into the belief that they need to convery an uber-professional vibe in order to be well-regarded as a business. That's fine if that is what comes most naturally, or if your in a business that requires it, but most people find some silliness to be a relief even from 'serious' brands.
Sujan Patel notes that, "Everyone else will tell you to be 'your best professional self.' That's not bad advice, but it’s boring. People want real human engagement. Your audience is more likely to connect with you if they feel a personal connection, and everyone is a little goofy inside."
4. Tailor Your Stories for Your Target Market
When you really understand your target market and are able to share stories that those people care about, this is when the magic happens! Your target customers have a unique set of interests, values, dreams, desires, needs, triggers, and pet peeves.
Understanding how all these factors influence your target customers allows you to communicate with them in a way that they will respond to on a personal level. Always think about your target custmer when crafting your messenging. It'll resonate with them and it will be WAY easier for you to naturally communicate when you feel like you're speaking to is one individual.
5. Get out into the Community
If you are a locallt run business, finding ways to get involved in community projects and events that are important to the neighborhood is a great way to build relations and to put a face to the name of your brand.
We're a big fan of participating in local events. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
"Options for local event participation include 5K races, home shows, themed festivals, and carnivals, as well as street fairs and farmer's markets. Virtually any event in your town – or the communities that surround your town – is fair game for participation, promotion, and marketing opportunities."
If you mostly run an online business, building an online community is also included here. This can be done through a social media account, a catchy hashtag or even through hosting webinars.
6. Admit Mistakes
One way of losing customers and followers is by covering your mistakes or acting like they didn’t happen. If you want to attract new customers, and keep old ones, then don’t lie – because that’s effectively what you’re doing by covering the truth. People would much rather you owned up to whatever faux-pas you’ve made than brush it under the carpet like it never happened.
More importantly than admitting them, learn from them! By ignoring the areas in which you’ve made errors in the past, you aren’t evolving, and are even possibly doomed to repeat them.
Admitting when you screw up shows people that they are dealing with real, live human beings, not a corporate machine. It can make you more relatable and show that you’re just like your audience or customers.
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Is it time to rethink your company's brand? Have you been using the same packaging for years? Perhaps it's time to consider the innovative and environmentally-friendly packaging options from Howard Packaging. Let us show you how our sustainable packaging options can benefit your business, save money, increase brand notoriety, and build positive reputation. Contact us today to request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit*!
*We only sell to the retail, food service and professional products trade. We do not sell products to or ship sample kits to individuals.