You may be missing a big chunk of your brand without even knowing it’s gone! And if you’re missing this piece, your brand will seem like it’s not rolling along smoothly – it will feel clunky or rough around the edges.
There’s one piece of a brand that small businesses never talk about… and it’s the biggest opportunity you have to show your clients what you’re all about.
That piece is called Brand Experience.
You’re probably quite familiar with the other two pieces of your brand: visuals and words. When you hear, “Branding”, your mind likely goes straight to the way things look and what you say or write about your company.
But what about the way you interact with your clients?
In order to make your brand feel inviting, not icky, you’ve got to align the experience that your clients get when they play with you to the promise that you’re making in your words and visuals.
The biggest mistake small business owners make with Brand Experience is simply this: we don’t focus on it enough. We lean on writing and design, and we worry about what we’ll say when people ask what we do.
In fact, the experience your clients are having with you is more important than how your web page looks, or what you write on it. This experience is more personal than anything they can passively read or look at about your business because the experience happens when they engage with you.
Here’s how to get started on creating your Brand Experience:
Set the tone for your brand. The emotional tone of your brand – how you want to be in it – will be carried throughout the words, pictures and experience in your brand. Intentionally set your tone. Choose to stay in alignment with that tone throughout your marketing and branding. Check in from time to time to make sure you’re still in alignment. This will enable you to create the consistent tone that’s so important in building trust through your brand.
Create a wow first experience with your free gift. Your free gift is your opportunity to give your clients the very best first experience of you that you can. Create a gift that’s generous, useful, helpful, and sparkling with personality. Make it fun and entertaining instead of dull or dry so that your clients are more likely to enjoy engaging with it. Keep in mind that the most “wow” worthy free gifts are going to be those that your client gets a real result from – that they learn something, change something, or grow somehow.
Serve your clients gracefully. You want your clients to have an excellent experience with you once they’ve become a client – because happy, cared-for clients are more likely to become repeat clients and to refer business to you. Know that your brand doesn’t stop at the sale. Integrate your brand’s tone and fulfill your promises while you’re delivering your services, running your classes or in your products. Give them the care and attention they deserve.
Visuals. Words. The Experience.
Together, they bring your brand full-circle and keep it rolling smoothly.
Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She’s designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.
Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.
Erin lives, cooks and plays tug-of-war with her dog Stanley in San Luis Obispo, California.