Brand and branding, the act of building that brand, are at the core of marketing. It is what makes you different from the rest and, if built well, appeal to your target groups. As I’ve discussed in other blog posts, you need to determine what your brand is today, what you want it to be and then go about building it in a focused and effective way.
So let’s say that you know exactly what you want your brand to be. You have a clear brand core (know which drawer you want to be in ;) You know what you want people to think and what you want them to feel. How do we take those brand associations and the characteristics that we know we want for our brand and actually build them up in the minds and hearts of the customers?
There are two key points here: The first one is using every possible touchpoint and that’s what we’ll be focusing on in this post. The second one is repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat …
Find your brand touchpoints
So let’s talk about this touchpoint thing: We have to find each and every place, each and every possible way that people may come into contact with your brand. Those are your touchpoints. Then we need to analyze each of these touchpoints and figure out how we can get as much as possible out of them to really stamp that brand into the mind of your audience.
There are some big and obvious touchpoints out there; the classics. These are things like your retail space, your offices, your website, marketing materials and all those typical things you would get someone like for example a designer or graphic designer in to work on with you. And you should definitely be using those to their utmost potential. However, most businesses will do that. The difference is (as it so often is) in the detail. Think about all the other things people come into contact with. The small things that may not really cost much and are often overlooked. How can you use those to build your brand? These are the little things that can really delight a customer and make them think “Oh wow! They really are like this through and through”. These are also the most interesting yet challenging things to think about, things such as: How does your brand speak? What’s the brand tone of voice? This could be in text, this could be in speaking, advertising, answering the phones.
Another touchpoint that may seem obvious is your offices. I mentioned them before, but often if the offices are not a place that customers come to, they get forgotten. However, they still affect your brand, because they affect your staff, your collaborators, the environment your marketing people operate in. This is part of your internal marketing, making sure that your staff eat, sleep and breathe your brand so that they can better communicate it to the outside world. Make sure that even if your customer doesn’t come in there, your staff is constantly living and experiencing your brand so that they can help your customers live and experience it.
How do you answer the phones in your business? Is it really formal? Is it light?
What are your job titles like? Do you have your typical CEO, CFO, CMO etc. or do you have a Chief Shoe Giver like at Toms, or a Voyager and Imaginator like Fafu?
What is your voicemail like? I know someone who actually phones the voicemail of an Icelandic airline after hours just to listen to the voicemail greeting because they find it so funny! That’s pretty impressive and it didn’t cost them any more to record a greeting that’s interesting than a boring standard one, but it gets talked about, it builds character and is therefore a lot more effective.
Think about little things like your invoices, your receipts, your email signature. How can all these little things help you build your brand?
Go through each and every tiny little touchpoint that people can possibly have with your brand and think about you how can you use it to its fullest potential.
Are you using all your brand touchpoints?