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“There are no new ideas, only new ways of making them felt.” – Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist, and civil rights activist.
In today’s climate, it is increasingly difficult to offer a product or service that is totally unique, and you need more than just a good idea to encourage consumers to choose you over your competitors. That’s why it is more important than ever to ensure that your brand’s message is heard and felt on an emotional level.
It can be useful to think of your business as a person. If two people with the same skills and experience were to apply for the same job, the decision would ultimately come down to more intimate characteristics such as the individual’s values, behaviour, and personality. That’s why we have outlined the most important factors in conveying your brand’s message in a personable way. Here’s how to encourage consumers to trust and gravitate towards you over your competitors:
The most successful brands will not only provide a means to an end, they work to present themselves more like a reliable friend that people can count on. It is important to show personality. Business does not have to be boring, and you should aim avoid a brand voice that feels detached or two-dimensional. Be approachable, playful, humorous, and transparent. Speaking to consumers with a more personal tone will strike an emotional chord, and feed their desires, beliefs, and aspirations. Humour is a great tool that can produce a tangible release of endorphins and will demonstrate that you can put the sales pitches aside in favour of having fun.
Another way to make your brand more human is through storytelling. This could be in relation to the narrative or history of your company, or it could mean crafting meaningful stories out of your team members or engaged customers. Making use of user-generated content is also a great way to humanise your brand and will set you apart from other companies that may appear more self-serving.
To create a brand that people love and respect, you must be aware of the brand’s impact on the social and physical environment. As companies become increasingly active in instigating societal change, people grow ever more conscious of what they buy and where it comes from.
The future is green, and the importance of building a company that is sustainable and environmentally friendly has never been greater. Be sure to consider how you can implement ethical and sustainable practices, products, and processes in your business. Also keep in mind that customers will often pay more for eco-friendly products, so there are ways to ensure that these initiatives can be financially maintained.
Then there is social responsibility. Your brand has an identity, and you should make it your goal to attach personal passions and beliefs to your brand where appropriate. This means being seen to actively support the causes and movements that you stand for. This might mean partnering with charities or attaching social incentives to your products or services. This adds a sense of purpose to every sale, allowing your consumers to be part of something bigger.
Diversity describes the makeup of your audience and workforce, inclusion means allowing them all to be heard and catered for in equal measure. When building a brand, don’t assume your audience will know that you promote positive messages of diversity and inclusion, you have a responsibility to project these values and make them known.
Millennials especially will respond far more favourably to brands that demonstrate a conscientious commitment to representing people of all ages, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, etc. Your customer wants to see themselves in your brand. Neglecting any one group will cause them to feel unrecognised. Strive to build a workforce and customer base that leaves no group unseen.
An example of a company that successfully expresses inclusive values is Dove. Although Dove campaigns speak to women specifically as their target audience, the women within their advertising initiatives are of all different ages, sizes, ethnicities, abilities, and gender identities.
Again, highlighting real customer stories or leading campaigns with user-generated content can also be effective strategies. Inclusion is simply about uniting people, making them heard, and involving them in your message.