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Having a successful brand goes far beyond merely selling products these days.
People are looking less at the product and more at what the brand does and stands for. Can they trust said brand? Will said brand help if something goes wrong? Does said brand care about its customer base?
Whether you are starting a new company or help your existing one you need to be human.
Build trust and you boost your business.
But, how do you not only build trust, but keep it?
Understand your Audience
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, you need to know your audience. If you are currently building your brand then a great place to begin is doing some persona research. This can help gather all sorts of data, such as day to day activities, home and clothing styles, most used social media platforms, and of course, preferred content.
If you are looking to further enhance your brand or just give it a little boost, a great way to better understand your audience is to listen to them. Not only read the good reviews, but take on board everything they have to say. Some of it may seem irrelevant and a waste of time, but if that is how they feel, then it may be something you need to work on.
Video game developers are a great example of listening to their audience. With so many games being solely online it is possible to keep adding new modes, levels, loot etc etc. With this comes a variety of responses from players, if the majority of a [layer base doesn’t really don’t like something ten the developer will need to change it. If nothing gets fixed for months and months people will just stop playing the game. If people don’t play, then no one is going to pay. This can also tie in with the persona, if something doesn’t feel right in the game and it doesn’t get changed not only is no one listening to the audience, but it begs the questions do the creators of said game even play their own game? If not, why should anyone else?
Core Values and Brand Messaging
What does your company stand for? Is all you care about money? Or is there a bigger picture? My brother has recently started his own clothing brand, and there are 3 reasons why I have bought and will buy from Underdog HQ again.
1. He is my brother and I feel obligated to support him to a certain extent.
2. I like the clothes the brand offers.
3. For every item of clothing he sells he donates 1 dollar to one tree planted, and they plant a tree. Not only this, in the future he is looking to set up further partnerships where another portion of the profits will go to multiple charities.
The main reason for me becoming a returning customer to the brand is because of reason 3. I could go elsewhere and buy a jumper for slightly less money perhaps, but this way it feels as though I am actively doing some good.
If I never saw proof of said good work though, then I wouldn’t shop there anymore. I would feel lied to, because my money hasn’t been going where it was supposed to and therefore I couldn’t trust the company or its core values which is “We want to create a community not just a clothing brand, giving opportunities and exposure to those helping make a difference in the world.”
Honesty is the Best Policy
Now you may want to take this one with a pinch of salt, if you have a complaining customer and they ask you what you think, don’t tell them where to go. You do want to keep their custom even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
But when talking to customers both on a 1 to 1 scale or larger capacity you have to be honest with them. If your brand is new then you wont have all the kinks ironed out. If you know of an issue it is best to let people know you are aware of it and it is being addressed. You can keep people up to date with your progress and let them know when it has been fixed or a fix is available.
If you try to sugar coat everything or don’t even acknowledge something is wrong, you will appear rude, ignorant, or both. How many people will want to deal with you then? Probably none. This goes for more experienced brands too, no one is perfect and nor is a business. Mistakes happen and things can and do go wrong.
Believe in Yourself
I know that believing in yourself sounds a little cliche, but it is true. If you don’t believe in what you do and what your brand is, then why should anyone else? If you think that your product will change the world and you show that passion and enthusiasm, although you might not convince people that you will actually change the world, they will be more invested in you and your brand than if you think what you’re doing is alright, but nothing special. This can tie in nicely with your core values, if you keep them in mind, then you will remember what you are working for.
Trust is hard earned but easily lost. Even when you have built up trust you have to keep up the work to keep the trust. The world is a tough place for business at the moment, but it is also a tough place for people. Your brand shouldn’t be a shoulder to cry on, but it should provide comfort.
More to explore
Before you look at taking Maverrik’s most intensive social selling course there are a few things you need to do to make the most out