Over the last couple of weeks I have had a number of interactions with businesses that have brought to mind the fact that, it is often the little things that help take a brand from ordinary to extraordinary.
The tips I’m going to share with you will not cost you a fortune – in fact, they are all free and easy to implement – they might just take a bit of time, organisation and creativity of course!
Tip #1 – First impressions
I am in the process of renovating and as such need to speak to a lot of tradies. From a branding perspective I would LOVE to get hold of a tradesman and brand his business – only because it appears that there are so many little things that they could do to improve their business that would catapult them way past their competitors. The most obvious is the way that they answer their phone. Or in this case how they hardly ‘answer’ it. If I was lucky, I’d get a gruff ‘hello’ down the line, but most times there was an inaudible grunt of sorts. This is very disconcerting and as a first impression is not particularly impressive.
As a consumer, all I really want when someone answers the phone, is to know that I have reached the right place and hopefully the name of the person I’m talking to. So simply saying the business name and who I’m talking to would be wonderful! It’s not hard and makes the world of difference.
Tip #2 – The devil is in the detail
Remembering names and faces can often be hard – especially when you network a lot, but the best networkers can build huge equity in their brand by simply talking to people and remembering the detail of their conversation. This not only gives you a reference point to talk about in the future when you bump into them again, but it also makes a lasting impression.
A few weeks ago while I was out and about on some errands, I had popped into my favourite coffee shop that isn’t far from one of my clients. As I knew that she had been having a challenging time in business; I thought that I’d buy her a coffee too and drop it into her. When I walked into her office with a coffee that also happened to be her coffee of choice, she was not only grateful but was also impressed that I had got her coffee right. “How did you know?” she asked. It was then that I reminded her of a meeting a few months back where a group of us had ordered coffee. Then remembering what she liked was easy as it is the same coffee that I like. Something very little and doesn’t cost a fortune can make a big difference. Now I know that you might not be able to remember everyone’s choice of coffee, but popping some notes in your address book doesn’t take long and is easy to reference when you see them next.
Tip #3 – Creating an experience
As an avid tennis fan, I made my annual dash down to Melbourne to take in a bit of the Australian Open atmosphere. Each year I am constantly impressed with Novak Djokovic, but not because of his tennis – although he is pretty awesome to watch on court! It’s actually during his warm up that Novak seems to make the most impression on his fans as he will pick a young person out of the crowd to come and hit a ball with him as he warms up. This is such a simple thing for him to do, but the experience for that lucky kid will stay with him forever and ensure that Novak has a life long fan – not only with the young player, but his family and friends.
Tip #4 – Understanding needs
While in Melbourne we hired a small self-contained apartment that we were able to organise over the Internet. Our request was for 2 adults and 2 children and at the time, the owner of the property asked us the age of our children. When we arrived at our destination, not only did we find tea and coffee, but there was also herbal tea, fresh milk (not those tiny little pods with the peel off lid), fresh fruit, cordial for the kids and a packet of chips and lollies – also for the kids (although I was tempted to fight them for it!)
I was so impressed that the owner had understood our needs as a family and supplied a few extra items (not expected) to make our stay that much more welcoming. The result – we have already booked our accommodation with him for our trip next year.
Tip #5 – The personal touch
A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues and I joined a personal training group to help with our fitness goals (at least we took the first step!) While sweating it out with a group of then strangers, I was impressed at how much the trainer knew about each person in her group. On our second session as we were stretching, the lights dimmed and a birthday muffin, candle and the strains of happy birthday were heard as she celebrated one of the people in our group’s birthday. I could see on his face that he loved the fact that there was recognition for the fact that at 7:30pm he was at the training session and not out having a lavish birthday dinner. This was such a simple thing that required a little bit of organising, but has had a huge impact on not just the birthday boy, but with everyone in the group – now keenly waiting for their birthday.
Tip #6 – Know your personality
By knowing what your brand personality is, you will have far more clarity on how to communicate what you do, how you do it and even more importantly – why you do it! WRD has developed a Brand Personality Quiz that is now available as an online game in which (if you have clarity) you are able to determine what your brand personality is. Give it a go! By knowing your personality, you will be able to determine the look, feel and tone of your business. Your brand story will become far clearer and customers will have a much higher ‘buy in’ to your product or service, as they will be able to identify with your brand. Why have cardboard when you can have silk?
Sometimes it’s the little things that we do in our business that can boost our brand. They don’t have to be expensive or difficult, but with a little planning your business can build a reputation that will take your brand to places you never thought possible.
If you are wanting to refine or rebrand your business, why not come in and talk to our team of professional designers at WRD? As winners of 3 Sydney Design Awards, we certainly know what we are talking about!