Your brand is kind of a love letter to your customers. It’s how you introduce yourself, declare your feelings, and promise to always be there for them. Once they experience it, you hope customers want to “go steady” with your small business. So market happily ever after with these tips to emotionally connect with your customers by building your brand promise.
Define Your Brand Promise to Build Customer Relationships
A logo is part of your brand but there are many other ways you express your promise. It’s in the way you answer your phone, what colors you use on your website, or in the kinds of products and services you provide. Together, these things create an image of how customers see (and feel) your business. It also lets them know how you’re different from other businesses.
For example, Starbucks’s promise is to “inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time.” And customers don’t get that from just a cup of coffee (however great it may be). It’s manifested in their HR practices, their commitment to their growers, and the selection of healthy menu items they offer.
Tips to Build a Strong Promise
Here are some guidelines to build heartfelt customer relationships using your brand:
Use a sentence, not a sonnet – Unless you can wax poetic like Shakespeare, your brand promise should be expressed in a sentence or two. Nike’s brand promise is “Just Do It.” It’s simple, easy to remember and sets the tone for employees as they interact with customers. It reflects their mission statement, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Don’t make promises you can’t keep – Be sure you can deliver on your brand promise. Don’t overpromise. Nothing disappoints a customer more than discovering the business they thought they could trust is an imposter. For example, don’t promise 100% satisfaction if you’re not willing to adopt a “no questions asked” return policy.
Focus on your frontline – Your staff is the face of your business to customers. So educate them on your brand promise and what it means. You want consistency, so develop standards for how you want them to interact with customers. How should they greet them? What do they do when a customer becomes angry? What decisions can they make on their own to meet a customer’s needs?
Take a reality check – Verify how well you deliver on your brand promise. Start by asking customers. Satisfaction surveys can be a quick and easy way to get a read on how customers perceive you. Another idea is to use “secret shoppers” who can take your brand promise for a test drive and report back on what they observed and felt.
Sweat the small stuff – It’s the little things that make a difference in a relationship. So pay attention to the details. For example, what does the error message say when a customer makes a mistake on your website’s order form? If your brand statement says you provide “friendly service,” you probably don’t want the message to simply say “Error.” Instead, it might say, “Looks like we have our wires crossed. Give us a call at 555-555-1212. We’ll help you figure it out.”
Win over the hearts of your customers by building a strong brand promise. Start with these tips to emotionally connect with them, and then apply the promise to all aspects of your small business.