There is a lack of trust in brands today. Why? Manipulative marketing and sales tactics. These "old school" tactics have caused the average consumer to think twice before opting in or laying down any cash. It's understandable. So how do modern marketers battle the past and build trust with their target customers?
The word "authentic" seems to often be abused and misused these days. What does it really mean to be authentic as a business or brand? The definition of authentic is, “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself and therefore worthy of belief.” This means your brand is trustworthy and that your entire team believes in and understands the purpose of your business.
When it comes to communicating your authenticity, look to your "why." A business's brand values are guided by your why. Why have you built this business? What is the heart and soul of your company based on? Once you clearly define brand values for yourself and your team, it's much easier to communicate in a real, authentic way.
There are many ways to express your business' brand values in an authentic way. Customers should understand what your products and services stand for, not just what they do or provide. This is how you build real trust with those customers.
The next time you attend a conference or networking event, you can prepare yourself by setting one simple goal - connection. More specifically, your goal is to establish a connection with 1-5 people who can potentially get value from your business.
To attract the right prospective customers, partners or supporters, consider the way you talk about your brand. Are you pushing it like a used car salesman? Or maybe you are being timid and not giving your business enough credit for your achievements. Authentic communication is a two-way process where the key to success is in listening to the other person. Once you understand and identify with the person, then your conversation is molded to his or her needs / interests.
[This is also a good tip for those of you dating.]
Email marketing is still an effective medium to reach customers and prospects, but sending out the same generic message to everyone is where many businesses fail. It is because of this realization that Beckmann Collaborative became so excited about the possibilities of using a CRM software to better manage personalized communications such as email and online chat.
Customers are people, not numbers or datasets. It's important to treat them as such. Whatever you can do to create a personalized communication (email, chat, phone, etc) will make a huge difference in how your brand is perceived by customers. You don't want to be the company or organization that is known for sending spamy, generic messaging. I highly doubt that aligns with your brand values.
This is when you show your target audience that there's more to your business than selling. Sending a message for the sake of doing the right thing can show up in many different ways:
While content is king, he is nothing without his queen - consistency. As you are writing blog posts, social posts, emails, or website copy, your brand voice should be consistent. Whatever voice, style, and wording that reflects your brand should always be used.
This becomes more of a challenge once your business begins growing and you must educate staff about the brand. As you grow, be sure to integrate brand values, mission, and company culture into your onboarding process. This is one of the best ways to avoid confusion and create continuity in your brand communications.
What is your company all about? What values does it stand for? If you have a defined brand strategy, your value proposition, brand promise, and brand personality traits, then you are ahead of so many other small businesses. Use these 4 ways in your business to make sure everyone in your company understands your brand and practices your values. The team should embody those brand traits and deliver on a brand promise.