This blog was originally published on 10/14/16 but was refreshed and republished in 6/25/19 by Christine Cerniglia.
What is Brand Admiration?
Brand Admiration is defined as unconditional love for a company, which consists of 3 parts: Trust, Love, and Respect.
Pretty self-explanatory terms right there – but important ones, nonetheless. They are all part of the customer experience. We’ve previously covered branding and highlighted the point that your brand is defined by your audience, and only influenced by you. Take your branding a step up from “Brand Awareness” and build brand admiration with these steps.
Build brand TRUST
One way to control your influence is by building trust. So, here are three quick (and often overlooked) ways to build trust in your brand.
Create great content, including an FAQ page
A well-constructed FAQ page can tell a story and can tell your audience who you really are. A story that screams authenticity and trust, two things that are needed for a real relationship, gives your brand some verisimilitude (for all you fancies out there).
Here are a few quick notes on what to include on your FAQ page:
- List your questions in an order similar to what someone would go through in their journey through buying your product. The order will keep the story going just like it should, and will add to the lifelikeness of your brand.
- The FAQ page needs to be a human, with real words and real personality, not robot jargon with intricate details that only an insider would understand. However, you can use insider robot-jargon, but only when it shows your expertise.
- Show your brand voice! This section is where you should really embrace your tone. If you’re funny and clever, then run with it! If you are serious and matter-of-fact, then speak candidly.
- And you don’t have to call it an FAQ page. Call it anything; just make sure it delivers value by telling your customer what it’s like working with you or buying from you.
Go live and showcase your employees
This could make a lot of companies nervous (though it shouldn’t if you hire people that you trust!). If nothing else, it shows the human behind the brand, and that’s what potential customers can connect with.
Follow some of these pointers to build a relationship with your brand:
- Tell a story about a common customer problem and show one of your employees fixing that problem. Make it fun! Act your little heart out. YouTube, Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram are now built for telling a great story with video. Use them, that’s where your audience is.
- Write a human-interest story about people on your team. Find the interests and hobbies of those on your team that match up with the core values of your company, and go with it. We love that this is authentic not only for your audience, but for your team!
- Include bios for your team members on your website. It’s a small thing, but we’ve seen huge success with this, especially in industries where that in-person connection is important.
Telling real-life stories will convince others of your company’s lifelikeness. It’s important not to simply convey what you think are truths, but to fit your truth to your audience. Using these two methods will allow you to do this quickly, and can easily be converted into content to spread across digital media – like social media posts.
Encourage customer reviews
Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? So not only do these reviews impact your brand reputation and admiration, but they can directly impact your bottom line. Here are a few simple ways to get more reviews:
- Post a sign at the checkout counter of your store asking people to leave a review
- Invest in a followup system that automatically emails recent customers with links for them to easily leave a review on the desired platform
- If you work with customers face to face, ask for a review at the end of your interaction
Keep in mind that by encouraging customers to review your brand publicly, not all of those reviews will be glowing. Rather than letting them sit there (or worse, trying to remove them or cover them up) it’s important to respond to any negative reviews you receive. Be human. Hear the customer’s criticism and use it to take action. People will respect your brand more for caring enough to address it!
Have you considered publishing a handful of strong brand case studies? A well-written case study can do wonders for the way prospective customers view your brand!
Make customers fall in LOVE
When it comes to brand admiration, love has to come into the picture, of course! But how do you make customers fall in love with your brand? Use these simple tips to show how much you care and help establish that relationship.
Be authentic when interacting with customers
Customers appreciate honesty. When you’re creating content, use your brand voice, but make sure there’s an element of humanity added in. If everything you share is “vanilla” and meant to appeal to everyone, it’ll sound just like everyone else and end up appealing to no one. Need some advice? These brands are doing it right:
Your brand should be distinctive to be remembered and, eventually, loved. Customers are savvy today–remember to let your authenticity shine through at every opportunity.
Use consistency across your brand
That “brand voice” I just mentioned is one small piece of the puzzle. Do you have brand guidelines set up? Brand guidelines typically include design information (how and when to use certain logo designs, colors, typography), and some personality elements, such as your tone, voice, and mission. Adhering to these guidelines ensures consistency across your brand, so that a customer who reads your blog post and watches your Instagram story can identify that it’s your brand, even though the content may be created by different people.
Think about an iconic brand like Target or Apple. As soon as one of their commercials comes on, it’s immediately obvious who the commercial is for, even when the brand name isn’t listed until the very end of the ad. In order to develop that level of brand strength, guidelines and consistency are imperative. See how these established brands do it:
Think your company is too small to need these in-depth guidelines? Think again. We recommend starting the process sooner rather than later so you’re not scrambling to remove/replace outdated and inconsistent branding as you grow. It’s never too early to achieve consistency!
Earn your customers’ RESPECT
Now that you’ve built trust and love in your brand, it’s time to earn your customers’ respect on the path to brand admiration.
Give back to your community
A little generosity and social responsibility can go a long way. According to Double the Donation, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for products from socially responsible companies, and 93% of the world’s largest 250 companies now publish annual CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reports. With statistics like that, it’s no secret that social responsibility is highly valued and respected among consumers (bonus: it also attracts top talent). Here are some ways that you can become more socially responsible:
- Establish a VTO (Volunteer Time Off) policy
- Schedule quarterly volunteering events that are required for all team members to attend
- If your product is a service, offer discounted/free work to non-profits
- Survey your employees to find out what causes are important to them, then donate to those causes
People want to know that they’re supporting a company with strong values and that their hard-earned dollars go to something worthwhile. Just make sure your efforts are genuine. If you’re doing it for the publicity and your team isn’t invested in the cause, consumers will see through your efforts and you’ll lose the respect you could’ve earned.
Publicize your mission
Do you have a mission statement, vision, and values? These serve as the foundation for most notable brands. As these provide purpose and direction for goals and strategy, it’s important that your employees know them and live them, but it’s also important to publicize them for consumers. Seeing what a company stands for allows potential customers to connect with your brand. Here are some well-publicised and notable mission statements:
- Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease
- TED: Spread ideas.
- Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Share your mission statement, vision, and values with potential customers and see how it resonates. If you believe in the importance of what your company is doing, customers will, too, and you’ll earn their respect for it.
Building a strong brand should be every marketer’s goal. Not only will building a strong recognizable brand bring in new leads, but it will also help establish loyal customers who will sell your brand for you. Free marketing? Count us in!
Think your brand could use some work? We can help. Our team offers branding services and would be happy to build your brand identity.
Not quite ready to reach out about services? Check out our 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips Tricks & Ideas. This guidebook is sure to get you thinking about the various ways you can integrate your brand with your lead generation tactics.
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Brand Admiration is something most businesses strive for, but it is not easily achieved. To catapult a brand into the category of admiration, it requires innovative approaches to brand management. Brand Admiration: The Exponential Effect of Brand Trust, Love, and Respect, dives into consumer psychology and cites real-world examples of how to employ these approaches. This blog post will cover what we learned when reading it and how you, too, can achieve Brand Admiration.