Taking your brand online has everything to do with interacting with your audience. You want the right messages, images, and mediums to convey your company and its products and services in engaging ways that build customer loyalty and encourage interaction. A static website isn’t enough in today’s global marketplace where your business competes locally, nationally, and in many cases, worldwide. Your brand online has to be highly effective and highly interactive. In “What Great Brands Do,” Denise Lee Yohn discusses the specific approaches taken by power brands like Apple, Coca Cola, Disney, and Zappos to become the biggest and most trusted brands around. She says the great brands don’t sell products, they embody the spirit of their brand. Think Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline.
What Great Brands Do
Internal brand culture is not easy to develop but it’s what great brands do. IBM did it in 2003 to reinvent its brand and corporate values to respond to changing markets. Zappos has done it from day one by focusing on the customer experience. It’s integral to internalize your culture and brand before it reflects outside. Before you take your brand online, make sure everyone in your company truly understands it and is behind it.
Yohn explains that great brands don’t chase customers, they attract them. Lululemon as a prime example of this, because of the company's strict return policy (only accepting unopened/unworn/unwashed items returned within 14 days), higher pricing and lack of discounts. The brand works hard to convey quality rather than chase customers.
Great brands pay attention to the details, especially with design. Yohn notes Chobani is an example of a well-designed brand, creating a memorable experience out of a simple activity like eating yogurt through attention to detail of package design. Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya intentionally worked on every aspect of the packaging design to create an emotion for the brand.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Neil Patel and Ritika Puri claim the story makes the brand. They say you can make your brand stand out through powerful and actionable storytelling as marketing. You are actually telling a story about your brand in many different ways whether you realize it or not. Controlling and directing the right story and the right emotions for your brand are what give an honest look at who you are as a company as opposed to a boring, fragmented view of your products and services.
Patel and Puri remind their audience that brand storytelling isn’t actually about your company, but about your customers’ experience with your company. They suggest the most effective storytelling is conversational but delivered with carefully constructed message architecture that includes social media. A good example of this is what Drivetime does on Facebook, asking questions with engaging photos to get customers to interact around feel-good topics.
Tell your company and brand story online in your website about page, blog posts, social media posts, and videos. Scale your storytelling this way after carefully planning it with input from sales, product managers, executives, and entry level professionals, as well as customers, to ensure it accurately represents your organization and brand.