Is your brand a one night stand?
Disclaimer: Work Wife Wine Time promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol and responsible dating on Tinder. We wish you well for finding the happily ever after you deserve with your brand.
Hello ladies, welcome to this week’s podcast episode of Work Wife Wine Time. And in this episode, join Rowena as she discusses branding for your business. And she memorably compares it to being in a relationship that stands the test of time.
Your branding goes through four phases: flirting, dating, wedding day, and marriage. In this episode, discover how to have a healthy relationship with your brand so you can avoid the pitfalls and painfulness of it turning into a series of bad Tinder dates.
Rowena Preddy 1:10
Is your brand a one nightstand? So you hear a lot of the cliches these days around Tinder and the like. So what I would like you to do is take a moment. Imagine your brand, your business is being who you are, and who you are, is after a date.
But before you do, you need to look inwards and take stock. When you are actively looking for a date your headspace is important. Are you coming from a place of confidence, self love, and happiness? Or desperation, anxiety and a thirst to be wanted? What kinds of people are you going to attract?
Now think about your brand and how other people view it. Does it have the characteristics of a bad date? Is it cheap and unfulfilling? Does it leave them feeling dirty? Do they feel disappointed in themselves with a side of self loathing? Are they in desperate need for a debrief with their girlfriends so they can discuss in detail how bad it was? How they will never, ever go back. And then proceed to dissect every single nitty gritty detail.
Now imagine this is a review of your business and the ten girlfriends that person told were your perfect target audience. And then when they hear someone else expressing interest in you, they warn them off.
Think of all the time you spent building a connection before sealing the deal. The messages backwards and forwards, picking the perfect outfit, the energy you spent getting excited, getting nervous and wondering, ‘Is this the one?’ All of that buildup.
Now, imagine the date that lead to this bad review. At this stage, you’ve had the build up with the person.
If we’re talking about a brand relationship, this person has been stalking your business, they jumped online, they’ve seen your social media and they’ve gone ‘Hmm, this is someone to keep an eye on,’ they start to engage, and they make some comments to you.
So we’ve gone through the build up stage, we’ve got to the point where you’ve decided to take it to the next level and go on a date. The restaurant’s perfect. Now the restaurant in this situation is your social media or restaurant, it’s the location. The flirting is your conversation, your brand story, and the way that you communicate it with people. The attraction, the spark, often this comes from a purely visual space. So this is how you look. This is how you present yourself. And of course you’ve got the food in the atmosphere as well.
Now what if one part, just one, clash with the rest of the package, maybe tell them you’re eco conscious. And then you rock up in leather pants and a fur coat? Maybe you look the part and turn up in your vegan leather shoes and organic linen. But when you open your mouth to speak, a cold monotone corporate voice comes out completely devoid of any passion. You see the contrast here. Now this is what a brand is.
A brand is something that a lot of people find hard to define. But it is all of it. It is the look and feel, the connection, it goes deeper. It is about being a true representation of who you are across the board consistently. Now consistency is key when it comes to branding. Just like with dating, when you think about somebody who says one thing and then does another, they’re instantly labeled a liar. Someone who pledges loyalty and then goes and cheats with someone else. They’ve broken the trust. So by thinking of your brand, as a partner, or potential one, you start to see how the smallest thing can start to break down that relationship.
So back to the date, it’s going on. But, most things are starting to set off the alarms, the longer they hang out with you, they start to go, ‘You know what? That doesn’t seem aligned.’ Maybe you preach inclusivity. But all your models are white. Or perhaps you jump on bandwagons and movements, but don’t practice what you preach. So if this was the date situation, these could be something that started off red flags and warning bells, the date goes on. And that sinking sensation starts to happen in your client’s/date’s stomach. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been here. The wine is good, and they still want to believe the fairy tale, they still want to find what’s being sold to them.
They still want the image in the head to be a reality. They push through eternal, slightly drunk, optimist and they seal the deal. Disaster. After doing the walk of shame, the disappointment and self doubt starts to seep in. Let’s be honest, a mild hangover. You can imagine what the meeting with their girlfriends is gonna go like.
So by not being true to who you are, you’ve lost them. You may have made one sale, but you’ve potentially lost a cheerleader for your business and all the people they were going to tell about you.
Now let’s flip this. Now imagine meeting The One and imagine what the path of your happily ever after, perfect relationship could look like.
Now my story about how I met my husband would probably under normal circumstances, would have been a prime example of option A. But no, 20 years later, we are still going. What’s the difference? It’s choice, it’s connection. It’s a whole bunch of other things. But if somebody starts to become intertwined with who you are, and you start to make the choice that this person is the one, consistency is key.
Brand relationships are all about the journey you take your clients on, by ensuring that no matter where they connect with you, or see your brand, you’re showing up consistently, and you’re showing your commitment to them. Now let’s go step by step with this analogy. and carry it through the whole branding journey.
The first step of any relationship is flirting. It’s igniting the first spark of interest. So in a brand, this can be done in many ways, it can be having a logo that’s true to you. It can be done by someone finding you on social media and actually following you. It can be done in a variety of ways depending on what sort of business you have. It could be word of mouth, or a flyer. Flirting is the very first touch point that gives people that first little flutter of hearts like ‘this is the answer to a problem that I have,’ or ‘this is what I’ve been looking for,’ or all of those cliches that we hear as people take that first trip down true love lane. It starts with knowing the type of person you want to attract and presenting yourself accordingly.
Before we spoke about misrepresentation, and how you look. So if you’re an eco friendly business that doesn’t practice what you preach, it’s going to become really clear really fast that you are not being true to you. This is where your brand values come in. For example, the brand values in my business Preddy Creative, are bold, confident, colourful, energetic and honest, these are both who I am as a person, and who I am in my business. So if I was to go on a date and be shy and coy, at some point the real me is going to come out and it might not be what that person is looking for. So to get the attention of the right people, you need to be clear on who you are, and what you’re looking for.
Now in the dating world, this might mean putting on a push up bra and wearing a flattering colour. It’s similar in the branding world as well. Think about advertising. It’s the push up bar of the branding world. It gets your assets out there for people to see, right? This is a visual way to express your values and align yourself with your target. They get all of that before they’ve even had any personal contact with you.
First impressions last. So, in the instance of flirting, let’s imagine you’re sitting in a bar, your eyes make contact across the room. What do you notice first? What would they notice about you first? What things does that person look for? Once you know them, you can present yourself accordingly. Again, though, I cannot emphasise this enough, it needs to be authentic to who you are if you want to make a genuine connection. So we’ve moved on from distant flirting to getting up close and personal. There’s been some casual conversation followed by some bump and grind on the dance floor, and an exchanging of numbers.
Now, you start dating, say what you like about it, but from a purely factual point of view, dating is an information gathering expedition. The information you gather is to help you make a choice. In the branding world, dating is the equivalent of communicating what you’re all about. If you’re not communicating, you’re not dating, and it’s gonna fizzle out really fast. Dating is all about exchanging information so you can form a connection, it’s all about getting to know a person more intimately. We do this in the branding world by sharing stories, connecting over common ground and discovering more about the person.
It’s also about listening, you could be having a conversation with a blank wall. But if you’re not reading the room, it’s not kind of going anywhere, you’re going to look egotistical, and it’s not going to work. So you need to show that you are interested, as well as interesting, that you’re aligned with who they are, you understand them and you want to know more, they need to feel special.
The purpose of dating is getting to know a person inside and out so you can choose if they are the one for you. Think about it from a client’s point of view, this is their way of getting to know you, they say that it takes up to 13 touch points with the client or customer before that person will purchase from you.
So if you think about this in a dating scenario, this would be texting or phone calls, or a date or a thoughtful gift. All of these can translate across to branding. At this stage, you haven’t sealed the deal. You haven’t found your forever after, they’re still on the fence and potentially keeping their options open. So you’ve got to think about what is going to sell the relationship to this person. There might be a person that shows love through gifts. So maybe discounts and freebies could be a good way of getting through to these people. Maybe they’re passionate about the environment. In the real world and appropriate date could be a beach cleanup. In a branding world, it can be very much the same. Show that you practice what you preach. Don’t just say it, be it. People may not be aware of it.
But at this point, they’re sitting there ticking boxes, seeing if you fulfil everything they need from you. So we’re making sure that each of those touch points is something valuable that is actually giving you another tick in the box. This can be comments on posts and responding to people, that’s a touch point. It reminds people this is a real person, their real business and that they really want to be a part of this. They really want to be a part of this person’s life/brand. By personalising your client journey, you can help your business stand out from the crowd, say 300 people are selling the exact same product as you are. Each touchpoint you have is a chance to stand out and move the relationship from innocent flirting to living happily ever after.
Okay, so you’ve been dating for a while, you’ve had your touch points. And the BIG question comes at this point, if you’ve checked enough boxes. Are you going to make it official? Get down on one knee, make the commitment.
Now, it’s your wedding day, the boughs are tolling, the sun is shining and you’re both about to make the commitment. Signed, sealed, delivered, they are yours.
They’ve made the choice that you are it for them. This is no fade to black at the end of a romantic movie. They want to invest in the long haul with you. Now we’ve all been to weddings, and we’ve all seen that they’re all very unique to each person. It’s a celebration. This is a chance when you onboard a client or customer to make them feel really, really, really special on the special day. Everyone wants to feel special on their wedding day. So just because you put in all the hard work up to the wedding day doesn’t mean you can suddenly give up at this point. You need to think about how to make this special so this can be done through thank you cards or follow up emails, or just making sure that you maintain the level of care and respect that you had before you got married. So a wedding is about celebration, but it is also a very meaningful and big step. Give it the gravitas it deserves. Also, weddings are stressful for a lot of people because they involve a lot of money. It’s still pretty scary at the stage, and there’s still a lot up in the air. They need reassurance, they need to feel protected and cared for, made sure that they’ve made the right decision. So by keeping communication open, and focusing on your aligned goals and purpose, you can make the experience one to remember, everyone wants to remember corks popping and the pouring of champagne, versus the drama that happens behind the scene with the mother in law.
So again, a lot of this at the stage is all about you, which is why it’s important that there are aspects of you through the flirting and dating stage, because ultimately are this stage, they’re buying you. They’re trusting you, they need to know that they have made the right choice, make them feel special. So one of my pet peeves is that romantic comedies always end at this point, they always end on the wedding day, right? Like all your problems are magically solved in that one moment in time. And your business, it is important to remember that, just because money has changed hands and the deal has been sealed, that is not the end. The waiting is just the start, it is just one day.
To have a successful marriage, you need to have commitment. So the next stage for branding relationship is marriage. And this is all about going the distance. Marriage takes work, if you want to keep the connection alive. From a branding perspective, this would be wanting the person to come back and purchase from you again, you need to be vigilant about investing in the relationship. So rather than during the marriage equivalent of letting yourself go, you need to continue to up your game and grow and develop as that person does. This does take some work, it takes effort and it can take an investment of both time and money. And it’s also about being thoughtful, just like in a marriage, so you need to be conscious of putting in an effort and showing that you still appreciate that person. You need to invest into them. Start to get to know that person more and be interested in what they’re interested in. And listen, always listen, because what your clients tell you is how you can help them further. And you need to ask the right questions. By doing this that shows that you’re being thoughtful, it shows that you’re still thinking of them, that you still care just as much as you did on the day you got married, the day you first met, and the day that your eyes made across the bar.
It’s also about shared experiences. So this can be done in a branding perspective through competitions and promotions. It can be done through new ways of opening up different conversations, such as newsletters and blogs. So maybe once six months ago, your client mentioned that they would like more colour variety. What do you know, six months later, you start to offer them more colour. And so they’re gonna keep coming back, they’re gonna purchase from you again. And so it keeps growing your relationship, growing and getting stronger.
By creating memories together, you’re keeping the connection alive. This can be through growing as your clients do, and showing that you consider them in any of your thought processes or changes in the business, for example, say your prices are going up. ‘So guys, just wanted to let you know that my prices will be going up soon. But as a loyal customer, here’s a discount code for existing stock.’ It shows a level of consideration. However, left alone, a marriage can become empty, meaningless, and broken. It’s also the same with branding, you’ve already put in a lot of work into warming that person up, you’ve put a lot of work into the relationship, it would be a shame and a gigantic waste of time and resources for you to abandon it.
So if you want to be the one that rides off into the sunset after your wedding, but you don’t know what happens then, or do you want to be the couple in the notebook that supports each other to the very end in spite of everything? Think about how you can offer that by keeping things fresh. It’s all about making sure that person still feels special, even though the years have gone past. You want them there for the long haul. They become an essential part of who you are, those clients and those customers and that wife or husband, they will become your biggest cheerleaders. Their other ones you won’t even need to advertise to anymore, because they will know you so well that they sing your praises everywhere they go. They love you. So on a branding relationship, some ways that this can be done is you’ve got to keep things fresh. You need to keep things fresh on your website, you need to be thinking of things like blogs that show how you feel, you need to be thinking about keeping your information current. But in addition to this, you can do this in newsletters or special promotions, or it can be just dropping your clients a simple personal message. A ‘thinking of you’ type message, I mean, we all like getting those text messages. So why wouldn’t you like it in an email.
In summary Tinder may seem like fun, it can serve a purpose. But Tinder is like those ads you see on Facebook, they pop up, and you start to go ‘Whoa, is big brother watching? Seriously, this is exactly what I need my life! Wow, this is perfect.’ But you’re taking everything on a surface level, I’m that person that then goes away and researches the company and researches the product and after reading reviews and seeing what is actually going on. Often I go, ‘huh, huh, that was fake. Oh, that’s not actually what I want,’ or ‘oh, geez, that’s a really bad review.’ And I start to get a feel for the next level down and what’s going on beneath the surface. They may have found the quick buck formula, but you look up those companies two, four, six months later. They may make a quick boom, but the realisation is, as entrepreneurs, we’re in this for the long haul. This is what we want from our lives.
So, if you want to be cheap, nasty and up for quickie, go the Tinder route with your brand. But if you want a team of cheerleaders on your side, find the people that become your people, and you live happily ever after, my advice? Really dig into how you can make a relationship that will last.
So ask yourself this. Is your brand a one night stand, or is it The One?