How Branding is Like Dating

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Make a good first impression, be honest, and make them feel special. Think we’re talking about dating?  Actually, we’re talking about branding.  Here are a few rules we stole from the world of dating to help you build a stronger brand:

Don’t Say it.  Show it.

Would you start a date by telling them how funny you are?   No.  Through the course of the evening, you would simply be funny.  The same holds true for your brand. If your company is progressive, make it a priority to create a progressive culture and a product. Small actions like carving time in the day for brainstorming or fostering environmentally-friendly policies will help support your brand position.  These types of activities are much more effective than empty talk.    You can tout yourself as a “progressive” company, but unless you have policies, products, and services that are progressive, no one will believe it.    So don’t say you’re funny.  Tell a joke.

Be consistent

You’re on a first date and the person you’re meeting seems warm and talkative one minute and cold and silent the next—immediate red flag. No one likes mixed messages.  You want to know who you’re dealing with.  The same is true for new consumers and your brand.  If you’re trying to be too much to too many people your message will come across scattered and muddled.  No one will trust you.  Focus on a core message that brings clarity to your position and doesn’t leave potential customers confused or worse, skeptical.

Stand out from the Crowd

There are thousands of single men and women in the dating scene.  Most of these singletons have similar goals of meeting a good person and perhaps creating a long-lasting relationship.   If you want to stand out, you have to be confident in who you are, what you’re looking for, and identify the right match when you see it.

The same can be said for your branding.  Know your strengths as a company and who your ideal customer is.  Even more important, recognize when you come in contact with that ideal consumer, and do everything you can to hang onto them.    Your message should rise above the competition and resonate with this target in a completely different way.   In business, as in love, you have to recognize that magic when you see it and act quickly.

Be Conscious of your First Impression

Before you leave the house on a first date you look in the mirror.  Likely your hair is combed, your teeth brushed, and you’re wearing something flattering.  That’s because you want to make a good first impression.  Your first impression in business is often your website. It’s the first thing the consumer is confronted with when they interact with your brand.  Making a good first impression makes it a lot easier to move through the superficial phase, and begin a dialogue that will lead to conversion.

Make them feel special

This might be your fourth date this week or your fiftieth customer today, but you want them to feel like they are the only person in the world.  Treat your customers, visitors, and prospects with that same level of respect. Listen to their feedback and respond appropriately.  If you treat every customer with that extra special attention – you’ll soon have a very compelling brand.

Amazon isn’t a computer company, according to their CEO, they are a customer service company.  Starbucks creates a third place with the goal to make people feel better when they leave than when they arrive.  These customer-centric brands are some of the most recognized in the world.  Making your customers feel special will have direct ramifications to the trust and rapport you have with your customers…and to your bottom line.

Listen More than you Talk

Have you ever been on a date with someone who would not stop talking?  One story led to the next until you find yourself at the end of the evening realizing you didn’t get in a word.  Can’t remember the second date with that person?  That’s because it didn’t happen.

The same is true for your brand.  Don’t just ramble on about what you do and how great you are.  Listen to the needs of your consumer and explain how your products or services match those needs.  Make it a dialogue.  Monologues are boring - in dates and in brands.

Don’t Lie

Yes – you want to impress the person, especially if they are an ideal target, but don’t lie.  Don’t say you love camping if your idea of roughing it is staying at a hotel without room service.  Don’t say you’re single if you’re married with three kids.  And as a brand, don’t overpromise just because you think it’s what the customer wants to hear.  It will only harm your brand’s credibility in the long run.

 

So today, take a walk through your office, visit your website, and test some of your products as an outsider and ask yourself one thing: would you date your brand?  If the answer is “no” you may have some work to do.  Because in business, as in dating, it’s not enough for someone to think you’re average – you want to make them fall in love.

If you’re interested in how local and property information can help your next customer fall for you, contact us today.