A good brand experience, one that is consistent and cohesive, increases trust between your audience and community, and your brand.
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After three-plus years in branding, here’s what I whole-heartedly believe to be true: When you have a strong, consistent and cohesive brand experience, it brings more ease and joy into your business.
Well, let’s make sure we’re on the same page and start with the definition of branding. A brand is how people think, feel and act in relation to your business. Brand elements are the individual assets that influence those thoughts, actions and feelings. Brand experience happens at every single touch point someone has with your business and is composed of various brand elements.
Given this, one can see the connection between brand experience and being able to positively influence a community’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Meaning, when the brand provides a good experience (i.e., positive), that brand is more likely to have a positive influence over those people.
So, why does this idea of good brand experience even matter?
Every time someone experiences your brand, they will be influenced in some way. As a business owner (and not a hobby-ist), you want that influence to flow in the direction of doing business with you.
Here’s the common misconception: influence doesn’t automatically mean manipulative, smarmy or scammy. B My family and friends have influence over me and the decisions I make. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just means I value them and their opinion/decision/direction.
Having influence over someone, whether it’s personal or professional, is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Let’s think about it from a brand and business perspective. When you have influence over a community/audience member, it’s like they’re deciding your brand is important enough to them and they’re letting you into their sphere. Or, for all you Meet the Parents fans, you’re being invited into the Circle of Trust. That’s a big freakin’ deal and really freakin’ cool. Really think about it – you’ve created this thing out of nothing and it has the power to build such a strong connection with someone that it can influence their decisions.
That, my friends, is the power of a good brand experience.
Because I’m all about examples, let’s compare two companies. Company A has no consistency or cohesiveness to their brand. If you visit their website, then hop over to social media, you realize you aren’t sure who they’re for, the problem they solve, how they want people to experience their brand or why they believe the work matters in the first place. The visuals are all over the place and their messaging has no consistency.
How would you perceive Company A? Would you trust them with your money? Would you trust that they would deliver what they said? Would they have any positive influence over the decisions that you make? Would you leave the experience feeling good about them?
Company B on the other hand, has their shit together. You pop onto their website and it is crystal clear what they offer, who they’re for and the problem they solve. You jump over to their social media channels and see more valuable content that stays fairly consistent with the problem they mentioned on their website. From a visual perspective, the fonts, colors and photography is all cohesive – you are starting to get a feel for what the brand stands for and its personality.
Gut check: Who would you be more willing and comfortable to invest in? The company that can’t seem to nail down their offerings or be clear about who they work with, OR the company that knows who they are and what they do?
Now, let’s get one thing clear here. It’s not about being perfect. Or appearing to be perfect. Providing a good brand experience doesn’t mean one without mistakes or imperfections.
Instead, it’s about showing up as consistently and cohesively as you can so that you can build trust with your community.
Which brings me to the punch line: Good branding creates trust with your community.
As service providers, I KNOW you know the value of trust. It is everything for a business owner. Because at the end of the day, people do not invest their time, energy, money and resources into a brand they do not trust.
A good brand experience increases trust.
A poor brand experience decreases trust.
And yes, it can be as simple as that.
All my best,
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