Developing Trust and Confidence In Your Brand

6a00e008d932ff88340163044a8d28970dIt’s a fact that people identify with brands they like. McDonalds has capitalized on this concept. Those golden arches are placed as high as regional height limits will allow them to go in the hopes that people see and recognize them and pull in for a burger. No one can dispute that they’ve made their billions off of being recognizable.

The same principle has to apply to small and medium sized businesses. A lot of people are intimidated by the successes of large companies, but they forget that they started out small and built up from there. They did that by becoming recognizable and building a positive brand identity.

I went to a conference recently with other marketing professionals (and with the story I tell, you’re going to think I should have used that word with quotation marks) and I met with a company that isn’t too far away, and they’re in a smaller market, and they have had a tough time finding success in gaining recognition. I talked to the owner for about 20 minutes and couldn’t figure out what was going on until she said this:

“I just love logos. I love to design them, so I designed five different logos for my company. I’ve got an elegant one, a fun one, colorful ones, and I put them everywhere. I have one on my Facebook, one on my Twitter, one on my websites.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. First of all, she said, ”websites” meaning more than one. She had three different websites, each with the same content, but three different logos and looks. She was building brand confusion rather than brand identity. Her customers weren’t able to find her (or trust her) because everywhere they looked they found something different.

To help build a better brand, follow these five tips and tricks to ensure your customers are able to find you and indentify with you rather than get lost in the jungle of companies offering the same services.

#1 – Pick a design and stick with it.

Let’s take the person I mentioned above as an example. She’s creating logo after logo and three different websites for her business. You can bet that her customers are getting confused about what her main focus is when they find five different designs for her company. More importantly, they’re probably doubting her abilities as a marketer. When you pick a design and stick to it, your customers get consistency.

She mentioned using a different logo for Facebook and a different logo for Twitter. Once people get a visual idea of your company they’re not going to focus so much on the words in your name. They’re going to be looking for those golden arches, so to speak. Do yourself a favor and pick one logo for all of your social media platforms. It’s going to pay off in the end.

#2 – Cross-promote, but don’t cross-confuse

A major mistake people make is over-posting materials, not posting enough materials, or posting conflicting materials. This is horrible for establishing a brand identity. If you say one thing on Facebook, but something completely different on your blog, you’re hurting your chances of becoming a trusted source of information. Consistency is key.

Another way to create confusion is to over or under-post on social media. It’s estimated that 62% of consumers check out your social media presence before making a purchase. If you aren’t posting to your social media sites daily, you aren’t posting enough. Going weeks without posting simply is not an option.

#3 – Establish a Personality

If you aren’t already spending a fair amount of your day on social media sites, it’s time to start. However, this being 2013, and with more than 1.06 billion people logging in to Facebook every month, chances are you’re familiar with the site. Still, it’s time to use your business page to establish a personality for your company.

Make it well-known the personality of your business. If you’re going for a fun vibe, post memes, jokes, and fun material to make your customers laugh. If you’re leaning more toward serious business, be sure to post scholarly, trustworthy material. Most importantly, make sure your posts are appropriate for business.

Establish trust with your clients. Everything you do is in the public eye, whether you know it or not. If you aren’t working to create a positive brand identity, all you’re doing is creating brand confusion. There’s still time to get on the right path!