Great branding is a lot like great editing – it’s invisible. You don’t see or even notice when something is edited well. As is the case when something is branded well.
In editing, it’s when you miss typos or revise something so roughly that it looks forced or unnatural that things are noticed. For branding, it’s when you try too hard to force a message or sell a product that raises a flag in the customer’s head.
Both poor editing and poor branding give people off-putting feelings. For the former, all that results is a slight lapse in the flow of reading or content digestion. But for the latter, what results is a lapse in the flow of one’s purchase process. Something that could be costly to conversions.
Seamless branding is great branding
Great branding will be a seamless experience that you hardly even notice. Unless you’re in digital marketing or you have an appreciative knowledge of good branding, the typical consumer won’t know they are interacting with and enjoying a great brand.
Instead, the customer will redirect that adornment on their product, service or other feature, which are some of the intentions of building a great brand in the first place. But very rarely will the common shopper say they like the branding of a business, without knowing exactly what that means at least. All they know, either consciously or subconsciously, is that they like this company for one reason or another.
While great brands aren’t noticed, they are felt. And as mentioned, the positive response that customers feel is often redirected towards the product or service the brand is selling. This is one of the main reasons why developing such a smooth brand is so advantageous.
Think of great brands as being an illusion almost. Hiding the fact that they are indeed a company with wants and needs, one of them being your money and attention. One of the biggest turnoffs for a shopper/consumer is being sold to. When they become conscious of the fact that there is another entity actively trying to access their funds, more times than not they will turn the other way. Your job, as a brand, is to make them forget about money or a price tag. And to delicately guide them to a new world or opportunity that you’re offering.
Branding encompasses a lot of things, so to understand great branding you will also need to understand the great bits and pieces that make it up.
Breaking down the goodness
There is an infinite amount of different variables, factors, and features that compose a great brand. Some of which are still being created today. Brands are living organisms that evolve and respond to their environments, so there are always new ways to grow and nurture that brand.
In our experience as a digital marketing agency in Austin, we use these different facets of branding and marketing every single day to build businesses to the point where their customers can’t get enough of them. While some of these facets are unique to each brand, there are 3 common variables that great, seamless brands all have.
1. Great UX
Much like editing, great UX is hardly noticeable. It’s only when a user starts having trouble navigating your website that things are noticed and flags are raised. Unless you have some dazzling interactive features throughout the navigation of your site like a unicorn for a cursor, users will very rarely comment on it.
When users are seamlessly traveling your site, having no trouble finding the resources they’re looking for like that hoodie they saw on Instagram, they aren’t thinking about the navigation of your site. They’re thinking about that hoodie. You are giving them a pleasant enough experience to get from one end of the purchase process to the other without interruption.
User experience is one of those invisible features that composes a fluid and seamless brand. For most businesses in our digital age, your website and the UX it has is how users interact with you and your brand. So it’s important to invest your time into it.
2. Sales Messaging
There’s nothing worse than then a pushy salesman. The one who is absolutely beaming with joy and excitement the moment you walk in the door to help you every step of the way. Everyone has met this type of salesman and not a single one of them will tell you it made their shopping experience more enjoyable.
While this pushy salesperson is most commonly seen in actual brick and mortars, your online presence and digital marketing strategies can come off in a similar tone. What’s important is that you don’t seem desperate or overwhelming.
One example of this is when popular Mexican grill Chipoltle attempted to come back from a stint of disasters including food mismanagement, food poisoning, and a few other gaffes. Immediately after, they began running extremely generous promotions like free meals and sides that no other restaurant would consider during regular times. And you could smell their desperation like fresh-cooked chicken.
What you have to do is sell passively. This is best done by showing a personal interest or passion in your product or service. Imagine a salesperson at a Ski store talking about how much they themselves enjoy a particular brand of skis. Instead of talking about how much the customer would like it, they switch their perspective and get their mind in a different avenue.
Digitally, your messaging can do the exact same. Pinpoint why you as a business owner love the product or service so much. Show your passion. Your sales messaging will come off as a lot more authentic and might just lead to higher conversions.
3. Purchase Process
Purchase process can be lumped in with the past two items in this section, as it relates to sales messaging and UX in a lot of ways. But the actual purchase process encompasses so much more. It’s the before, beginning, middle, end, and after of the entire cycle of a customer’s buying process. Before they even know your brand, and after they buy your product or service.
Like UX and your sales messaging, the purchase process should be unseen. Flawlessly carried out without distraction or interruption. Since sales messaging has to do with the beginning and UX has to do with the middle with the end being a sale, let’s focus on the before and after of the purchase process.
How will you introduce yourself before your customer knows who you are? WIll it be through some gaudy banner ad that is getting in the way of an article you’re reading? Or will it be slyly slipped into the pre-roll of a video you’re watching on the internet?
And after a customer converts are you going to keep pestering them with promotions and deals that don’t make sense? Or are you going to send them ways in which they can amplify the product they already have? Blunt and in your face or sly and smooth? That is the question.
We’ve got answers
If you’ve got questions about how to approach your customers and close them as well, we’ve got answers. Our experience as a digital marketing firm in Austin has led us to discover the ins and outs of smooth branding in every type of industry. It has taught us that being felt is more important than just being noticed. Find out how you can do both.