We all need to stop waiting for the next bandwagon4 min read

Have you been drowning in a wave of messages written in COVID-speak about “these uncertain times”?

On a scale of 1-10, I’ll rate my sickness of it at a solid ?. Yah, that’s a number.

This is the time to come together, to show compassion and lend a hand. When you want to show your support, but without knowing exactly what to say, many brands are falling back on something safe and familiar.

However, it isn’t just now that your brand needs to be present and available; this should be true every time your fans need your support.

Today’s I’m sharing tips on finding your voice how to get branding done right.

Building a brand is hard work.

I’ve been working on becoming a better writer for the last two years. I’ve read the books, watched the videos and skimmed the blogs.

And after solidifying my logic, checking my facts and writing thousands of words for a 600-word article, I still end up running to my wife asking “Can you make me sound less boring?!”.

How’s this related to branding, Aliyar?

You see, it’s a lot easier for me to fall back on something reliable rather than fumbling around or worse wasting your time by sending you something incoherent.

The fact that she’s been writing since she was like five years old (and that she’s a battle-hardened copywriter who works Hogwarts level magic with words) just makes her so much better at it than I am.

I think that maybe this is also what makes jumping on a bandwagon so much easier.

Not because the bandwagon is always relevant or important, but because it’s easier to ride the coattails of the latest news wave to virality or relevancy, without really having to go through the trouble of finding your brand’s voice or purpose.

It’s never been more important to be authentic.

Recently all you hear is; how in these uncertain, unpredictable, challenging, unprecedented, exceptional, unique, unusual times this lemon-scented organic body scrub, or that new style of casual footwear, is more important than it has ever been before. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some lemon-scented organic body scrub, but right now it’s more important to be authentic and compassionate, as this business on Instagram, than tactical.

Your brand is better than that.

Brand advertising can be expensive for small and medium companies, everyone doesn’t have pockets as deep as Nike after all, but that really shouldn’t stop you from having a voice that says something other than how to find your stall at the next expo.

While brand advertising may only be for the big boys, brand communication is something that every brand does – whether they’re consciously in control of it or not – and that, therefore, every brand is already communicating with anyone who comes in contact with them.

6 tips for finding your purpose and building your voice

#1 It’s not about what your customers can do for you, but what you can do for them.

It’s not just about encouraging your customers to buy from you when the times are tough. It’s what you can do for them all the time.

Brands need to embody empathy and compassion towards their fans and there are a handful of brands doing just that.

Big brands may have the world’s most creative minds on a retainer but no creative can ever be as passionate about your brand as you are. So, the change starts with you.

#2 Make time to listen to your customers.

It’s impossibly easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a business. I know from personal experience that this is a sure way to lose touch with your customers.

Once every two to three weeks you should purposefully make time to meet your customers. Invite them for a cuppa and if that’s too much then schedule a call with them. Listen to them – it’s invaluable to find out what they value the most about you.

#3 Spoil your customers.

You really don’t need a huge advertising budget to build a brand – or an advertising budget at all. You’ll get far better results if you spend your time and money in making their interactions with you more enjoyable and memorable.

#4 Say it out loud.

Our actions speak louder than words. Still, that’s no substitute for not documenting and frequently communicating your brand values with your team.

The bigger your team, the more important it is for you to make sure that everyone’s on the same page.

#5 Do something new.

The lure of sticking to what works is strong. Often so strong that we stop improving.

Aim to launch 2 to 3 new products or services each year. If you can’t think of anything novel yourself, imagine your most demanding customer and figure out what would put the biggest smile on their face.

#6 Tell your story loud and clear.

As businesses grow they also tend to build taller and taller walls around them. You thrive because of your customers but you’ll have no business if you build walls to keep them out.

People don’t get too close to things they can’t see or understand. Be open, engaging and inclusive. Share your stories, adventures as well as misadventures and make them feel like they’re in your inner circle.