A happy brand reflects your business in the best possible way and in turn makes your customers happy when they see, hear, smell, touch, taste and purchase your product or use your service. But how can you tell if your brand is happy? Let me show you the essence of a happy brand...
Have you ever walked into a shop and just turned around and walked straight back out? This could be due to various reasons, such as: a strong smell, the lighting is too dark or too bright, the music is too loud, the staff are rude and unfriendly, the place is dirty or the vibe just doesn't quite feel right... This my friends, is not the energy of a happy brand and will lose you potential customers and repeat business - and definitely will not build up a good reputation via word of mouth! (This also happens online with bad websites, unfriendly customer service and slow responses to enquiries).
In my opinion, the essence of a happy brand is birthed in design, experienced through interactions(touchpoints) and measured through customer experience and feedback.
There are multiple touchpoints to consider in business. See this diagram below for an idea of how expansive the customer journey can be, from awareness to purchasing and then how it even continues after the purchase has been completed...
Brand design is what attracts and holds the attention of potential customers (in alignment with marketing strategy) and plays out across the range of customer touchpoints - which are anywhere a customer has an opportunity to engage or interact with your brand.
Having an awareness of your customer's journey is a good start to building a happy brand.
You want people to have a positive experience across ALL 'customer touchpoints' on their journey with you. Right from when you first appear on their radar, either in an online search or as a brick and mortar store that they walk past to that final purchasing decision, through to telling their friends and family about it all... Some aspects you can control and some you can't... it's the ones you can control that I want to focus on in this blog.
Some Happy Brand Practices and Places to Start:
Brand Design: Start by having a really nice professionally designed logo, visual style and brand consistency that reflects your business quality, style, values, ethics and audience
Marketing Strategy: Understand where and what all of your touchpoints are and create awesome interactions at each stage using good design, open communication and interactive opportunities
Social Media Interaction: See what kind of interaction you are getting on social media. Are people happy, enthusiastic and responsive? Or plain don't interact at all? This could be because of the wrong type of posts for your audience or bad design. Check it out and see how you can improve (if you need to). Also, make sure to be responsive to enquiries via social media and to personally respond to each comment whenever possible (social media is about social and building relationships)
Analysis: Get to know your customer journey and touchpoints and how well they are working. Digital is the easiest to analyze because the data is easy to capture. Have a Google analytics code installed on your website and track the user flow, time on site, website traffic and bounce rate and see if there are areas that you can improve on and which areas are working well
Customer Service: Finding good sales staff can be tricky and everyone has off days, but one bad customer service experience can have a domino effect and you need to have processes in place to manage this. Be nice to your staff, but firm, make sure they know who is boss, but that you are human just like them and they can talk to you about any work related issues they may be having. A bad workplace often stems from the top, so be a good boss, respect and value your employees and encourage your staff by letting them know the importance of a successful business and it's direct correlation to them getting paid and keeping their job. It's a team effort and EVERYONE has an important part to play in the daily and overall profitability of your business. Staff can forget that they get paid because of the sales they make... If you are the only point of contact, always be on your A-game as you only have yourself to blame AND rely on
Customer Satisfaction: Get to know your customers and find out if they are happy with their journey and their purchase. Constructive criticism is one of the best ways to grow your business to better serve the needs of your customers. What you think they want or need, might actually be different from the reality, and you need them to tell you. Do some surveys and give away some free product (that is why all the big companies do it, like Mitre10, the Warehouse, Countdown, etc.). Part of keeping up with the changing terrain of customers, product preferences and marketing.
Most of all... you have to be happy. Your brand is your energy and if you hate it, don't behave authentically or just are straight up over it, it will be reflected across your whole business. Doing business for the right reasons and having a work/life balance will keep that positive energy flowing and ensure you have a happy brand, right at the essence - and, that essence, ultimately, is you.
Thanks for reading!