Good branding is showing you care, with a consistent and confident voice. A little extra thought and attention to otherwise minor details can make all the difference to the bigger picture, and win the hearts and minds of your audience.
Tip 1: Simplify your message
Ensuring your customer understands exactly what you offer — quickly and accurately — makes an enormous difference. It demonstrates respect for your customer’s time, and simply makes an experience smoother and easier. There is only one way to meaningfully achieve this simplicity and clarity: write, re-write, and re-write again.
Tip: 2: Invest in good photography
Even before Instagram ruled contemporary marketing, photography was an essential part of an effective communications strategy. Invest in high-quality photos and images that uniquely tell your story, and create a consistent style. If you can afford it, get a great professional photographer on speed-dial. If you need a more DIY approach, invest in quality lenses, and learn everything you can about taking exceptional photos. You should also assume the role of photography editor for your business, learning how to choose exactly the right photo, and how to communicate effectively with your photographer the feelings and emotions you want the photos to convey.
Tip 3: Add delight to your customer’s experience
I picked up a business card this morning getting coffee, and found a playing card design on the back that made me smile. The coffee itself was good (not great), but the quirky nature of the cafe furnishings and identity meant I am still thinking about it hours later. Delight comes not from delivering what you promised (though of course, that is essential), but from delivering above and beyond. Delight is an unexpected dose of happiness. Where can you surprise your customers and leave a positive impression that lasts?
The cover photo with this post is an image of Sydney, my home, because as a city, it captures the three points I am making about building a powerful brand story. Firstly, Sydney is a city constantly re-writing itself and adapting its story — changing, growing, redefining who it is, and (mostly) getting better and more efficient in the process. Secondly, photos of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge play an enormous role in defining the identity of the city, and have come to represent the energy and culture of its people, and identify the city around the globe in a way no other Australian city has ever quite achieved. Thirdly, Sydney is full of moments that delight people, especially around the harbour and whilst enjoying the iconic landmarks. I have been driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (as driver or passenger) for three decades, and it still fills me with awe and delight. Not everyone loves Sydney — and that is both expected and okay — but none-the-less, the city tells a confident brand story that continues to grow and expand every week, month, and year.