It might seem paramount to any brand, new or old, to get as many people on board and buying from you as possible. But ultimately, that approach isn’t necessarily sustainable.
Sure, there are brands that get away with being impartial and universally accepted, but this doesn’t necessarily generate any kind of brand value and loyalty.
If you want to truly make waves, build a loyal customer base and establish yourself within your industry, your brand needs a voice and a point of view. Without this approach, you’ll end up slipping into the background and losing out to those that engage on a deeper level with their audience.
Don’t fear the haters
Opinions are divisive and as with any opinion, even when it comes to something as simple as chocolate or peanut butter, you’re going to be met with strong opposition. As you have probably witnessed first hand, the internet is a cruel and messy place to have an opinion, but ultimately that is where you’ll make your mark.
‘Haters’ or people who are vocal in their disagreement with your opinion will be fruitful, so it’s important to not let them deter your brand from making waves if you feel the issue and point of view is important.
Through genuinely supporting a cause or belief system, your brand can tap into the mindset of your customer. That’s not to say you should just draw a cause or point of view out of a hat and create hollow content which isn’t backed up by actions.
If your brand is run by a group of people with a particular set of views, then these can be portrayed in your content and supporting brand material with integrity, rather than saying what you think your customers want to hear.
Brands with a strong opinion will usually not let the haters fester in their online spaces and will usually take back the power by being open and honest about their feelings toward them and supporting their customer beyond what is expected.
Set yourself apart
So many brands, try as they might, fail to set themselves apart. This is often due to a lack of confidence in voicing a strong opinion and a fear of being ‘trolled’ by people who ‘might’ have been customers in another life.
The key is to find the right tone of voice, employ people who truly believe in your stance and push out information which supports the same kind of people in making their life easier.
You should consider how your position as a brand can do good and make sure that you utilise that position to make the world a better place for your customers.
An opinion on cultural or social issues might seem risky but it does, in fact, offer the ability to build better and more meaningful relationships with long term customers. Of course, you’ll piss off some people and alienate them in this process, but if those people don’t agree with your company mantra, do you really want them as part of your customer base?
At the end of the day, you’ll build a stronger and more sustainable community of customers who feel that you truly understand them, empathise with them and support their needs.
Don’t just talk the talk
Your brand must be honest. Without honest belief in what you’re saying, you’ll quickly be found out as an imposter. So when you decide you’re going to be cruelty-free, or vegan, or a business that supports equal rights, you better come correct.
What that means is that you mustn’t support these causes to profiteer from them, exploit them or jump on a bandwagon. Your extent of support must be genuine and should involve educating yourself on the particular intricacies of the cause or issue, on an ongoing basis.
This shouldn’t be a brief or one-time activity but rather your brand should be committed to ongoing learning around the topic. In turn, your brand should use your position of power and influence to further educate others and raise up the voices of supporters.
You should not attempt to shoehorn your brand into groups of people who have no resonance with the point of view, as this can have the complete opposite effect. This can be isolating to your existing, relevant community and annoying to the group of people who are not.
How can I make my brand matter?
There isn’t really a surefire way to make your brand matter to people, but establishing what your company stands for, what your employees stand for and what your customers stand for is a great place to start.
From here you can start to build content and resources to better support your community and position your brand within their lives in a positive way. For more information in building brand salience, get in touch with us today.
Also published on Medium.