We spend so much time trying to define ourselves clearly to our customers that we often overlook one of the most important messages at our disposal—what our brands are not about.
Let’s envision what most people would likely consider their dream workplace to get an example of what we’re talking about.
Let’s say we want our customers to see us a care free yet highly creative and willing to try new things. We are not at all incompetent, but we also aren’t going to let our working lives be defined and restricted by overly politicized rules and the usual office restrictions.
How might we get across to our customers that we are not about this?
- First, let’s throw the dress code out of the window. In summer, allow flip flops and shorts.
- Encourage outside-the-box thinking.
- Go with huge open spaces. Don’t even think about using cubicles.
- Get trendy with social media and have fun with it. Translate this some sort of fun into your website.
Of course, these are a few easy ways to get across your point.
More to the point, if you want to show customers what your brand is not about, you can do so in advertising. Find a competitor within your industry that you know you are total opposites with. Find a few things that they are doing that you don’t agree with—customer service practices, marketing strategies, even right down to atmosphere—and find ways that your brand steps away from these approaches to improve the customer experience.
Always remember that is simple to explain what your brand is about. But if you can go one step further and tell your customers what your brand is not about what you don’t symbolize or stand for, you have one up on your competitors. And if you can use this as strength, you have the capacity to open up marketing channels that others can only hope to.
What about you and your brand? What are some things that you simply don’t represent and, more importantly, can say it proudly?