All brands should tell their story. The how they started. Their purpose. Their passion. I try to do the same with TTChatterbox but it is never enough. I do a bit on Instagram and my captions have certainly become mini blog posts as I try to translate my daily thoughts on the reasons why my brand exists, into the written word. But that truly isn’t enough, when I know my words are powerful and can truly get you to think about what is important when it comes to creating your brand, its purpose and its voice. That’s what my brand is about, brands.
So I am going to make an effort to practice what I preach and write more. Across all my digital channels. Why? To inspire you to build a robust brand that is successful and engages with its customers and community. How? By sharing my knowledge, research and experience as a strategist in an easy to understand way that just breaks down the art and science of brand building. Don’t worry, if your brand is already out there, it’s not too late to benefit from this bevy of free advice that’s going to shoot out of my brain. Fact is, brands are now people. The personification of brands is something that has been going on for decades. And my brand is all about your brand. So there’s always room for new ideas, innovation, new approaches and more. Ready?
Think of your favorite brands. The ones you choose over its competitors, every time. Ask yourself why? I am sure there are many scenarios and stories that you can share to back your selections. And that is because you have built relationships with your favourite brands and if you too, own a brand, this is what you should be aiming for when considering your brand proposition and your customer experience. In the simplest of terms, you want your brand and your customers to be besties! And your potential customers? Well, you need to make them want YOU to be their bestie.
So how do you engage with this group of besties and target those that are perfect to join the list? Simple, take advice from your brand’s besties who already love you. The information is right in front of you. How does your brand make them happy? What content is the most engaging with this group? Really drill down into all the interactions with your community. Find those then, who are looking for this same strain happiness/content/experience and target away. Simple, right? Sometimes. And how do you find them, approach them … engage with them? Well the beauty of the digital world makes that easy. Between owning a website, having your social media channels and a content strategy for a year, you should be on your way. Real relationships take work. The relationship between brand and customer isn’t any different.
And that brings me right back to the sentiment I shared in my first paragraph. So we know what to do, right? But how do we get it done? Write blog post a few times a week? Facebook posts? Instagram posts? Update the website once a month? Wait, you don’t have a website?!?!?! It’s too much, I’ll admit, especially if you’re a small business. But we have to suck it up and get it done.
It really is the content challenge of today and I go through it too. Just like you. What should I do as a brand to engage with my customers? Facebook? Instagram? Giveaways? Share brand advice? The list of potentials is long when it comes to what we share with our community. Thing is, have we truly delved into our community and defined who they are? That’s usually where all of our answers to the questions we haven’t even asked ourselves yet, exist. So let me use my brand, TTChatterbox as the example in this post, on how to choose the right content and the channels where it should be distributed for maximum impact.
- A Website
It’s time to grow my brand up! As I am reaching out to corporate T&T, international influencers and brands for TTChatterbox, I’ve realized that many ask for my website in the first conversation, and yes I have this blog but let’s face it, it isn’t the same. A blog is like renting an apartment and a website is like owning your family home. Or trendy city apartment. Whichever, you get my point. When I started TTChatterbox, as a brand strategist, it was my way of showing my skills when it came to creating influential content in the realm of brands, with a view to getting marketing consulting work. Thing is, I did such a great job that I am now a full-time influencer and rarely do pure marketing or writing work for clients anymore. In the first two years, the blog was enough for my product reviews, product photography and features as well as reports on events and brand launches that I attended.
Now, I have workshops, a monthly Artisan and Food Market, Influencer Mentoring assignments and more – this blog is just not cutting it. So I am working on my website and its content and my blog will plug into it. I need a place amid all the noise that is the world wide web, that is mine. Where people can visit and see what TTChatterbox is all about. Where brands can read case studies or white papers that I have written analyzing brands here in Trinidad and Tobago and beyond and extract lessons that can assist them in their own brand building.
Instagram is my ADHD’s best friend. And it’s where I get to show off my photography skills and meet new brands every day. It’s my social media channel of choice because it’s where the money comes from. I believe that here in T&T, it’s all about the impulse buy. So I use the engagement in Instagram and in true chatterbox style, I turn every action into a conversation. How? Well it’s exactly as I said before. I know my community. I know at least 500 of them really well. I know which post will get them to like and/or comment.
It’s like buying birthday presents for a friend. You choose something that suits them, that they would like and use. Something that makes them smile. Maybe even a little wow factor. You choose the right paper, bow, card and tag. Write his or her name neatly, careful not to make a mistake.
Well I look at my Instagram posts in the same way. I think about what time of day it is and who is on now. I think of what’s going on in the world. If it’s in the morning and it’s a Monday, a coffee shot always does the trick – pun intended. Point is, I know how to get a reaction out of my people with my posts. And Instagram allows me to do this quickly and as often as I’d like.
3. The Blog
The blog is the direct line to my brain. It’s where I will publish my opinionated pieces as well, my ramblings on brands and all things brand. It’s where my community can connect with me in a less formal way when compared to my website. My blog is like the weekly hour long conversation you have with your bestie where you talk about everything and nothing. A catch up if you will.
It’s where I share the things that are so interesting to me that you become interested too. We’re friends, right?
I collaborate with brands all the time. From those who I have had long term relationships with, to a new brand that liked four of my posts on Instagram in the last minute. I gauge the level of interest and engagement in all my transactions and figure out how I can leverage these new interactions, these new friendships in interesting ways that benefit all involved.
Think of Sex and the City. The four personalities worked so well together not only because of their differences but the way in which these differences converged to create a brand that defined all women. It was based on friendship and I see friendship as such a great analogy for brands and the way in which we engage with our communities. As brands we have to figure out how to befriend our customers and maintain a healthy friendship.
So that’s four things. Enough homework for now. So with all that said, how do we achieve it all? Simple. By being interesting. Do you have that friend that you meet up with once a month for lunch or dinner and drinks and there is always so much to talk about? Well make your brand the brand that’s good company for dinner and drinks. Imagine meeting up with a friend and every time you did, all they talked about, in the same manner, what was they did for a living, what their company stood for and the opening hours? Boring, right? So why do you think posting product shots and where you can buy your stuff is interesting? Sure that information is necessary, like someone knowing your name and where you work and where you live. But what about you makes you interesting? Use this thought process to define what makes your brand interesting and stay on this path when writing your content for your website, planning your content strategy for your social media channels and choosing brands that you collaborate with.
I could go on and on about this, I really can and as a chatterbox I am sure it is what you’d expect. But let me leave you with this, if you could describe your brand in three to five words, what would they be? Give me some human adjectives. Fun. Dynamic. Loyal. Intelligent. And try and embody those characteristics in everything that you and your brand do. I try to do the same. Ok … rambling. Till the next brand musing.