Great branding does more than create awareness of your product and the problems you solve. Great branding creates sustainable, organic equity around your business, where people know what experience they’ll have just by hearing your name or seeing your logo. Buying your brand helps them define who they are.
When someone says “I’m a Mac guy” he intimates his own intelligent sophistication, as someone who appreciates simplicity in design and elite performance in technology. When Mac messes up, he doesn’t ditch them, he defends them. This guy doesn’t just buy into the technical specifications of a particular machine, he’s bought into the club. And he wants you to know he’s a member. He may even try to recruit you.
As the owner of your brand, you also own the customer experience. You have the ability to design the entire experience people have when they interact with your brand and build your own tribe. By developing a strong, cohesive framework for how you talk about yourself, you set the tone for the conversations that happen when you’re not around. Your community now has the talking points to tell their friends about their experience, becoming a highly effective grassroots sales team.
Achieving this level of strength in your brand community does not happen overnight. It takes time, commitment and focus. It requires tough decision making, scrapping ideas or even months of invested time and resources to stay true to what you set out to build. When you start thinking about leads as humans and prospecting as relationship building, the experience is more meaningful, the returns are more sustainable and you extend the shelf life of your business.
Originally published at backroom.io on February 14, 2015.