Your ‘About Us’ Page Is Not Really About You

Your ‘About Us’ Page Is Not Really About You

A website is one of the first priorities when building a business, and it’s a lot to tackle. You have to decide on a design theme, a layout, the font, the tone… there are many small decisions to be made- one of which is your About Us page. It’s the handshake of your website, and you want to strike a balance between flimsy and firm.

You may be surprised, then, that your “About Us” webpage is not about you and your company. Sure, the content is about you, but the purpose of the page is to help customers understand what sets your company apart, and to make an emotional connection with your brand. It tells them why they should care about you at all, beyond your products or services. With that in mind, here are several ideas that companies have done right.

The best stories are sticky

One way to make your About Us stand out is a great story. This could be the story behind your company’s creation or the story behind your product. If a portion of your proceeds supports a charity or a cause, talk about how that support came to be important to you. The best part about a ‘sticky’ story? It’s easy to read, recall, and share!

Humanize your brand

An authentic voice is more relatable for clients, so step away from the business jargon and the stiff, formal language. However, don’t go too far the other way and risk sounding unprofessional. Your business can’t be taken seriously by others if they don’t think you take it seriously yourself.

Professional branding reaches people on an emotional level, which formal language is not known to do.

Provide visual interest

The average visitor to your webpage spends a whopping seven seconds to determine if it’s worthwhile. Fortunately, a picture is worth a thousand words. Whether you rely on video, images, or parallax scrolling (Cultivated Wit’s website is a great example of this), keep things interesting with some visual pizazz.

Let other people do the talking

Collecting testimonials from customers or allowing your own employees to rate your business is a great way to place value on someone’s voice aside from your own. Lately, companies are taking these concepts further by featuring them on their websites. With permission, link to companies who utilize your services as a different kind of testimonial. A ‘careers’ page isn’t just for open job listings anymore! Take the opportunity to showcase your company’s culture.

Make it memorable

An attention-grabbing headline, a soundtrack, and a lovable mascot are some of the ways companies have achieved success with their unique About Us experience. While each takes a different approach, one thing remains the same: their brand makes a memorable mark.

How will you create an About Us page that helps you stand out? Will your page focus on telling your origin story, or even the story of how your product is created? Is yours a business who – like ours – focuses on its people and utilizes this space to introduce your dream? No matter what you decide, using the tips we have discussed here are sure to  be an exercise in brand success!

Put the ‘Us’ in Trust: 6 Surefire Ways to Earn Your Clients’ Trust

Put the ‘Us’ in Trust: 6 Surefire Ways to Earn Your Clients’ Trust

Alignable recently released the results for The Most Trusted Brands By Small Businesses. From communication to email marketing to online commerce, brands were ranked in terms of trustworthiness using ratings and reviews gathered from small business owners. Specifically, customers were asked if they would recommend a major brand to another business owner. The results may surprise you.

What won’t surprise you is this: brands with a low level of trustworthiness also suffer in other areas, like sales and customer loyalty. As a small business owner, customer loyalty can make or break your company, making trust an integral element of your success. In fact, Entrepreneur asserts that “Trust, not exposure, is the currency of today.”

Let’s take a look at some ways business owners can build trust with your clientele.

  1. Never underestimate the power of a first impression. Did you know that 60-80 percent of e-commerce site visitors are first-time visitors? This fact makes it more important than ever to present a site with an attractive and high-quality design.
  2. Value honesty in your business dealings. Many customers are so accustomed to dishonest business practices that their “honesty radar” is always on when dealing with a new company. The quickest way to turn off current or potential clients is to take part in shady business. Be as transparent as possible in all aspects of business.
  3. Produce compelling content. Advertising used to focus on authority figures endorsing products. However, consumers- specifically millennials- have become skeptical of advertising, rendering professional endorsements essentially worthless for companies whose target demographic consists largely of millennials. Today, it takes a steady stream of worthwhile, interesting content to slowly build authority. While some companies can still experience success with endorsements, the key here is to know your audience and what type of content they value. Then, tailor your content to meet the needs of your audience.
  4. Apologize publicly for mistakes. No company is infallible, and in a world where business and politician culpability is a rare sight, a little humility can be refreshing. The important thing to remember is that after a mistake, there is a brief window of time in which you can own your mistakes and regain the faith of your customers.
  5. Keep an eye on your online reputation. The adage, “All press is good press” doesn’t apply to all situations. If your main goal is attention, then bad press isn’t always bad news. However, for a business aiming to build trust, you want to monitor your online reputation and jump on negative press. Here are a few tools that can help.
  6. Be consistent. Clear, consistent messages about your product are important to manage. The more reliable your behavior, the more trust you build with your clients.

Businesses can’t generate positive client relations overnight- or out of thin air. In this article, we talk about crafting a memorable brand experience. Building trust is part of crafting your brand experience, and can help generate a positive perception of your company. Building trust takes time and effort. Make relationships an important part of your business by starting as early as possible. Take care to prioritize your clients’ trust, and show that you value their business. Provide a clear and straightforward way for customers to provide feedback, and show that you hear their voice and value their opinions.

It may sound like a lot of work, but taking the time to nurture your business-client relationships now will pay off generously in the future!

Your Brand Experience in Crescendo: Creating the Giddy Effect

Your Brand Experience in Crescendo: Creating the Giddy Effect

“Brand experience” is one of the common buzzwords floating around in business crowds, and for good reason. A lot has been said about the topic, but here we’ll focus on a particular aspect of the experience: customer delight; or as we at Right Think affectionately call it, the giddy effect.

Customer Delight: a.k.a. the Giddy Effect

The giddy effect is the crescendo of your clientele’s experience. It is what turns customers into fans and advocates of your company, products, and services; it also causes them to happily return for future purchases.

Whether people love shopping for your product, utilizing your services, or interacting with your company, there has to be a hook- what marketers refer to as a unique selling proposition. It’s the one thing that stands out and keeps people coming back for what only you can offer.

Can you confidently answer these important questions: What elevates your company? What sets your product apart from others like it? Why should customers remain loyal to your brand?

The main goal of marketing is to take your company and your product and make them part of something bigger: a brand. A brand is easier for consumers to connect with. The objective is to emotionally connect with your customers, then nurture that relationship into a long-term commitment. Crafting a one-of-a-kind brand experience is part of successfully cultivating customer loyalty.

Your Company’s Brand Experience is Unique

A brand experience is a client’s comprehensive response to a brand, made up of many smaller details. The term was coined in 2009 by Brakus et al, and includes concepts such as psychological responses to color and text design, cognitive reaction to marketing techniques, and a behavioral response to a person or song used in commercials all combine to create a lasting impression.

Because your company’s brand is meant to define and set it apart from all the competition, your customers’ experience will be unique. They are drawn to your brand’s personality because it represents something (preferably somethings) that resonates with them, and their experiences with your company must reinforce that.

That’s why brand experiences need to be central to your marketing campaigns, customer service, and employee training. Combining these with consistent, quality customer experiences is surefire ways to build brand loyalty.

How can you take control of your brand experience?

There are two main aspects to consider when crafting a brand experience: the mental and the emotional.

The mental half of a brand experience has to do with the more tangible and measurable side of your brand. There are things a company has more control over, such as the reliability of their product, the availability and effectiveness of customer service, and the accessibility to the product by your targeted demographic. The key to winning here is to provide consistency in the experience itself- with marketing materials and campaigns, good quality products and service, and authenticity in the brand. Keep promises, stay true to your mission statement, and value your consumers.

The emotional half of brand experience is harder to control because it relies heavily on how people perceive you. However, feelings are influenced by the interactions your consumers have with people while they purchase and utilize your services or products. One conversation with a customer service representative can have tremendous impact- for good or ill- on the overall opinion a customer has about your company.

Learning from successful brands

We can learn a lot about brand experiences when we consider companies who have successfully crafted and maintained their own brand experience. Just the name Starbucks brings to mind Starbucks is a prime example of a trendy and eclectic brand experience, eliciting the image of a comfortable lounge full of people drinking coffee or working on their laptops.

Disneyland, on the other hand, is about the magic of making dreams come true – even in a world filled with obstacles and flaws. They utilize music, decor, and their employees to create an experience you won’t get anywhere else.

While Starbucks and Disney are in different industries and use separate approaches, each has achieved their own unique brand experience, resulting in customers returning to have the same, delightful (dare we say giddy?) experience every time.

Just starting to build your brand experience? Here are some questions to consider:

  • How do you want customers to feel when using your services or products?
  • What 5 words would you use to describe your desired brand experience?
  • Who do you most hope to impact with your brand?
  • What thoughts do you want your brand to inspire?
  • What emotions do you want your brand to evoke?
  • How long will a brand experience last for a typical customer?

Need help defining your brand? Download our branding workbook to get started on crafting your ideal brand experience!

6 Things to Consider when Naming your Brand

6 Things to Consider when Naming your Brand

If you’ve ever named a baby, you know how difficult finding just the right name can be, after all, that baby will be stuck with the one you pick. No pressure. In our family, we have to pass all of the names we are considering for a baby through my husband’s brother, who then tries to come up with every possible nickname the kids at school could tease him/her with. Whichever names have the least possibilities stay on the list.

Naming your company can be even more difficult because the name of your brand needs to do more for your business than just be what people call you. In Naming for Power, Naseem Javed says, “In today’s competitive world, a name must function as a total messenger.” Think about that. Wow. A total messenger for your brand. That is a big job for one or two words. It’s an understatement that those one or two words need to be chosen carefully. Oftentimes, our naming lists can get into the hundreds before we find a name that passes all of the following tests.

In fact, 6 things need to go into the consideration of the name of your brand.

#1 Memorable

First and foremost, if people can’t remember, pronounce, or spell your name, it will take a lot more advertising dollars to get people to remember it. It also needs to be distinctive and stand out from the competition. Make a list of the names of your competitors so you can compare your name options to those that are already in the marketplace.

#2 Meaningful

Your name needs to support the positioning of your brand and speak to the nature of your company. In other words, it needs to communicate to your customers who you are, what you do, and how you are different from all of the other companies that do what you do. We recommend that you do a thorough job of creating your brand BEFORE deciding on a name, so that you can ensure that the name does support the brand positioning instead of working backwards to create a brand that supports your name.

Al Ries & Jack Trout, authors of Positioning, say “The name is the hook that hangs the brand on the product ladder in the prospect’s mind. In the positioning era, the single most important marketing decision you can make is what to name the product.”

#3 Stretchy

Like a good pair of yoga pants, your name needs to allow room for your business to grow. Does your brand name put your business in a position where it can change, build brand extensions, add new products or services and the name still make sense? The name you choose will need to be sustainable over time.

#4 Positive

It’s a good idea to make sure your name doesn’t unintentionally infer negative connotations. One thing to keep in mind, is that if your brand intends to do business internationally, also do a check to make sure the name doesn’t possess negative connotations in other languages. For example in the 1950s and 60s, there was a Swedish car magazine named “Fart”, which in Swedish translates to “speed”. You can probably see how this name would be embarrassing in a global setting. Here is a fun article with more branding blunders. The most prevalent languages are English, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Indonesian, Arabic, Bengali, Hindustani and Mandarin.

#5 Protectable

Your name is the most important part of your brand, and needs to be defendable. Finding a name that is legally protectable is becoming more and more difficult. You can perform a business name search through your state’s website and also a nationwide Trademark search through TESS. Make sure that it can be owned and trademarked and that the domain is available. Here is a great article that goes more into depth on deciding whether or not you need a trademark.

As far as your domain goes, most likely the .com will not be available or it will be for sale for a lot of money. We counsel people to get creative with their domain names by using a tagline or adding some descriptive words to it. If your company name is Lightening, and lightening.com is taken, you could do lighteningstrikes.com or lighteningstorm.com, or some other words that are associated with your business. In our case, rightthink.com was taken, so we opted for adding a hyphen like this: right-think.com.

Make sure you visit the sites that are using similar names as you and check to see that their products/services are different enough from yours so as to not confuse visitors who are looking for your site.

#6 Visual

Does the name conjure up some delectable concepts that can influence the art of the brand? The graphic elements of your brand will be much more memorable to others, if your name can play into them.

To get you started on your brainstorming, here are some ideas to turn to for inspiration:

Language

Meaning

Personality

Dictionaries

Thesauruses

Latin

Greek

Foreign Language

Mass Culture

Poetry

TV

Music

History

Art

Commerce

Colors

Symbols

Metaphors

Analogies

Sounds

Science

Technology

Astronomy

Myths

Stories

Values

Dreams

Have fun and good luck with naming your company! Let us know what you came up with!

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