I want you to think of something you’ve bought recently online, (ideally from an independent online store or real-life store). How did it make you feel? Why did you choose that particular place? Did they do anything that made you smile and bring joy to your purchase?
I’ve just bought some super-soft bamboo socks from Thought Clothing. The packaging arrived (all sustainable and plastic free) with a lovely message on the back, accompanied by bespoke illustrations and beautiful tags which were very ‘instagrammable’ too (I sort of hate that word but it does describe what I mean well!). Everything felt aligned and I trusted this brand and will definitely buy again from them.
As we move towards more conscious consumerism and searching for sustainable purchases and services that aren’t so throw away, the brand experience you receive has a big impact on your loyalty.
Prefer to listen? I’ve recorded an audio talk through version below, press play and enjoy…
brand experience influences your brand loyalty
I realised that I focus on this whole brand experience throughout my branding projects but I haven’t really communicated it until recently. I’ve never called myself a ‘logo designer’ because I never really felt that was what I did.
I love using empathy to really understand what people want from a brand and how to visualise this. And a logo won’t even scratch the surface. it’s certainly part of your identity but everything else comes into play. And if you are a business that is online then it’s even more important to make sure the WHOLE experience reflects your brand ethos.
An example of a cohesive brand experience from The Kind Store is shown below. Their cute cards made from recycled coffee cups look great and really match their sustainable ethos. They also add a handwritten note on the back to show there are real humans who care behind the business.
Here are a few ways that you can make sure your brand experience is alignment with you values. If you’re not quite sure on your brand values, your purpose statement or personality then you can also download my free ebook which will take you through exercises to help you uncover your authentic brand.
1. What happens when people visit your website?
Is it a smooth experience? My values are all about nature, calmness and an organic style so you won’t see any screaming pop-ups and bright red BUY NOW buttons! If they were there then I bet you’d be feeling that something is a bit a-miss.
Is your photography unique and original and personable? How is the whole experience from first landing on the page? Is it easy to enquire about working with you? One of my key values is collaboration and empathising when working with my clients so I include lots of opportunities to book in chats with me to really enhance that personal feel.
2. How do you present yourself on social media?
There’s a fine balance between being an honest and authentic brand and also showing that you have talent and a business that people should trust in. I’ve often shared personal things on my Instagram, but I don’t share every detail of my life on my account as my business is only one part of who I am and I am conscious that putting superfluous posts out there merely dilutes my brand and confuses my message. Evaluate if you have a good balance of warmth and personality whilst still retaining a strong brand feel.
Above is social media styling for Brave Day whose brand values encompass brave creativity and natural adventures. You can see how the photography, colours, fonts and logo all feel in alignment and reflect those values.
3. How are your brand visuals?
Your logo, illustrations, fonts, colours, photography, marketing materials and possibly packaging all add to your overall brand experience. We are visually led, and visuals subconsciously give off subtle messages about your brand. If your logo is looking cheap and unprofessional then someone will immediately click off your site and chose someone who they trust, even if what you do is great!
It’s such a crowded space out there that we have less than 5 seconds to impress as people have less time to search, browse and decide.
Having beautifully designed brand identity items helps instil that trust and encourages your potential customer to stay a little longer on your site or social media, connect with you, enquire or sign up to your mailing list.
4. Consistency is key
Make sure everything about your brand is in alignment with your brand personality. From your marketing materials to your copy and everything in between.
I’ve recently worked with Zero Waste Path on their full brand identity re-fresh and sustainability is at their core. We made sure that everything was printed on biodegradable, recycled items to reflect their organic, handcrafted and sustainable ethos. And their photography also reflects this relaxed, organic feel with botanicals and un-staged feeling product shots. Take a look at the full project here.
By putting extra thought into your printed materials you really demonstrate that you know your brand and values and this further strengthens your brand message. If you are an ethical company then getting your business cards printed on recycled coffee cups, re-used t-shirts or 100% recycled card is a great way to further demonstrate your values in a physical way. Handing out plastic pens on the other hand would add confusion as they don’t sit well with sustainably-minded potential customers and you would immediately lose their trust.
It’s these little touches that can really bring a brand to life and make sure people choose you again! So reflect on your brand experience and also when interacting with brands around you to see if they are in alignment with your values and ethos. Ask yourself the question: How do I want people to feel when they interact with my brand?
You can also read about how to create a moodboard for your business here.
download 'the power of authentic branding' free ebook
In my emails, I share ethical business tips to help you grow your small business sustainably, my free ebook to teach you about the power of branding and thoughts from my wanderings in the wilderness.