One of the most important elements of branding is the ability to trigger an emotional response.
Think of the brands you love and how you see them. Are they fun, personable, and there for you? Or are they faceless companies that are only concerned with profits?
One of the most important feelings to cultivate in your audience is a sense of warmth and closeness, and you do this by being authentic.
When a company feels authentic, we can make a connection to it. In order to fall in love with a company, you need to feel that it’s real and want to build a relationship with the people behind it.
How can you be authentic? The key is to engage with people.
Create a dialog between you and your followers. Be there to talk to them, not just promote offers to them or pick their brains for feedback.
It also helps to be transparent. You don’t have to be sneaky when you do pitch a product or advertise a promotion.
If you’ve done the groundwork to build an authentic relationship first, your transparent pitch won’t be seen as over-promotional.
You can even be transparent about your flaws. You’ve done your research and you know how you stack up against the competition.
What weakness can you admit upfront that will show you’re not hiding anything? Maybe you can use it to your advantage, saying something like, “We’re not as big as ____, but we offer…”
Emphasizing your values will also help in building a strong, authentic connection. Remember that shared values are a major reason why people follow brands.
Finally, keep your branding consistent. Any inconsistency could create a disconnect with your audience.