What's Your Unique Brand Voice?

The world needs more ice cream

There are two kinds of messages at play lately … 

The first is loud, uncalled for, cheap, and flat-out annoying. It can be compared to the pleas of used car salesmen as their prospective customers walk off the dealership lot OR the screeching sound of tiny chihuahuas barking from the living room window attempting to agitate all the big dogs walking by. 

The second is genuine. It calls for conversation before a conversion. It’s friendly, curious and compassionate, taking on the privileged-to-serve disposition of the ice cream man who relishes in the opportunity to help his 3-foot patrons make their selections. He always seems to light up when the kids ask for extra sprinkles on their scoops. 

 

 

The difference in business?

Well, brands run by the former see current pain and panic as an opportunity to push an existing product.  They dust it off the digital shelf, dress it up in new context, and bark at every user that browses by in an attempt to be the one-stop-shop hero of all their customers’ new problems.  

Brands run by the latter see pain and panic as an opportunity to serve and to better understand their audience’s needs and wants. The CEOs behind these business have a  “Why” that extends far beyond money. Their marketing calls for a two-way dialogue that leads to a more tailored approach for introducing what they have to offer. 

Put simply, the disingenuous brand talks AT their customers, while the genuine brand talks TO their customers – in all times, at all times.

Which brings me to Rule #4 in my new brand credo, The Copy Code:

 

copywriting tips

 

I WILL TALK TO MY PEOPLE.

This is why this rule especially matters now:

The world is in panic. Some people don’t know where their next check or meal will come from. Mompreneurs are struggling to find their rhythm in a new normal that now includes full-time homeschooling, nonstop cleaning and three hot meals a day.  Some service-based businesses are losing contracts. Some are laying off people.  

And some savvy CEOs with the ability to listen, adapt, and innovate are simply hiding from reality. (No judgement – I went on my deck yesterday for 30 minutes to hide from my to-list, husband, and kids. I’m a walking contradiction, I know.)

Here’s my message to you, Savvy: 

STOP HIDING & GO TALK TO YOUR PEOPLE.  

Your audience is waiting to hear from you. Lead with a genuine message that aims to connect first.  Relish in the opportunity to understand more about what your customers want from you right now. Start a conversation, be open to what you receive, and then work to fill the voids you observe. 

A few things you can do this week: 

Check in like my client, Heat Free Hair, just did on Instagram.

Jump on a FB live like my friend, Maurice of MoveWell Fitness, just did solo from his fitness studio.

Send an email asking people how they’re doing and what they’re most struggling with right now. 

Record a podcast that starts a conversation on your social profiles, like Jenna Kutcher and Brendon Burchard did recently.

Don’t be like the annoying chihuahua who continues business, barking and selling as usual, as if life as we know it hasn’t just shifted.  The world needs more ice cream … 

… served by people who take joy in helping their patrons choose between the red, white, and blue pop, the Good Humor Bar, or something completely new of their own creation.  

I’d love to hear what you’re doing this week to talk TO your customers, not AT them! Share with me in the comments below.

What to Say to Your Customers in a Crisis

Listen, I get it. The world is in crisis. People are sick. Toilet paper is sold out. Sanity is hard to come by, and good coffee? Well, I hope you had some stockpiled at home before this all went down.

In the midst of all of the chaos surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably unclear about whether you should say something to your customers about the situation or wait until it all blows over and continue business as usual.

NEWSFLASH: This isn’t blowing over anytime soon, so not saying anything right now is NOT an option.

As a business owner in the 21st century, you opted into the ideals of community, radical transparency, social media stalking, and social good. In the middle of a crisis, your customers are counting on you to take a stand, make a change, cast your vote, do your part, and let them know all the moves you’re making in the process (even if they’re small).

Whether that move involves a major shift in your manufacturing process, a change to your office environment for the sake of safety, or a new addition to your morning mindfulness practice to keep you sane…

Your customers need to hear from you.

Being a thought leader requires just that – leadership. Each day, you have the fortunate opportunity to lead a subset of the population in thinking differently about something or doing something different in their day-to-day lives.

That responsibility doesn’t fade when the world starts to shake. So yes, we’re in a crisis and there’s not much any of us can do individually. But, there is a lot that we can do as a whole and an entirely different way that we can think about operating our businesses – if given the right message.

I created a *NEW* FREE Guide: “Exactly What to Say to Your Customers in a Crisis” that you can download here.

 

It walks you through 6 proven messaging strategies for communicating during a crisis that I’ve mastered from my 10 years of brand strategy and reputation management experience. You’ll learn the exact elements necessary to craft an open letter to your audience that builds trust and restores confidence in your brand, even during a time like this.


Remember the world is taking note of your ability to rise to the occasion, remain relevant, and make your voice heard. Make it worth their while.