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Brick and Mortar Branding

We see it all the time—brick and mortar businesses boast a unique and cultivated brand image via social media and marketing materials but when you walk into their store, you’d think you were in the wrong one.

What they are saying and presenting on-line just doesn’t match the presentation or feeling within the store. And regardless of whether you’re doing a lot of business via your website, that still isn’t an excuse to miss out on what may be the harbor for your best touch-points with clients and customers.

We mulled over the reasons why brick and mortar businesses miss this branding potential. Here are the top four:

1. You’re Not Seeing the Whole Picture

And that’s an honest mistake that most business owners make. There’s nothing wrong with stopping in the middle and reassessing your branding potential. We actually encourage business owners to do this. If you didn’t start with the whole picture in mind, you can feel free to pick and choose the elements that are working and the ones that aren’t. There’s no shame in a rebranding—it can be awesome and unique! The modern consumer understands that a business goes through changes (and growth). Celebrate yours with a rebranding that’s targeted at seeing the whole picture.

2. You’re Outsourcing Your Continuity (And it’s being discontinued)

So, you set your team up with the social media goods and made your correspondence a perfect picture of your brand—right down to the e-mail signatures. Did you forget something? Oh right, those working in your store! Don’t forget that brand guidelines need to reach out into ALL aspects of your business. Do your employees know the mantra or brand statement of your company? Do they answer the phone in an on-brand fashion? Do they know the brand guidelines and routine of sourcing information and additional items? Do they carry themselves in an on-brand way? These may seem like micromanaging tactics, but team-members do great with on-brand continuity. It amplifies the team member spirit and can make their job easier. When a team member knows what the company and products are about, they know who they are all about within your establishment.

3. You Assume Social Media Is All You Need to Brand Yourself

Look, we love social media. We LOVE it! But, we know how and when to use it, and the answer to both is ‘sometimes’ not ‘all the time’. You have to know your audience and how they interact with your social media platforms. Do you get a lot of requests via Instagram? Do you have a lot of people signed up on your mailing list? Do you post at random times that can be a little confusing for your target demographic? Do people know how to contact you to ensure that you’ll get the message? These are questions to really think about. Make your information readily available to showcase who and what you’re all about. It’s great to post a special with a chic graphic but if those same effects can’t be reiterated by your team within your brick and mortar business, you’ll end up annoying a steady following (maybe not soon, but eventually).

4. You’re Not Your Branding

Ready for a harsh truth? Probably not, but read on anyway. Regardless of how much you love your current branding sometimes you have to realize that, while you may love it, it may not be your brand. If your store has a unique vibe that you don’t know how to translate to social media, you may have inadvertently grabbed at attractive straws to try to cultivate one (except it’s not on brand). Think about how customers should feel coming into your store—does it share similar vibes with how they feel seeing posts and interacting with your business on-line? For example: Is your business a natural produce shop that promotes clean living and neutral toned makeup but your IG is filled with comic book colors and sharp contrasts? You’re living a lie honey—even if you don’t mean to! And it will get tiring. And it will attract all of the wrong customers. Be proud of who and what your business is about. And find an agency that pushes you to your truth and your limits.

We don’t make up these questions and declarations for fun at Visual Caffeine—we incorporate them every day in our business as a branding agency. Here’s the deal: we want you to be you and succeed being you. It’s not an impossible feat. We’d love to help you embrace and uncover all that is your brand so that your cohesive, clear message comes through effortlessly (but don’t get us wrong, it initially takes effort). We love making the process fun. If you’re ready to contact us about how we can help your business, please do! We’d love to chat.

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  • Marge Dorsa / 29 November 2017 4:32

    Lots to think about when building and living your brand. The top four are a great place to start. Thanks for sharing, Cheale!

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