When we talk about branding, most people think about their logo, tagline and homepage banner images. But your brand is more than that. Like your own personality, your brand is made up of all the little things you say and do over time.
Your brand is an overall impression, built up over time through consistent behavior and interactions. Want to be seen as helpful and responsive? You have to be helpful and responsive in all of your interactions. Want to be creative and funny… well, you get the point. Ultimately, your brand is the culmination of your interactions and messages.
To help ensure you’re getting the right message across, here are five small ways you can make a big brand impression.
Meta tag content
Your “meta” content is essentially content about your content. Search engines use this information to figure out what your store sells, what your products are and what your pages are about. But often forget that it’s also the first impression many customers will get from your site. Those link titles and descriptions that show up in the search results? Those are meta tag content–namely, the Meta Tag Title and Meta Tag Description.
You can customize your meta tag content to ensure the right tone and messaging from the very beginning.
Social media profiles
If they don’t find you in the search engines, many customers will probably first encounter your brand on social media. At the same time, many of your current customers will also find you there. For either audience, it’s important to remember that most people don’t go on their social networks to talk to “brands.” And they definitely don’t go there to be marketed to.
So depending on your brand, your social media personality can be funny, friendly, helpful or informative. Or it could be a mix of those, as long it’s consistent and believable. For this medium, you may want to work on a more human, relaxed version of your brand voice. For some great examples, check out our recent post on Five Examples of Volusion Stores with a Great Social Media Presence.
Okay, so this isn’t such a “little” thing, but little details can make a big difference here. Most likely, your product descriptions make up the vast majority of the content on your site, so they’re a great place to showcase your voice.
If your products are fun and playful, your descriptions can be too. If you sell professional equipment or products, your descriptions should help customers understand what they do and what benefits they provide.
Remember, don’t overdo it. Creative descriptions can enhance the information, but too much flavor and overpower and get in the way of what’s most important. For some inspiration, here are 5 Killer Examples of How to Write Product Descriptions.
When you shop in a physical store, the checkout clerk can make or break your shopping experience. Unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury in online retail, but we can still make sure the checkout process builds and supports your brand through friendly, helpful, or fun messaging.
When your customers check out, they want to feel comfortable and appreciated, just like in a physical store. You can do that by customizing your order finished page.
You can use this page to thank your customers for their business, offer information on returns, videos or even discounts on their next purchase. You can also customize this page based on the products your customers just bought, including links to related products, special offers or access to helpful product information.
404 error page
We all make mistakes occasionally, and the way we deal with those mistakes is a big part of our brand impression. Once of the most common mistakes on the web is a broken link or missing site content, which typically results in a “404 Error Page.” The 404 or “Not Found” message is standard web practice used to indicate an incorrect web address or content that has been taken down.
Landing on a 404 page is obviously not an ideal experience, but we can do our best to resolve the situation by offering a friendly explanation and some possible solutions. You can customize your 404 page to provide links back to the homepage, to popular categories or to contact information. And of course, you can do all of this in your distinctive brand voice and visual style.
For some fun creative inspiration, check out Mashable’s list of the funniest 404 error pages. (But notice how many of them still provide meaningful links and information, in addition to being entertaining.)
Don’t neglect the little things
It takes more than a great logo and tagline to create a memorable, meaningful brand. Every interaction with your company becomes a part of your brand, from the search results, to the product descriptions, to the checkout.
Keeping your voice and style consistent throughout these little interactions will help establish a meaningful personality for your brand, and your customers will notice.
How are you conveying your brand through little details? Share them in the comments below.