Building your Brand in the Small Negatives (with 3 examples)

Today we wanted to talk about building your brand ‘in the negatives,’ based on the notion that great brand experiences are often made when things aren’t going to plan.

If a customer has had a bad experience with you (whether your fault or not) and you fix it, they are going to love you for it. But that’s kind of obvious right? So instead, today we want you to take a step back, and look at ‘the negatives’ that aren’t necessarily BIG negatives, but smaller subtle negatives that may pass under your radar.

They may even pass under the radar of your customer, sometimes they aren’t going to think much of the negative, or even judge you for it. But the point is, they aren’t positive and if you can correct these small negatives, you can turn them into positive brand experiences (much more positive than they were negative too!)

ACTION: We are going to give you 3 examples of ‘negatives’ and we want you to think about how you can turn these into positives in your own business.

ACTION: For this to work to you need to clear what your brand is. If you aren’t 100% sure, for each negative just ask yourself this simple question: ‘How would I like my customer to go away feeling’

Negative 1: Your Out of Office Email
Your customer/potential customer has tried to get in touch with you and you aren’t available. Most people have a standard out of office email that states when you are back, but how can we use this to build our brands? We sometimes make our out of offices a little bit funny and have them in our ‘voice’ rather than standard template style. We also tell people the best alternative way of contacting us (usually a mobile number) if there is an emergency and it can’t wait or we have a separate email set up on that people can use. You may want to send people to an FAQ page or how about recording a video message? Think of something a bit different, that doesn’t leave them cold.

Negative 2: Your Voicemail
Similar to negative 1, if somebody can’t get through to you and needs to leave a message instead, what can you say in your voicemail that isn’t the standard and get’s across your brand? Can you be extra helpful, friendly, funny?

Negative 3: Error 404 page
Some websites often have an ‘Error 404’ page if a link is broken. Again this is perfect opportunity to build your brand at a time where you could potentially frustrate a visitor! Check out this video for some inspiration.

ACTION: Look at your own business and your own processes within your business. Can you find any potential ‘small negatives’? How can you make these brand experiences?