To strengthen your family brand, you must first identify key customer journeys and micro-moments which work together to build an overall image of your business. You should consider each micro-moment as a unique opportunity to fortify your brand identity in the eyes of customers.
Generally, most family businesses will find that their customers experience these micro-moments through visuals, content strategy, social media campaigns and, of course, interactions with staff. Here’s how to ensure you’re portraying a strong brand image across each of these four pillars.
Every family business owner will be aware of how important a logo is for establishing a strong brand identity. But it’s also important to carefully consider the images, colours and themes you use to promote your brand.
Picking a colour scheme and sticking to it across all marketing channels will help customers to identify your family business quickly. Consistency is key when it comes to visuals, so whether it’s advertising on a company van or imagery for a social media campaign, it’s important to set a house style and stick to it. This house style should also include deciding on a font for your website content, marketing materials and even correspondence.
This can be demonstrated by UK family business Biscuiteers, who provide a seamless experience for customers across all their marketing channels. In particular, their Instagram page, which boasts over 90,000 followers, works as an extension of the strong brand image they portray on their main website, including fonts, colour scheme and themes. This illustrates how important visuals are for allowing your customers to easily recognize your brand and associate particular fonts or colours with your company.
2. Content strategy
Content can speak volumes about your business in the eyes of potential customers. This is especially true for family businesses, who may well rely on local communities or loyal customer bases for business when starting out.
A solid content strategy will include a style guide for your website and online content. This is crucial, as it will ensure that there is a consistent tone of voice across all marketing or promotional material. As such, you should also spend some time drafting a set of internal style guidelines for any offline branding you choose to invest in, such as brochures or information packs.
Whether you focus on offline or online channels, consistency is key when it comes to content. If approached correctly, your customers will recognize and trust your brand’s voice when they come across content in marketing materials or online adverts.
A notable UK family business which really understands how to build a strong brand voice is Dyson. Every family business can take note of how Dyson has progressed by consistently portraying an authoritative yet approachable brand voice which remains consistent across social media, marketing materials and even product descriptions.
3. Social media
Social media channels provide a quick and cost-effective way to keep in touch with customers and reinforce your brand identity. In order to build a strong brand image, it’s important to establish which social media channels you want your business to be represented on. It’s worth starting small with one or two channels to begin with. Once you’re able to post consistently on them, consider branching out to a third and fourth channel.
The most important aspect of using social media to fortify your brand involves establishing which customer groups or markets you want to target through each channel. You must then post consistently on these channels using a memorable tone of voice. Don’t be tempted to completely automate your posts across several channels – even if you opt for a social media management tool to automatically share posts across all channels, take the time to tweak each post so you can target key markets effectively.
Family business White & Green are an excellent example of how a small business can leverage social media to grow their brand identity. Their use of Instagram and YouTube demonstrates messaging that’s both consistent with their overall brand yet unique to each social platform to draw in customers and fortify their brand identity.
As your family business grows, you may well begin employing more and more staff who may not be as closely invested in the company as you are. As such, you need to consider training them up properly to ensure they fully understand your brand purpose and that they are happy to be the face of it. Every interaction which a customer has with a member of staff will be a significant micro-moment, and so your employees make up the most meaningful pillar of your brand image.
Many customers also expect family businesses to have clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies in place. This may involve sourcing products ethically or supporting local communities. CSR is a key aspect of branding any family business, so it’s well worth establishing a set of policies and responsibilities that you can refer to and promote as part of your wider brand strategy. Work with your employees so that you can be sure they are on-board with these policies and that they are always representing what your brand stands for.
Within the UK market, former family-run business John Lewis & Partners is a notable example of how a workforce contributes to a strong brand image. The company clearly states their CSR policies to promote transparency, whilst also ensuring their employees always represent the brand in a positive light. This is therefore an excellent example of how a former family-owned business continues to promote a consistent brand image through its employees despite significant growth.
Once these four aspects of your brand strategy are fine-tuned, you’ll begin to see your marketing efforts taking off, and your family business growing in terms of both authority and conversion.