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Perth Brand and Marketing Strategist - Nicole Hailwood

​From higher education to local council, community groups and small business, Nicole has worked across a wide range of organisations throughout her 10+ years in the marketing game. She also carries a Bachelor of Communication & Master of Business Studies with Distinction in Communication.

Strategically minded and creatively wired, Nicole has the ability to carry out both big picture high-level planning, as well as finer detail execution with flair.

She's big on quality over quantity, always encouraging her clients to focus on value-packed content and doing things in alignment. Above all else, she lives for creating meaningful CONNECTION and showing her clients how they can grow their business through relationships, referrals and strong branding that creates a loyal and emotional bond.

NICOLE HAILWOOD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

5 Ways to Better Understand Your Brand

How well do you know your brand? And I mean genuinely KNOW your brand.

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Your brand is not just your logo and the colours that you use on your website. It’s all the facets of your business that make up its identity. It's your environment, what you wear, and the overall way in which you deliver what you offer. It’s intricate, it’s deep, and it’s also incredibly powerful.


Five things you can do to better understand your brand include creating an interactive brand board, Googling your business, workshopping with your team, organising a mystery shopper and gathering intel. Let's dive into the details...


When your business actively lives and breaths your brand, it very quickly goes from being something transactional to something emotional. Something people can trust and relate to. And this is the secret sauce to having customers

that will time and time again choose you over your competitors, recommend you to their peers, and make a greater effort to use your services or buy your products. Why? Because just like any emotional relationship, people cherish and invest in the ones that make them feel good.


In order to get to that place of connectedness, you need to know everything there is to know about the way your brand is projected out onto the world. You need to know how it is perceived by those that come into contact with it, and whether or not the reality of your brand reflects your vision.


To help you find that sweet spot, here are five simple things you can do to get intimate with your brand.


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1. START AN INTERACTIVE BOARD

One of the best ways to know what people think, or how they feel about something is to ask them. However we all know how busy people are - and not everyone has time to be filling in surveys left, right and centre. So, here’s a way to get creative with it.


Set up an interactive board somewhere in your business. It could be a blackboard, a place to pin up post-it notes, or something a little more fun and creative. Ask your staff and your customers to write down one word that describes your business, or their experience with your business, and then have them pin it on the board.


If your business is digital only, or you want to expand your board to your online customers, you could add a question as part of your online check-out or post something on social media asking users to describe their experience in one word.


After a while, when you have enough words take time to study them. What are people saying, thinking, feeling, and experiencing when they come into contact with your business? Is it consistent? Is it what you had hoped it would be? Are there any overarching or prominent themes?



2. GOOGLE YOUR BUSINESS

When was the last time you Googled your business or searched for it by name, hashtag, or location on social media?


Finding out how others talk about your business when you’re not around allows you to get a good feel for what they love, and don’t love, about what you do. It’s also an easy way to get feedback about your business from those who may have visited once and never come back, or thought about visiting but were turned off because of something they saw or read prior to coming.


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3. WORKSHOP WITH YOUR STAFF

Your staff know your business better than anyone. They’re also intimately woven into the fabric of your brand because they are essentially the face of your brand.


Shout your staff a delicious morning tea, bring them all together, and ask them to tell you, in their own words, what they think the essence of your brand is. Not what they think it should be, or what it is supposed to be, but what it actually is. Ask them to be honest.


Do they think the same? Is there a disconnect where some staff are on the same page and others are not? What do their opinions say about the day to day reality of your business identity?



4. ORGANISE A MYSTERY SHOPPER

Ask a friend to ask their friend to be a mystery shopper. Make sure they select someone that you don’t know and who has never come into contact with your business before.


Have them go through the standard process that a normal customer would. Perhaps they start by searching for you online, they then interact with your website or social media profile, call in with a query, and eventually they visit you and buy something or use your services.


Get them to note down their experiences at each touch point, in particular how they feel. Are they informed and inspired? Or frustrated and confused?


The emotions that people get when they deal with your business are a very strong indicator as to what sort of brand you are delivering, and whether or not it’s one that people will want to keep coming back to. This process is also a really good way of finding out what’s working and what’s not across your business.


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5. MAKE A COLLAGE

Walk around your business and grab a copy of every brochure, poster, business card, and piece of signage that was made by your business or represents your business (if you can’t take a sign down, just take a photo of it).


Then take screenshots of your website, social media accounts, or any other representation that you have in the digital world.


Gather all your bits and pieces and pin them to the wall or lay them out on the floor like one big massive collage. Take note of what you see.


Does everything beautifully link together, or have you just created a big mish-mash of stuff? Getting a feel for how your business is represented visually across all your different communication forms is a really quick way to get a feel for how your business looks to the outside world - and whether or not it's consistent and easily recognisable.

 

AND THEN?

Once you’ve completed all five steps, take some time to absorb everything you’ve seen, learnt, and uncovered. Where things didn’t match up, or weren’t what you thought they were, start by making small and simple changes to find alignment and create the business identity you always envisioned. In no time you'll hit that harmonious sweet spot and start to reap the rewards.


If things aren't quite lining up how you imagined, and you'd love a helping hand bringing it all back in sync, my Marketing and Brand Strategy could be the perfect place to start.



With good vibes,

Nicole

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