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The Secret to Building Customer Loyalty

The Secret to Building Customer Loyalty

How strong is your customer loyalty? Do your customers return to you as soon as they need your services or products? Or do they shop around for the lowest price or most convenient path?

If you know me at all, you know that I am a Coca-Cola fanatic. I will not drink Pepsi. If a restaurant doesn’t serve Coke, I drink water. But a little-known fact about me is that I used to drink Pepsi! When I was in high school, there were only Pepsi machines around the campus and I was fine substituting while on campus.

Since then, I’ve been choosing to drink Coke. I’ve convinced myself that anything less is just worthless (even Coke Zero). Psychologically, I just know that Coke is the best. What led to me becoming so loyal to Coke?

Short answer: consistency.

Using Consistency to Build Customer Loyalty

The secret to building customer loyalty is being consistent. Not just in any one area, but in ALL touchpoints.

1. Visual branding

Coca-Cola was the most common consistency example cited in my printing classes. It’s the brand that was always used to emphasize the importance of reproducing an exact color on any and every substrate. From cardboard boxes to magazine ads to aluminum cans, Coke red is always consistent. They even had their own PMS color created just for them!

Beyond the color, Coke has had the same font for their logo since 1886. It’s been tweaked slightly over the years, but the script has remained largely the same for almost 140 years. This type of consistency means that the image is instantly recognizable to consumers.

2. Brand Reputation and Values

Reputation is difficult to control in a lot of ways. It’s the expression of what a collective thinking is about your brand, and it can be incredibly challenging to change a bad reputation. However, reputation is strongly tied to your brand’s values.

Continuing the Coke example, their values include bringing people together. Ads are always about sharing a Coke with someone and use emotional marketing to resonate with consumers. The name campaign (where they printed names on bottles) was an innovative way to encourage people to buy and share Coke. Yet it fit right into their desire to bring people together.

When people know what you stand for and you’re consistent about representing your brand, they’re more likely to feel good about supporting you.

3. Product or Service Quality

No matter where you travel in the world, you can find a Coke. It’s always refreshing and always delicious!

This is not to say that it’s the same formula everywhere you go. Just like McDonald’s has different menu items to better serve customers in other cultures and countries, Coke has slight differences depending on where you go. (For example, Mexican Coke is renowned for its use of real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.)

But the point remains that, regional differences aside, you always know what to expect. I can buy a Coke at my local grocery store and get the same taste as I’d get from a gas station in Colorado. That’s consistency, and the guarantee of getting what I want every single time has cemented my customer loyalty.

Products aren’t the only thing that can be consistent. Service providers should also strive for consistent quality through every experience. If your maid service is sometimes fantastic and other times lackluster, you’re more likely to explore other options. But if they’re on top of things every single time they visit, you’ll be so happy that you’ll have no need to see what else is out there.

4. Product Placement

If your company is a B2C business serving consumers, you need to be consistent in where they can find you. I know that I can go into pretty much any retail establishment in the United States and find a Coke. Even if you’re a niche business that crafts vegan hemp dog collars, you should have your product always available where your customers expect you. If you sell on your website, you’d better make sure your site doesn’t go down. If you sell at a retailer, you should have a stocking schedule that allows for representation. Nothing is more disappointing than expecting to get what you want and having it be unavailable.

5. Customer Experience

This is your area to shine! The experience is paramount to building customer loyalty. Consider your buyer’s journey and the decisions they make that lead them to your product or service. Then look at every touchpoint between the decision to purchase and the transaction being complete. Have you provided excellent service? Have you delighted the customer with little details? Do these things every time and for every interaction, and you’ll have a customer for life.

When people know what to expect and know they’ll get it every time, you’ll build a loyal following who call you first when they need you. Better yet, you’re their ONLY call because nothing else compares. Build customer loyalty with consistency and you’ll win every time!

4 Dynamic Marketing Strategies to Entice Students to Higher Education

4 Dynamic Marketing Strategies to Entice Students to Higher Education

This guest post was written by Sadie Aram for Silverbrook Marketing.

The United States is home to over 4,000 higher education institutions, and each one is competing for the attention of prospective students. If that doesn’t produce enough stress already, college enrollment numbers have been on a decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s important for higher education marketing teams to implement engaging and effective campaigns to reach future attendees. If you’re struggling to spread the word about what your school has to offer, make sure you have these four strategies in your marketing plan.

1. Personalize the experience.

Use emotional marketing to connect with potential students. They will be better able to see themselves at a school that recognizes and addresses their unique needs. Tailor your message to specific groups based on marketing personas developed from existing demographic data. A persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal candidate that can help you envision the audience you’re appealing to. It can look something like this:

“Alexis is a 19-year-old high school senior. She is a section leader for the marching band and excels in her honors classes. She hopes to pursue a career in engineering when she is older. Alexis values a strong community and hopes to have security in her adult life.”

Each student has a different motive for pursuing higher education, so your institution should develop multiple personas appealing to small groups with like interests. For example, you wouldn’t market to a high school student the same way you would market to a mother looking to further her education.

2. Spotlight success.

College is no small commitment to make, so students want to get a glimpse of what’s waiting for them. Showcase student, faculty, and alumni achievement to demonstrate to prospective students the influence that their education could have on their future.

Showcasing success doesn’t require someone to be the next Albert Einstein or Brad Pitt. Are professors conducting innovative research? Are alumni holding impressive positions at high-profile companies? Are student organizations making an impact on the world? These are all feats to celebrate, and they could be strong factors in someone’s decision to choose your school.

And don’t stop at academic success! Any achievement—whether in athletics, art, entertainment, etc.—is a great way to spotlight your institution in a positive way.

3. Highlight the numbers.

When making critical decisions, we tend to rely on data evidence to inform our choices. Numbers help prove the effectiveness of your institution in a tangible way. Data reinforces your school’s success, and numbers are easier to consume than a chunk of text that portrays the same information.

Does your college have an impressive selection of majors and minors? A high freshman retention rate? A small student-to-professor ratio? Don’t be afraid to brag and show them off! Have general facts and figures easily accessible as well, such as total number of students, price of tuition, and average test scores of admitted students.

4. Adopt a digital-focused approach.

Most of today’s students belong to Generation Z, a group characterized by more digital media usage than ever before. Establishing a space for your institution in the digital world is a foolproof strategy for grabbing your audience’s attention. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Build a responsive website: Your website is often the first place students will look for more information about your school. Additionally, over half of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Because of this, be sure that your website is well-organized and mobile-friendly. Make requesting more information easy and use your website as a gateway for your other digital platforms.
  • Improve SEO: Most people rely on search engines like Google to find the information they need. However, 75% of Google users don’t click past the first page of results, so search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to your digital success. You can bolster your SEO rankings by producing a variety of content and researching the best keywords to incorporate, but this is a highly technical field. The best results often come from the help of an expert.
  • Email with intention: Students prefer email over direct mail, but you don’t want to end up in their spam folder. Remember to personalize your messages to peak your reader’s interest. You can streamline this process by using email automation software like Constant Contact or Mailchimp.
  • Stay active on social media: A recent study showed that 94% of Gen Z use social media, so it’s a no-brainer that you should, too. Be sure you’re frequently posting consistent content to entice your audience. Consider posting various formats and subjects, including photos of campus, infographics, videos, and live streams.
  • Leverage user-generated content: Amplifying images, videos, reviews, and other assets created by your followers is a great way to influence potential students. Having many different viewpoints from your connections gives your brand an authentic presence and gives students an exclusive look into the university lifestyle.

What do you think? Have you tried these strategies? Are there any that I missed? We’d love to hear from you!

How to Generate Publicity for Your Company with HARO

How to Generate Publicity for Your Company with HARO

This article was contributed by Sadie Aram for Silverbrook Marketing.

Are you struggling to find the missing piece of your marketing strategy? Introducing your new secret weapon: HARO. Although some would argue that marketing and public relations are separate entities, there’s no doubt that the two go hand in hand. If you’re a public relations beginner, don’t worry—with the right techniques, you can be a HARO pro in no time.

What is HARO?

HARO, which stands for “Help A Reporter Out,” is a mailing list where reporters submit queries to connect with sources that can give information to use in their articles. Think of it like a dating app—if you have the insight that a journalist is looking for, then it’s a match! Using HARO is a more efficient way to secure media coverage than spending hours writing the perfect press release and blindly sending it to journalists who rummage through hundreds of emails per day.

Receiving press exposure is an effective way to amplify your business without paying a cent; it just requires a bit of time and effort. A simple quote can make your company visible to a new, wider audience, which will set you apart from your competitors. Earning mentions from the media can increase the credibility of your business, allowing you to become an opinion leader in your field.

How Do I Use HARO?

To use HARO, you must sign up to become a source. Create a free account using your name, email address, and company name and act on relevant queries as frequently as you like. HARO is made possible by mutual trust and support, so be sure to read the rules for sources before replying to queries. Once registered, you will receive three emails each weekday at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 5:35 p.m. Each email will contain requests categorized by industry, like business, sports, education, and more. You can also choose to receive industry-specific emails. Here are a few examples from the HARO Twitter, where urgent requests are posted:

“Seeking experts to provide information on how often credit card declines occur, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

“Seeking the latest tools, gadgets, etc. for coffee and tea lovers who brew the perfect cup at home.”

“Seeking experts to discuss career planning as a parent”

“Seeking people with enormous Halloween decorations.”

Top Tips for Using HARO

As you can see, requests can vary greatly. While mastering HARO takes experience over time, here are a few dos and don’ts to follow when getting started:

  • DO act fast: Journalism is fast-moving and queries are time sensitive. Improve the chances of your response being chosen by moving just as fast! Read HARO emails as soon as they are sent and compose a response once you find a relevant request.
  • DO keep it concise: Giving a reporter exactly what they need is the best way to get noticed. Leave out “fluffy,” distracting information that steers attention away from the real message. Consider including direct quotes so journalists can pull directly from your response.
  • DO include the full package: Attach a headshot, a short bio, and other appropriate details like your contact information and your company’s website. Avoid asking for an additional comment or interview, though. We’re still in the fast lane!
  • DON’T reply to every request: Always double-check that you meet the requirements and bring the right expertise to the table. If your reply is irrelevant to the query, your response will go straight to the journalist’s trash bin. It’s okay to wait for the right query—especially if you have a unique angle for their story.
  • DON’T do it for the backlinks: If a writer uses you as a source, they will often link back to your website. Yes, this is beneficial to your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), but it shouldn’t be the leading motive of your HARO responses. Think of it as a plus for helping reporters get the quotes they need for their next articles.
  • DON’T self-promote: Unless a query is specifically asking about a certain product or service (i.e. “Seeking gift ideas for doctors and other medical professionals”), leave sales out of your response. More than half of publishers will decline a pitch that’s too promotional. Respond with value and focus on what your expertise can contribute to the topic.

Stay Involved

While incorporating HARO into your marketing routine, keep in mind that your first response will likely not get your company into the New York Times. While it may take a few attempts to secure media coverage, be consistent with HARO to see the best results. When a journalist uses your response, say thank you and share the article on your social media pages. Developing a relationship with a journalist can help you land more placements in the future!

How to Guarantee Consistency with a Brand Style Guide

How to Guarantee Consistency with a Brand Style Guide

Take a few seconds to think of your favorite company. What comes to mind? Perhaps you’re imagining a specific logo, a color, or even a slogan. It only takes a quick thought to visualize the company, but what is the key to making it so recognizable? The answer is a style guide that bundles a brand’s identity into one rulebook. Yes, having a “rulebook” for your brand may sound intimidating, but a style guide is a foolproof foundation for building brand consistency.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a reference document that specifies all visual aspects of your brand. It provides universal instructions on how your brand should (and shouldn’t) be portrayed to your audiences. Key components of a style guide include colors, logos, typography, and imagery that aligns with your brand’s identity. A well-executed style guide also identifies the intended tone and voice of brand messaging, encompassing all aspects of your brand identity.

Your style guide gives direction to any type of content for your company, including presentations, business cards, social media posts, and more. Your style guide should not only be used internally by employees but also shared with external partners to ensure that they are representing your brand correctly.

Why should your company have a style guide?

Consistency is key when creating content for your business. A recent study reported that consistent presentation of a brand has been seen to increase revenue by 33%. A style guide that outlines the standard visual elements of a brand can ensure that all your company’s content maintains a cohesive look and feel. Keeping your branding consistent also increases the awareness of your company. If your content conflicts with each other, your customers may feel confused and less acquainted with the brand.

Remember how it only took a few seconds to visualize your favorite company? Consistent branding plays a crucial role in audience recognition. As a small business, building brand awareness can be a challenge. A style guide is the first step in making your business identifiable to your customers.

While developing a style guide may seem like a tedious process, it will save you time in the long run. Having a style guide will streamline your content creation. When visual guidelines are clear to your employees and partners, there’s more time to focus on creative content rather than spending time deciding what design elements look best every time.

Components of a great style guide

Brand Story: Include a summary of your company, its offerings, its mission and vision statements, and its core values.  Your brand story can also introduce tone and voice, intended audiences, and explanations behind the company name and tagline. Putting this information at the forefront of your style guide establishes the brand’s foundation and helps users understand the basics of your company.

Logo: It’s important to specify guidelines for perhaps the most iconic part of a brand. Include all approved versions of your company logo in your style guide along with proper sizing and proportion information. Give clear directions on how much spacing the logo needs in relation to other visual content. If you offer your logo in different colors, make sure to include the correct usage of each variation.

Color: Your brand should have no more than four primary colors. In addition to adding color swatches to your style guide, you should also add all information needed to reproduce the colors accurately. This means including RGB and HEX codes for digital assets, CMYK codes for print assets, and Pantone values (though Adobe is making it difficult to use these).

Typography: Like colors, your number of brand fonts should be limited. In your style guide, note the fonts and their usages. What font should be used for headings? And for paragraphs? What sizes should be used? There’s a lot that goes into typography choices that a seasoned designer could assist you with.

Imagery: Define the genre of images and illustrations that you want your brand to utilize. Whether your company is represented by dramatic action shots or family-oriented portraits, it’s important to outline best practices for these types of visuals. To do this, you should include photos your company has used in the past. You can also display stock photos that represent your brand identity.

The “Don’ts”: Including how NOT to represent your brand can be just as helpful as outlining what you DO want. Don’t be afraid to specify incorrect usage of your logo, color palette, typography, or imagery so those mistakes won’t manifest in your content.

The above are the main components of a good style guide, but the contents don’t have to stop there. The more specific your style guide is, the more consistent and efficient your content strategy will be. Keep in mind that implementing a style guide doesn’t happen overnight. The guide should be enforced throughout your company, both internally and externally, to guarantee success. Make it a habit to refer to the style guide when creating any type of content. Then, you’ll be one step closer to achieving the brand awareness that your company is looking for.

Interested in creating a style guide for your company? Book a call with Sarah today to learn more.

The 10 Commandments of Branding

The 10 Commandments of Branding

So you’ve got a great idea and want to start a business. You just… start, right? Not so fast. If longevity is what you’re after, you need to work on branding.

Branding is a general term that encompasses many moving parts relating to your business. It establishes your identity beyond just the products or services you sell. It gives your customers something to remember you by, something to engage and connect with. It’s what makes your company memorable and stand out among the competition.

There are so many things to consider when it comes time to brand a business! It can be overwhelming, with so many do’s and don’ts out there. I’ve put together my 10 commandments of branding to try and organize all the best advice I’ve heard and learned by experience.

1. Thou Shalt Not Put the Cart Before the Horse.

Before you think about designing a logo or coming up with a catchy tag line, you must identify your brand’s core. This is typically made up of the following parts:

  • Mission/Purpose—What the brand aims to accomplish for its audience
  • Vision—The ideal world the brand is trying to reach for
  • Values—What the brand believes in and stands for

This core is the underpinnings of your brand culture and should guide everything you do. (No pressure, right?) You should be considering your core when creating your visual identity, defining your brand voice, and creating any content moving forward.

When creating your core, make sure you consider your organization’s past, present, and future to make sure you’re positioning correctly. You don’t want to create a brand now that you will outgrow later. (Design is one thing; you can always “rebrand” visually. Your mission, vision, values—those should be long-term and lasting.)

It’s perfectly OK to let emotion guide your core! The best brands take a firm stand for what they believe in and uphold their promises to their audience. Studies have shown that people are more brand loyal to those that share their values, so be clear about what exactly that is.

After your core is defined, it should be much easier to find your unique selling proposition (USP). This is what sets you apart from your competition and encompasses the benefits and value you bring to your audience.

2. Thou Shalt Keep It Real.

Instead of putting on a show and trying to be something you’re not, you need to strive for authenticity in your branding. This means walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. I know it’s scary—wearing your heart on your sleeve is a sure way to get it crushed. But top brands know that people want genuine connections instead of salesy, immediate-best-friend vibes.

A big part of authenticity is making sure everyone involved in your brand understands the core mission, vision, and values and embodies those principles. If you walked into a Patagonia store and someone was wearing leather pants and drinking from a single-use water bottle, there would be a major disconnect.

Think about Disney World, for example. Every experience on a Disney property is carefully constructed to seem magical. Every employee is chosen to continue this experience, no matter how small the interaction is. Cast members are never to be half-dressed in front of patrons. All this makes sense when you find out their brand core principles:

  • Mission: The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world’s premier entertainment company.
  • Vision: To be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information.
  • Values: Optimism, innovation, decency, quality, community, and storytelling.

That magical experience is a form of storytelling, which entertains and inspires people en masse. And you want to talk about community? How many people do you know who are die-hard Disney fans? They meet someone else wearing a Disney shirt or with a Disney bumper sticker and immediately know they’ve found a kindred spirit.

Being authentic goes beyond the customer experience, though. Your brand’s interactions should be genuine and positive for your employees, too. Without their belief in the brand and participation on its behalf, the company will not be able to pull off the type of customer loyalty brands envy Disney for.

3. Thou Shalt Not Try To Please Everyone

Being all things to all people is impossible, and trying is going to make you spin your wheels with no traction. You need to identify your potential customers, aka your target audience. These are the people you need to relate to, speak to, and identify with.

Some questions to help you identify your target audience:

  • Who would benefit from my product or service?
  • What are their pain points (problems they need solved)?
  • What are their characteristics and demographics?
  • Are they formal or casual?
  • Do they take a long time to make purchasing decisions, or will they hop on to a trend?
  • Where do they hang out online (or even IRL)?

The best way to relate to your target audience is by conducting market research. This can be difficult if you don’t know where to find your potential customers, but do as much investigating as possible.

Once you’ve identified your target audience and learned all about them, it’s time to figure out what kind of relationship you want with them.

4. Thou Shalt Have Personality

Don’t know what a brand voice is? It’s your brand’s personality and the way it speaks and relates to your audience. Is your brand quirky, like Dollar Shave Club? Is your brand formal, like De Beers? Is it comfortable, like Ikea?

Timing-wise, establishing your brand voice should come after you define your core and define your target audience. But make sure you figure it out before you release messaging—and probably even before creating your visual identity. All branding elements are tied together, so you need to show your personality throughout.

Whatever your brand’s personality is, make sure you choose messaging and content formats that convey it clearly. For example, I doubt De Beers is on TikTok… it’s not a formal platform and doesn’t scream “luxury” to me. (Yep, just checked and they do not have an account.)

On the other hand, Dollar Shave Club has a quirky and hilarious TikTok channel with relatable—did I mention funny?—videos. Sure, they promote their products, but they do it in an entertaining way that keeps their brand’s voice and personality on center stage.

Don’t forget to incorporate your brand’s personality into all aspects of the customer experience! Even if it’s a transactional email like a receipt, these are touchpoints where you can interject some fun details that show who your brand is.

5. Thou Shalt Not Operate In a Vacuum

In a perfect world, every business would only have to worry about themselves and their own strategy. Since we live in the real world, you cannot make the mistake of ignoring your competitors! You MUST assess other companies in your space and figure out how you fit into the industry.

This is not permission to get hung up on your competition and try to copy everything they do, though. You still should be doing your own thing, but you need to take into consideration what else is being offered, promised, and delivered by others.

And as confusing as it sounds, you also have to consider who COULD be your competition in the future. Take Corning, for example. It’s a glass company that is known in households everywhere for their bakeware. Guess what they provide now, though? Touchscreen glass. They saw an opportunity when screens were becoming ubiquitous and acted on it. No one could have predicted that move, but other glass manufacturers probably wish they had seen that opportunity earlier.

You also have to be able to recognize trends in the marketplace. Trends become that way because they seem like a good idea, so everyone jumps on. Do you want to be a pioneer of trends, or a follower? It’s OK to follow a trend as long as it upholds your brand core. However…

6. Thou Shalt Consider The Consequences

You have to be careful with trends! There is a bigger picture, and you have to consider all angles.

The key is to remain consistent. “But wait, you just said it’s OK to join trends?” It is possible to join a trend while remaining consistent with your branding. Take the “debranding” trend that’s happening now. Major brands are updating their logos to be more streamlined and simplified. Everyone from Burger King to Burberry has been removing details, shading, and unnecessary elements from their brand identity.

Ben Schott of Bloomberg says that this is in part due to the need for mobile-first design. When you’re looking at a tiny screen, all those details just muddle your logo. Simpler is often better.

To ensure consistency, make sure everyone in your organization knows your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Creating a brand handbook is a great way to keep these top of mind. You can add guidance on visual identity, a glossary of terms and phrases to maintain your brand voice and personality, and tips for keeping your messaging on point. Circulate it to your marketing staff and beyond, keeping in mind all those brand touchpoints across departments.

Even when you have consistency across your brand, you still have a lot of flexibility. As long as everything points back to your brand’s core, you’re free to try out trends—or create them!

7. Thou Shalt Keep It Simple

Anytime content is created—whether it’s your logo design, website copy, or a slide deck—it’s tempting to go overboard with details and information. The thing is, people can’t absorb too much information without tuning out completely. Keeping it simple is always the best way to go.

Just look at Apple’s logo throughout the years. The very first Apple “logo” can’t even be called a logo. It’s a full, detailed image in an old etching style. This didn’t even last a year before the Apple that we all know was launched. Sure, it’s been multiple colors and stylized differently, but that Apple outline with a single bite missing has been iconic for over 40 years. It’s easy to spot and represents the company so well that anyone who sees it immediately knows what to expect.

Other examples of keeping it simple visually are Nike’s “swoosh,” the McDonald’s golden arches, and even Lacoste’s alligator. But simple isn’t just a visual principle. You should aim to be clear and concise in all your messaging, no matter what medium or platform it’s released on. Take a look at the examples below:

  • Granola’s ingredients are sourced from the highest mountains of Andalasia, untouched by any chemicals. Our products are for the discerning citizen who aims to live their best life in a tiny house by the beach and grow their own patchouli. Granola is the best choice for anyone who wants their food to taste like cardboard!
  • Eat clean. Live simple. Choose Granola.

Obviously, this is an exaggeration! But the point stands: keeping your copy unfussy and to the point is the key to winning your audience’s attention.

8. Thou Shalt Not Over-commit or Overshare

There are two points in this commandment, and both are firm no-nos. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and don’t be annoying with your content.

First, let’s discuss over-committing. It’s so tempting to be everywhere at once, isn’t it? The minute a new social media channel pops up and becomes trendy, people are curious and want to join. But if you have a marketing team of two people and you’re managing 5 other channels (not to mention all the other duties the marketing department has), will you be able to start a new channel AND do it well?

There’s something to be said for those who can learn to say no. Not to brag, but I am particularly proud of myself for not joining TikTok as a creator. I seriously considered it, but I already have an Instagram account and realized that I don’t have the bandwidth to maintain both. I focused on creating more reels and publishing more consistently on Instagram and I’m staying off TikTok for now.

You don’t want to half-ass anything because that’s just not a good look. Be selective and choose to show up purposefully wherever your audience can be found instead of being everywhere just for the sake of it. Write and develop quality content that speaks to your audience and publish it where you can be—you guessed it—consistent.

Next point: There’s a fine line between being authentic and oversharing, and it’s called having a filter. It’s not likely that every single thing you do in a day is relevant to your brand’s core, so there’s no need to tell them every detail. Each piece of content you publish should be furthering your mission, underlining your vision, or representing your values.

Behind-the-scenes content is a popular way to humanize a brand. An business owner who is also a mom might share some snaps of balancing her work with parenting to relate to her values. She wouldn’t (shouldn’t!) share a photo of potty training her toddler, though. Oversharing is taking things one step too far, and if you have to ask yourself then you probably shouldn’t share it.

9. Thou Shalt Not Make False Promises

This was important enough to include as a commandment, but it should be pretty obvious and not need much explanation. DO NOT overhype your company or its products/services. If you make promises you can’t keep, you’re killing your brand’s reputation. In the age of social media, word of mouth spreads faster than ever before. Reviews speak volumes and there are plenty of platforms for people to make their experiences with you known.

10. Thou Shalt Keep Calm and Carry On

Part of the fun of marketing is being able to experiment with tactics, channels, media, and messaging. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s OK! I was just telling my daughter earlier tonight that everyone makes mistakes, but we should learn from them and not repeat them.

If you make a mistake that requires an apology, deliver it promptly and sincerely and then move on. If it’s a mistake that affects the company’s bottom line, make sure you analyze the numbers so that you know what not to do next time. The most important thing is to act responsibly, and everything will work out.

Even if you do (or don’t do) all these things and execute perfectly, you can’t expect instant results. Building an audience takes time. Generating leads takes time. Bringing in revenue takes time. Be patient, stay true to your brand’s core, and have fun with it!

What do you think of my 10 commandments? Are there any that I forgot? Are there any you disagree with? I’d love to hear from you!