Lessons About Warming Up Your Brand . . . From Parties

Do you ever feel like your brand’s a little bit chilly? Like it’s too professional or boring? Or you’re distant… not as cozied up and close with your clients as you’d like to be?

Why not warm it up a bit? Warmth in your brand can make it seem more alive, open, passionate, and even both interesting and interested. The warmth is a sign that your small business is run by a real person and that you care about your clients.

A warm brand also does a lot for your client relationships. Warmth will create a better connection with your clients, make nervous, shy or hesitant clients feel welcome and at home buying from you, encourage engagement and conversation around your brand, foster goodwill and up your likeability factor. It can also increase your client attraction significantly, because people are attracted to warmth and openness – instead of feeling shut out in the cold.

In this season of open houses, holiday parties and rekindling relationships… you can learn a lot about warming up your brand from the parties you go to. The best holiday parties create a natural, easy “warm and fuzzy” feeling in everyone’s hearts.

Here are a few ways that you can create that feeling in your brand for your clients:

  • Focus on how you want your clients to feel. Parties create an emotional experience – they create happiness, celebration, closeness or even reflection. Instead of trying to tell your clients just what’s happening, or how it happens… use words and images in your brand to evoke a specific feeling.
  • Design your brand to create conversation. Whether or not there’s great conversation at your party depends on a few factors: lighting, music, whether you have games or dancing, and how comfortable your guests are talking to each other. If you want to create conversation in your brand, design opportunities to start and encourage conversation. To make this happen: ask questions. Create open-line teleconferences. Hold a “fireside chat” where the focus is more on talking and less on teaching. Introduce and connect your clients to each other to create community.
  • Bite-sized nibbles (of information) are the way to go. Unless you’re at a sit-down dinner party, maneuvering with a plate full of food can be tough – and it’s even harder to enjoy what you’re eating. In your business, how are you filling your clients up with information instead of breaking things down for people so that they can enjoy it one bite at a time? It’s tempting to show off all of your expertise and information, but that can make it harder for your clients to learn. One of the greatest ways you can serve your clients is by breaking things down and making it easy for them to learn, understand and use.
  • Be upfront about what you expect your clients to do. When you’re invited to a party, it’s natural to ask, “what can I bring?” Clients want to know what they need to bring, too. For example, when I design a website, I let the client know what they’re expected to bring to the table – like website copy, website hosting, their headshot. I even provide a handy checklist so they can work through it and make sure they’re organized. How can you do the same in your business?
  • Welcome a new client warmly in their first moments with you, and let them know what to expect. When you show up at a party, the host says hello, tells you where to put your coat, shows you around and makes sure you’ve got your first drink in-hand. How are you settling your clients – and even your subscribers – in? And how can you make that part of the experience better?

These are just a few of the lessons you can learn from a holiday party about warming your brand up. As you go to parties this season or reflect on those you’ve been to, what lessons do you see that you can implement now in your brand?

elf@elf-design.com' About Erin Ferree

Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She's designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.
Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.
Erin lives, cooks and plays tug-of-war with her dog Stanley in San Luis Obispo, California. Her website is http://www.brandstyledesign.com

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