Protecting your personal brand
A personal brand is a group of feelings that people get when they see or hear something that is related to a person or brand. For example, Richard Branson has built his own personal brand even though he is the owner of Virgin. Virgin’s brand qualities are built on offering speed, quality and fun. Richard Branson’s personal brand is centred around risk taking, innovation and pushing the boundaries.
Building up a personal brand is like building a house, it takes planning, resources and lots of hard work.
Can a business build a personal brand?
Creating a personal brand is very important for micro-businesses (usually consisting of one to five persons). The owner(s) will be the face of the business. They will be the person who has day to day contact with customers and suppliers.
A growing niche for personal brands is in the health and beauty industry. A hair-stylist may work on their or as part of a small team. The individual stylists will operate under their own name and will work hard to build up a loyal customer base under their own personal brand.
What can be done to protect your personal brand?
You can take legal steps to protect the brand name. Applying copyright (like celebrities do) to your name will protect it if it is used by others who do not have permission to do so.
Anyone who has built a personal brand will tell you they are very fragile. It only takes one bad customer experience and the brands image can be tainted.
By doing one simple thing you can ensure your personal brand stays top-class:
Delivering great customers service
When we interact with brands we expect to get great customer service. How this interaction goes will determine the image we build of the brand.
There are times when the customer isn’t always right. In this instance, the key to delivering great customer service is acting like they are when you know they aren’t. This means trying to resolve the issue in a calm and polite way. If the customer persists that you are to blame and don’t want to accept the solution you are presenting it may be better to walk away (if you can) instead of getting caught up in a debate.
Delivering great customer service is becoming harder and harder for brands. Technology means that customers have so many ways they can interact with a brand that it can be difficult to manage all of it.
As a small business owner, your hands are always full managing a thousand and one things. It can be easy to miss that email from a customer, or the phone call from a prospective client.
A solution is to use technology to help you out. Set up an automated email responder advising people that you will get back to them within a set time frame. Or, likewise, set up a voicemail stating a similar thing. This takes the pressure of you to respond to people straight away.
More and more people are using social media to contact brands. They choose to send a message through Facebook or an email via Instagram. If you have social media profiles set up, make sure you have notifications enabled. This way you won’t miss that important message that could lead you to next big client.