Scribbles + Spade

13 Ways Brands Connect—Outside of Social Media

Okay, so people hire us to curate their company’s social media accounts. But that’s not the end-all be-all for how we can help you enhance your brand marketing and build relationships. As both creative- and logic-brain types, we also work with clients to strategize about their brands in other ways. (Outside of social media.)

Getting the word out about your business and attracting long-term, loyal customers will look different for different types of industries. Terrific social media marketing is one way to do that. And there are tons of wonderful, quirky, and smart opportunities to consider as well. This list can help. But just remember to take all these ideas with a sprinkle of salt.

You want to make sure your “connection” methods feel right for your own personality and ethics and whatnot.

Not all of these tactics will make sense for what you and your brand are all about. At the same time, though, you’ll need to let your target market inform how you should connect. (Meaning: not all of these suggestions will mesh with whatever “stereotyped” or “synthesized” personality you’ve identified for them.) Okay? Yeah! Yeah, okay! We’ve got that preamble out of the way. Here comes the brainstorm.

1. Touchy-feely business cards

Print rules. Thick paper feels good. Cheap business cards are the opposite. It’s like when you get a fountain drink and the machine was obviously low on the syrup. That’s disappointing. High-quality print pieces, on the other hand, are delightful.

2. Specialty contact items

We’ve come across “poker chip business cards.” This is a cool idea because they were made from legit poker chips with that luxe, clay-y material. It’s a fun trinket for someone to keep on their desk. And it’s “special” because it’s not something to hand out willy-nilly. (Only for your favorite peeps.)

3. Deliberate web design

Some websites can be tricky to navigate. Reviewing your data and identifying pages that are popular and not-so-popular might help you find ways to streamline the overall layout. Sleek is neat! Having oodles of pages might be causing your brand more harm than good.

Which leads to our next humble suggestion.

4. Crystal-clear instructions

When a prospect comes to your website, are you asking them to schedule a consultation? Inviting them to check out your awesome new brewery / Thai restaurant / chocolate factory on such-and-such a date because you’ll have live music on the patio? These are what marketing folks call your “call to actions.” What steps do you want people to take next? How do YOU want people to connect with your brand?

5. Sincere thank-you-very-much’s

This scribbler heard a cute story just this morning about how her nephew (age 4) received a thank-you letter in the mail. From his optometrist. Just because he had an appointment. Isn’t that capital-a Adorable?! The kid doesn’t need glasses, and still this doctor’s office took a quick minute to express their appreciation for him coming in to see them. Smart stuff.

6. Common sense service

You can also send thoughtful messages when things go awry. Whether from miscommunication or a legitimate “dropped ball,” people tend to like people who aren’t too proud to offer an apology when an apology is due. Traditional customer care and asking how to make “wrong” things “right” can be pretty effective for building a loyal fan base.

Do unto others, and all that. Because even though we’re talking about brand marketing, the crux of all work and life is (we hope) to be a decent person.

7. Being real in real life

See above. If your company has fantastic copywriting, graphics, and rave reviews online, but you’ve got team members who are hateful grumpy-grumps, then the rest of the world will definitely pick up on that. Effective brand marketing only works when it shines from the inside-out.

8. Industry threads

Uniforms! Instant brand recognition! Just like adding a company decal to your truck, dressing up with a logo-ed hat, jacket, or T-shirt can be really helpful for certain industries. Think of your home services companies. It feels better seeing someone who’s in branded gear when they’re out working in your yard or coming up to your front door.

9. Pertinent news sharing

Keeping people in-the-loop doesn’t always have to be motivated by sales. Staying connected might be as simple as sending off a quick email update to your customers about new inventory in stock. Or an update on your clients’ renewal dates for their insurance policies / due dates for their taxes.

10. Sell-ebrations for good times

See what we did there? Anniversaries are great reasons to have some fun. And parties are great for brand marketing. If your company has a big birthday coming up or you’ve hit another major milestone, why not invite your network over for a catered dinner and drinks? Or offer a sale to give some love back to the customers who helped you get this far?

And oh, how far you have come! Bravo!

11. Graceful aging with portraits

You are not the “you” of five days ago. And certainly not five years ago. Or ten. Or fifteen. We grow up. We change. Let’s embrace that. Let’s have headshots that are confident and current! Putting your best face forward means getting those pictures updated on a regular basis.

12. Meet the neighbors

Local business drives communities. If you’ve got a storefront or a separate work space, you can grow your sphere of influence just by being friendly with your neighbors. It’s true for home-office types too. Go browse the web for other local business do-gooders and say hello!

13. Cut your losses, try again

Phew! We made it. Lucky thirteen. This one is easy. Know when to give up. Yup. That’s right. While the rest of the world is telling you to push and fight and never quit, we’re here to give you permission to say NO. If something isn’t feeling quite right in your business, make a change. Fixing what’s broken sometimes means saying goodbye.

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