We often get asked, “What is branding?” Or, “What is a brand?”
A brand is a desired perception. This means you don’t actually own it. You can only influence people’s perception of you.
Great branding creates a desired perception so that when people think of your brand they think what you want them to think. You may want to be seen as high value, prestigious, powerful, cost-effective or a myriad of other qualities.
One way to create a desired perception is to create a great brand. However, people’s perceptions of you are not just shaped by their interactions with your brand, but also by what they hear from others.
A great brand doesn’t need to tell people how great it is. Ideally, someone else has already told them.
This is why social proof is important. A good word from someone who doesn’t have any skin in the game is worth it’s weight in gold. The message can be same, but who says it changes everything.
Let’s use ourselves as an example of what we mean. For those that don’t know we put on “Branding Intensives” periodically throughout the year. They are a tremendous value, where attendees spend three days building their brand strategically and with the guidance of brand experts. It’s a tremendous value, if we don’t say so ourselves, but the problem is we are saying so ourselves.
But we don’t have to.
It’s much more credible when someone else says how valuable the Branding Intensive was for them. Check out the video below.
Now we could say all of the things our clients did, and we do, but it means more coming from them. It’s social proof that what we do is valuable, and it provides a critical component of brand building by establishing our credibility.
Your customers become brand advocates when they have a positive experience so be sure to give them a platform to share their thoughts. Ask them how their experience was and ask them if you can use it in your marketing. Take videos and use them strategically in your sales and marketing. Give them a platform to communicate with you and your prospects on social media as social proof can often turn a prospect into a customer.
This is how you create your tribe, and a powerful tribe will recruit more members on its own. The power of social proof is one of the biggest tools in your toolbox, so try to utilize it to the best of your abilities in order to accelerate the growth of your brand.