When you think of a brand touch point (ie a meeting designed to evoke positive feelings around your brand), your customers probably immediately think of it. After all, they are the ones you try to attract, nurture and sell to. But what about your employees? What about other company stakeholders?
Just imagine all the moments that these people connect with your brand. It could be a new employee going through the onboarding process, a manager trying to motivate his team, or an employee opening an email. Amplifying these moments as brand touchpoints can be a powerful way to empower your business.
How? Captivating brand touchpoints are known to lead to: higher customer satisfaction† This, in turn, can result in improved loyalty, more referrals, and added credibility. All these factors can increase profitability of your brand. The same can be true for touchpoints that connect your brand and your non-customer stakeholders.
Your team members are the people who actively represent and defend your brand. If they’re not engaged, your customers and leads will be too. practice two way marketing can help your brand make a deeper emotional impact and strengthen your team’s belief in the company.
How to design brand touchpoints that appeal to all stakeholders
By creating touchpoints that appeal to customers and employees, you have the opportunity to amplify your brand from all angles. Here are three strategies to help you implement two-way marketing:
1. Pull back your brand’s curtain.
People often become disconnected from brands if they can’t see who they’re actually talking to. Too many companies rely on repeated messages, buzzwords and stock photos to communicate with stakeholders. However, authentic, well-known images are more successful. In one experiment, a recognizable photo of a company founder drove website visitors 35% more chance to sign up for free consultations compared to a stock image model photo.
When you give customers behind-the-scenes information and involve employees in creating these touchpoints, it helps everyone feel closer to the brand. The medium can also make the difference. Take TikTok for example. People tune in to this social platform because they want to see homegrown content in real time. They don’t want professional quality videos or slick edits. They prefer to see clips of real moments (like when a bridal wear brand owner posted her wedding on TikTok).
“People flock to TikTok for catchy but imperfect videos,” explains Jessica Elliott, writer and business consultant. “The raw behind-the-scenes content draws viewers into a story, if only for a short time. Brand pages are not perfectly composed with pages with perfectly posed products and people. Instead, TikTok is all about authenticity, which is something small businesses can benefit from.”
2. Organize experience events.
Part of pulling back the curtain is inviting people to experience your brand first hand. Experiential events are a great way to do this. When it comes to brand touchpoints, events – in person, digital, or a combination of both – can build trust and awareness and improve brand recognition.
Events are especially impactful if you can work with your team to identify why you are organizing the event and what your strategic objectives are. The planning phase of an event can be just as valuable as the event itself: it gives team members an opportunity to get on the same page, connect with brand values and strategies, and feel a sense of ownership. How do you know which type of event to choose? Think about what would be most exciting.
“Hybrid events allow you to take advantage of both personal and digital aspects to engage your audience”, writes Jeff Snyder, founder and chief inspiration officer. “At Inspira Marketing Group, for example, we organized a virtual launch for the new platform of the pharmaceutical company argenx for people struggling with myasthenia gravis. In addition to digital features like a virtual art gallery, we’ve incorporated real-world elements to engage our audience holistically. During the final of the event, we lit landmarks across the country in the community’s signature teal color.”
3. Turn setbacks into opportunities to improve the lives of stakeholders.
Sometimes your brand touchpoints may not go to plan, but that’s okay. “No catastrophizing from setbacks or failures,” writes Allie Mendoza, CEO and Founder of Biz She Loves LLC. “They don’t necessarily mean the end of your business. Think of them as a slowdown in performance due to things that are out of your control. Failure doesn’t have to be permanent unless you don’t try again. So keep moving. Keep trying.”
This can feel like a challenge at times, but the beauty of two-way marketing is that it opens up a dialogue between your brand, customers and employees. If something doesn’t work, you have the chance to change things. For example, when United Airlines first saw consumer surveys exposing the negative associations people had with air travel, they decided to use the insights to relate rather than alienate. They got pregnant brand campaign called ‘Rising’ who promoted a brand vision of improvement and accountability.
If you realize that employees or customers want a different experience from your brand, you might think you’ve failed. However, these cases give you opportunities to redesign and edit brand touchpoints until all stakeholders are satisfied.
Using brand touchpoints and two-way marketing to engage employees, as well as customers and other business stakeholders, can lead to more engaged business ambassadors on your team. In turn, you can strengthen your brand, build trust and improve resilience in the face of today’s challenges.