Valentine’s Day has passed, and we truly hope you spent it with your loved ones. We love some people, and that’s a fact – but can we love brands? How to, truly, create an internet brand that your customers will ‘love’, that you can then easily get a unique .ME domain for? Here’s the complete guide to creating a loveable internet brand – part one!
Research has shown that, as customers, we can love brand that we identify with and that share our values. While it might be hard to ‘love’ a gigantic pharmacy company, loving your local bakery, or a producer of fresh vegetables is far easier. If you enjoy their products, the way they conduct business, as well as the people working for them, you can love the brand – or, at least, all its parts and the value they provide.
However, this topic isn’t something we can go through in just one blog post, so it will take two… And a short deck you’ll be able to download to always have a handy guide in your (virtual) pocket!
First of all, here are the four things you need to understand BEFORE even trying to create a loveable internet brand:
1. The (Domain) Name Is Important, But…
First things first.
Having a loveable internet brand doesn’t mean having a cutesy domain name that we love. Or at least, it doesn’t mean having just that. Don’t get me wrong. And don’t get .ME wrong. We’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of examples of unique uses of the .ME domain name. About.Me sounds good, while BuildItWith.Me makes so much sense.
These kinds of uses show how a unique domain name such as .ME can help your brand stand out, but just registering a domain name is half the battle.
While we appreciate you thinking that you’re done when you get your domain, we won’t let you make the mistake of thinking you’ve setup a loveable internet brand. The domain is loveable, sure, but let’s make everything else as loveable.
What, you ask? This:
2. The People Maketh The (Loveable) Brand
A lot of branding advice comes from the experience of large companies that have thousands of employees, but we’re living in a new age where small SMBs and startups can compete with the big boys in the global markets.
And there’s something that all these SMBs have that even corporations can learn from: Exceptional people! Loveable people!
Just look at Gary Vaynerchuk. The author of ‘Crush It’ and ‘Jab, Jab – Right Hook’ is one of the most loveable internet marketing experts out there. It was his personality that helped US wine lovers accept his family company Wine Library as the go-to place to buy wine online. How? A podcast.
It’s not like other SMBs, startups or corporations don’t have loveable people working for them, but in most cases they stay hidden in the background. In our case, the ‘background’ means staying offline.
And there is no need for that.
Just look at Intercom, a startup that lets companies “chat” with their users and customers right on their website, thanks to a widget that you can easily install in just a few minutes. While the software works great in anticipating a user’s next step and then offering a suggestion in the form of a chat box similar to Facebook Messenger, it’s the human factor that’s important.
It’s not like we don’t like nice interfaces, but the idea of having a person send us a message is just so… loveable! It’s more personal, more social and far more appropriate, where social networks such as Snapchat and Facebook, as well as social domain names such as .ME, shine!
Using either the software similar to Intercom’s, blogs such as the ones we’ve been teaching you to set up, or social media profiles, you can put the people behind your brand in the front lines!
Don’t hide them.
If you had a physical store, you would notice that your customers like Mike, right? If you had a restaurant, you want a great waiter such as Susan to help people LOVE your restaurant. Well Joe, who is helping ship all your products, is as loveable, so… Put him online!
3. From A Team To A Community
Ok, Joe is online, yay.
But what about your customers? You might have them as numbers in your webshop’s database, or IDs in your WordPress blog list, but you know that they are more than that for you! They might regularly comment on your blog, buy products or even contribute to the project as a whole.
Businesses sometimes have a hard time thinking about their customer base as a community, but you’d be surprised how simple it is to activate your users and get them excited – just like they truly were a tight-knit community.
Think about it. Most of your customers probably share the same interests and values because they’ve picked YOUR (soon to be loveable) internet brand to buy services or products from!
Just look at .ME! We have the most passionate domain professionals, constantly active around the content we produce in the form of this blog, newsletters, etc.
4. Solve 1 (Read: One) Problem
If you try to stand for everything, you might fall for anything!
I had a conversation recently with a colleague from a large European bank. Her problem: The bank had an internet brand that was far from loveable. While very useful, this internet brand was a website with a particular, although very broad, target market.
Because banks are used to providing a lot of services to us, such as loans or transfers, this internet project of theirs evolved as one-stop-shop for their target market. Unfortunately, other players in the industry did most of the jobs better – for just one reason. They did ONE SINGLE thing right. One thing.
These other websites didn’t really have outstanding people like Gary Vaynerchuk that went out as ambassadors, and they didn’t try to create a community. Remember the research we noted earlier? Well, the researches say:
In a series of interviews with 60 other participants, researchers found that people spoke of their affection for a brand as something more of an exchange, like: What can this brand give me that other brands can’t?
That’s what made all our examples loveable. Like a Superhero who didn’t care about being loved by anyone, they got a particular problem solved and disappeared. A great example is Google, a service we all use. Why do we love Google? While Google (Alphabet, sorry) has branched out into various areas, Google at its core solves the universal problem of finding stuff on the internet. And in the world.
Another great example is PayPal.Me, a recently launched services from the world’s premium payment service. PayPal.Me itself is becoming a loveable internet brand by focusing on solving just one specific problem and that’s sending money to me – or you – or our friends. That’s it.
Now you know some of the essential steps that can help make your internet brand loveable, but how do you go about making it all work?
Next: The Loveable Internet Brand Blueprint
Since we have you excited about creating a loveable internet brand, do your research and in our next article, we’ll focus on the blueprint you can use to create a lovable internet brand such as About.Me and PayPal.Me – in just ten days!