FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Harley-Davidson bar and shield is arguably one of the most recognized logos in the world. It’s on everything from shirts and hats to teddy bears and coffee mugs. And oh, by the way, it’s also on the company’s motorcycles.
That’s a brand, and the highest evolution of the species. People not only recognize the logo, but exactly what it stands for: terms like “rebel,” “rugged” and “individual” immediately spring to mind. When a brand reaches that pinnacle, customers connect with it on a much deeper level, and identify with those traits. The brand has become an experience. Don’t make the mistake, however, of assuming that branding of this kind is only for Fortune 500 companies.
Brand consistency is instrumental in the healthy development and progression of any business, including Laundromats. A positive experience with your brand improves customer satisfaction and can help scale positive word-of-mouth that’s absolutely priceless.
ADVANCED BRAND BUILDING
Establishing and maintaining a recognizable and trusted brand is truly an art form. Laundromat owners must turn their brand into an experience for their customers. Here are four ways to change your company from just a brand to an experience by utilizing social media:
- Use photos — Photos and videos help convey actual experience, and they increase engagement.
- Monitor and respond — Engage in customer response on social media.
- Publicly reward your fans — Every brand has advocates. Celebrate them online. It makes interacting with your brand more fun. Publicly thanking them and posting replies on your page help increase the engagement with your brand.
- Let customers share their experience — Create a place for customers to share their experience on your website or on a social network.
Events can be a nice way to build that link between your brand and fans. At the very least, think about hosting a store anniversary event each year. Small experiences like this are interaction opportunities, while also offering up additional content to enhance your social media and web presence.
KEEP A WIDER VIEW
Don’t lose focus of what your business is. It’s always a good idea to craft a calendar of posts to work off of. Keep content fresh but relevant to your audience. Laundry tips, equipment videos, stain guide links, etc., can all be helpful and spark shares and comments with your group. Help promote the industry as well by showing how vended laundries can be a more environmentally friendly option for washing clothes. Such messaging also helps position your business in a progressive light.
It doesn’t always have to be about wash-and-dry cycles and detergent. Keep an eye on pop culture and what’s going on. Quite often, the trends and things people are talking about on a wider view can be localized to your brand as an opportunity to get people talking.
Give your store’s fans a say in things. They spend almost as much time in the store as you. Open up conversations about additional amenities, the equipment capacities they like most, etc. You will gain business insights, create interactions and, again, build loyalty with your laundry’s fans.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I don’t have time, money, or a marketing team to build a brand for my laundry.” This, like paying bills, keeping up with store/machine maintenance, and auditing, is part of your business—something that has to be done. Make time to build a brand and connect with your customers.
Building your laundry’s brand doesn’t require a giant marketing budget or team of professionals. Doing it well in our business is about embracing the foundational elements of creating a unique name and company logo, implementing it with consistency, and carving out a web presence so potential customers can find you.
Businesses that provide great service and are dedicated to designing a brand that customers identify with tend to be far more successful than those that don’t. Therefore, it’s important not to ignore the creation of a brand, and maintaining it.
We all know how hard it can be to attract new customers versus maintaining good clients. Shouldn’t we do all we can to make sure those good customers are also good brand ambassadors helping attract new clients?
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.