Last week, Peter Shankman joined us for Day 1 of Brand Camp to discuss how to generate sustainable brand awareness for your business.

During his talk, Peter laid out four key components that come together to form a relatable, trustworthy, and profitable brand identity. He shared that it’s rarely about “sell, sell, sell.” Endearing yourself to potential customers can be a much stronger sales tool than the hard sell.

Creating a transparent and positive customer experience is essential to developing an “in-person relationship” without ever meeting face-to-face. “Experience is the new currency,” and Peter’s four points drive at the heart of creating the type of experience that gets results for your business.

1. Transparency

“As consumers, we expect you to lie,” Peter states. While this expectation might seem to be a disadvantage for brands, Peter goes on to explain that it actually sets a very attainable benchmark for trustworthiness. Simply being straightforward and honest with your customers will set you apart from many of the less forthcoming businesses operating today. “Own when you screw up, because you’re going to.”

That honesty and willingness to admit when you’re wrong is exactly the quality that will create brand loyalists who may be initially frustrated by your misstep, but will ultimately be grateful for your openness.

2. Relevance

Peter’s second key to creating a positive brand identity comes down to staying at top of customers’ minds and putting your marketing in the places that they are most likely to see it. “Ask your audience. Sit down and talk to them and say, ‘Hey, how do you like to get your information?’” If you want to understand what your audience will connect with, just ask them.

Not only will this provide you with actionable information, the very act of reaching out to your customers, soliciting their feedback, and implementing it will demonstrate that you value them and their opinions, and you’re willing to change based on their input.

With these new brand loyalists in tow, you’ll be able to use their enthusiasm for your brand to win new customers through word of mouth. “No one believes how great you are if you’re the one who has to tell them,” Peter notes.

3. Brevity

Attention span just isn’t what it used to be, and brands, not consumers, are the ones that need to adapt. “Become a better communicator. Good brevity is good writing,” Peter argues. Video creators are no strangers to the idea that you need to hook your audience quickly, but being brief while still communicating your point can be easier said than done, and the more videos your create, the easier it becomes.

4. Top of Mind

Finally Peter shares that being at the top of customers’ minds is an extremely influential component of the decision-making process. “How can you reach out to your audience on a regular basis, what can you say to them to get them involved, how can you help them.” And that help idea is crucial. Consistently providing helpful information to your customers can elevate you to trusted confidant status, boosting that “in-person relationship.”

Rather than self promoting, determining how can you help, how can you make yourself an asset to the customer, is the most organic way to stay at top of mind.

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