Sometimes, in life and online, we have to share bad news or enforce a rule. We’ve all seen it before: that note in the ladies’ room telling you what you can and can’t flush, for instance. Something went wrong, so the company is trying to keep a disaster from occurring again. But putting up such signs could be a missed opportunity for branding and engagement with your audience.
Setting Up the Rules of Business
People are going to break or bend rules. And you, as the brand evangelist, have to set them right again. Unfortunately, most people are going to frame the rule around the rule itself—“Our rule is…”—and no one is going to listen to that. It falls on deaf ears. What if you could take that opportunity to ensure some branding and engagement instead?
One recent rule that affected nearly all businesses was GDPR. Companies had to send out a notice, and most notices were received like watching paint dry. They were boring. They didn’t brand anything; they didn’t engage the reader. It was another missed opportunity.
So how can you turn an otherwise not-so-great—or even super boring!—message into something that helps build your brand and market your company?
To Increase Branding and Engagement, Make It Interesting
First of all, when you’re reaching out to your audience, you need to make it interesting. I’m begging you right now; make it interesting! We’ve all seen the same signs, but it’s that something different that catches our attention. How can you be different?
Obviously, “interesting” is subjective, right? Look to your brand voice. If you’re usually more traditional, you don’t want to go off brand to be a new kind of interesting. Instead, maybe you can catch your audience off guard with something like: “Well, bad news is not always bad news.” You could do something great with it!
One effective way to increase branding and engagement, and make it interesting, is with humor. Have you seen that typical ladies’ room sign infused with a little humor? Just something to make you say huh and pay attention? Something funny will stick with people. Humor and a little unexpected messaging can go a long way. Maybe you can even pull in something that’s not related and make it related. That’s what makes the message interesting.
Use Your Brand’s Voice
When you have a solid voice for your brand, it’s easy to incorporate that into your message. Maybe you’re sassy, sarcastic, or formal. Use that tone of voice to relay information and reinforce your branding and engagement. Even the simplest of signs can incorporate your brand’s voice and help to keep your message consistent.
Make Them Care
It’s imperative to find out your audience’s “give a damn.” Think about it: If you’re sending a message about the GDPR, for example, you want people to be engaged and care. But what will make them care? That’s what you need to tap in to.
If you’re sharing rules that exclude non-members, could you make the audience care because they want to be involved? That would be a huge reason to care: to belong. After all, who doesn’t want to be a member of the cool kids’ club?
What if you’re sharing rules to make the business run more smoothly, as in the ladies’ room rules? Unless you’re talking to a plumber, she’s probably not going to care. Consider how flushing the wrong things could affect their life, their experience with your company. Then you may be on your way to making readers “give a damn.”
Stop missing opportunities for branding and engagement purely because you’re more focused on sharing the rules than on your customers’ experience. Put yourself in their shoes, make your message interesting, and use your brand voice. And you can turn rules into opportunities.