There’s an old line of sales advice that says, ‘People don’t buy things, people buy people’. It may sound like a clichéd selling mantra but there is still some truth in it. More and more, people want to know the story behind the brand. How it came from an idea into reality, and how it relates to them.
Social media has seen a rise in people being able to connect with businesses directly. We are getting a look behind the curtain. Brands are keen to show what drives them. It can be hard to know where to start when branding your business so we are discussing how to use your personal story to create an effective and stylish brand.
Faceless corporations are often criticised for being just that, faceless. There is no connection between them and the customer. Bland, soulless and impersonal. Think about these words, often used to describe the corporate experience. They describe the company and the service, not the product. There has to be a story behind why you do what you do, why it is important to you. Showing that you care about what you do is the only way to get other people to care too.
This isn't reserved for small businesses or start-ups, big corporations are always trying to capture ‘Human stories’ and show personality behind their brand. Think of Coke’s latest effort; branding each bottle to be shared with a specific name. It puts personal interactions and experience at the forefront of what it is offering, the product is almost secondary.
So, with vacation rentals you already offer experiences. But now you can show how you built this business. How every booking made has the weight of your brand and personality behind it. Why you made it, and why you love it. It is what makes your business unique and relevant. Use your personality and charm to show why you chose this business, why it means a lot to you, and why you are good at it.
This doesn’t have to be a complete backstory of everything to led you to where you are, but just some elements of your personality. Not only is it engaging for your customers but it builds trust and confidence. People will be able to see a human behind your business, they will want to empathise and trust.
We imagine things you could include in your website or your brand. What parts of these could you include in your properties? The best way to start a personal brand is to think back through your business, and what are the most important parts of it to you. What aspects of your business and service do you consider to be the most important?
What inspired you to choose vacation rentals?
What is your background, what made you give up your previous job and start here?
How did you start your business?
Was it difficult? Did you have a partner? What would you do differently?
Who are the people behind your business?
Is it a family run business? Do you run things yourself? These are the people that your customers will connect with.
What is individual and interesting about your business?
Think about what makes you stand out from the others, what is different about you and your business.
How can you set yourself apart and succeed in your industry?
Where are you looking to head in the future?
So ask yourself these questions. Think about how you have got to where you are and what makes your business unique and interesting. People will engage with this, genuine passion and commitment will build trust with your customers and make them happy and confident to book with you. You can use the answers to these questions to think about your company name, slogan and images.
Your brand should be reflective of these ideas. It should also be consistent and clear throughout your business. By the time you have created and implemented it, it should be recognisable as your business and synonymous with the quality and service you provide.