Building Your Brand:
What’s Love Got to Do With It

branding coach and strategist, Liz Dennery Sanders, encourages brands to love more by holding up a post-it with the message

I’m sharing a very important Valentine’s Day-themed secret with you: the key to creating a compelling brand is to find your people and love them hard.

I wrote a post a while back about why anger is good for your brand. Anger is often passion in disguise and it’s certainly a powerful motivator that can keep you dedicated to your cause and perhaps the reason you started your business in the first place. But it is the love for your work and love for the people you serve that creates a powerful, resonant brand. As they say, “love conquers all.”

I started SheBrand more than a decade ago at the intersection of my branding and marketing work and my philanthropic pursuits with at-risk women and girls. In an unjust and patriarchal world, my passion is growing the impact and influence of women and creating equity. I help brands communicate and engage more effectively with the women they care about.

My love for the women we serve grows every year and even though I am unable to work directly with the thousands of women who reach out to us and follow my journey on social media, we make every effort to connect and share the love with everyone in our community.

I have been writing on our blog for more than 10 years, offering branding, marketing, and PR advice, along with my own life insights and epiphanies, hoping they will bring comfort, hope and direction to those who are reading. We have created a ton of free worksheets to help you build your brand – you can pick a couple of them up here and here, and you can sign up for a free copy of my new e-book, The 50-point Brand Health Checklist. We send gifts, cards, and treats on the regular to our clients to let them know we’re thinking about them.

I am active on our social media accounts and respond to as many incoming email inquiries as I can. And when I can’t keep up, my long-time assistant and Customer Love Coordinator, Jennifer, is at the ready.

In other words, we show up. We give without expectation of return; we practice what we preach. Our favorite marketing strategy is to light the candle and spread the love.

Is it surprising that one of my favorite days of the year (second only to my birthday) is Valentine’s Day?!

Usually, the things that I see too many people focused on like Facebook ads and funnels, sales pages, and conversion rates, and not enough on why they began the work they’re doing and how they can love their people harder, is often the reason their brand isn’t growing.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for these things – metrics and KPI’s (key performance indicators) are incredibly important to track. But metrics don’t mean sh*t if your brand doesn’t have a heartbeat.

SheBrand founder and branding coach, Liz Dennery Sanders wears a shirt with text encouraging businesses and brands to love more

Here are five steps to breathing some love and life into your brand’s pulse:

Make sure the light is on. Your people need to feel your presence. You must show up – on social channels, on your blog, in email marketing, in person – in whatever tools and ways you use to connect with your audience. Be the light and spread the light.

Share your passion and your story. Why did you start your business in the first place? Why did you create your product or service? Share the reasons behind your bigger WHY and why we should care on all of your platforms. Your passion, authenticity and commitment to your cause will grow your audience of people who believe what you believe.

Give freely and unconditionally. How can you serve those who may not be able to pay for your product and/or services right now? How can you help/inspire/educate/entertain as many people as possible? Today’s follower may be tomorrow’s customer. The care you show – especially for those who can do nothing for you – is more important than ever.

Ask for testimonials and reviews. No longer is the traditional media in charge of how information is consumed. In fact, most people get their recommendations and referrals from friends and family and Googling (or Yelping) reviews and testimonials. Ask current and past customers to share their love for you, your product or service online. This is one of the fastest ways today to grow your brand recognition.

Surprise and delight your customers. What could you do that’s unexpected? How can you make your clients smile and imprint a positive memory? Glossier includes fun stickers with every package that’s sent out. Victoria Beckham Beauty includes a silk scrunchie with every makeup order so you can pull your hair back when it’s time to remove it. GOOP sends a VIP email to their list 24 hours before each new collection is announced publicly so their community has first dibs on all the most stylish offerings. Political candidate, Jessica Lall, who is currently running for Mayor of Los Angeles, makes personal thank you calls to campaign donors as often as she can.

Showing up. A personal touch. Delighting your customers. Helping and giving without expectation of return. This is how love builds your brand.

Let’s make caring cool again.

xoxo liz