Branding your family business

By Travis Coley

Consider making your family business digital-first

Dominatingdigital real estate is the next frontier for family-owned businesses that want to evolve, innovate and lead. Think of the mobile phone screen as Monopoly’s Boardwalk. If you can own that corner of your industry, your family will be well positioned for years to come.

Think about it. This digital screen now gets a disproportionate share of our time each day — up to four hours per day from the average adult. Your company’s ability to push content, capture data and drive a sublime user experience is an untapped opportunity in front of you.

Many of the family-owned and B2B businesses we counsel remain mobile skeptics. We continue to hear from their leadership that digital, ecommerce and social media are not drivers of their business or customer experience channels: Their industry remains relationship-focused.

Our response? Great. Then build an even deeper relationship with your clients, partners, resellers or employees through their phone.

How to Become Digital-First

If you’re starting from zero, becoming a digital-first company is a daunting, but doable, task. Are you great in person but only so-so in the virtual world? You need to fix that. Wow your customers by creating a seamless, user-friendly mobile experience that mirrors all of your in-person capabilities and gives them the option of engaging with your brand from wherever they (and their phone) are. Be digital-first internally, too, by using technology to solve a business problem, empower your sales force, improve an internal process or experience and collect data on your market. In a digital-first world, the leading companies dominate the digital corner in their industry.

The Park Place to Your Digital Boardwalk

Broadcast and traditional mass media no longer work. Hyper personalization is now the gold standard and future of marketing. Social media is the digital Park Place to your company’s Boardwalk (mobile experience), and in order for one to be successful, you have to have the other. Just as a killer app can drive competitive advantage, hyper-personalization on Twitter, Linkedin or Instagram will take your business to a new level.

By putting your customers, community and constituents at the center of your social media feeds, you help create personalization, build community, leverage authenticity and break through the noise of the crowded internet and boring email.

The ultimate goal is to work each day to drive experiences that wow your customers or employees and create true conversations. Can you get your online community to wax poetic about your product or service? Can you get your employees to post about how much they value working for your company or family? Can you get them to share on social media? Do they care enough to share? Your job as leaders is to create experiences, moments, products and services worth talking about. We call them stories worth sharing. Today, it's the cheapest and most effective form of advertising.

The post-pandemic environment requires business leaders to intentionally rethink how they play the game. There is an accelerated need for companies to become digitally nimble and implement omni-channel strategies to create resilience and longevity.

Travis Coley is the director of growth and strategy at Whitepenny.






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