I bought a cookbook. Nothing really remarkable about that. I do like a good cookbook. What was intriguing for me, was how I bought it. Not the credit card I used, or the counter I walked up to, but how, at that moment, I chose to pick up the book and carry it to the counter.
I was shopping with my kids. I’d just bought them some afternoon tea and remembered something I wanted which was an insignificant, less than $10 purchase, but I quickly walked into the department store while they sat outside and waited.
As I was looking for the kitchen area, I walked past the cookbook section. And not just out of the corner of my eye, but directly smack bang into my face was the cookbook with this idyllic scene of a lady and her dog on a country style lane, and I instantly had to have it.
Throughout the entire transaction process, I knew it was an unnecessary purchase. I didn’t need the book, my groaning bookshelf in my kitchen was testament to that. And hello, google, who needs another book??
But logic was not making this decision for me. This decision was about emotion, who I was, and who I wanted to be.
I wanted to be the lady in the picture.
She was healthily glowing. She was outdoors. She had a dog.
Trifecta right there for me I guess.
Right now I’m those things, but maybe not feeling the healthily glowing bit, so perhaps that was the deal breaker bit, the bit that was sealing the deal.
The point of my story, is that the image sold it for me. I didn’t even know what sort of cookbook it was. I didn’t pour over its pages before I bought it. I didn’t know the author and think, “oh I need to have that one.” I didn’t even know the price. I simply picked it up and wanted to buy it because of the photograph on the cover.
It turns out its about plant based eating. Conveniently, I have a teens experimenting with vegetarianism, so that actually was quite relevant to me. However, I didn’t know that bit until I’d waved my credit card over the reader and carried it outside the store.
That is the power good photography has on a product and on a brand. Photography that is relevant and connects with the audience. When an image draws someone into the narrative and puts them in the picture, the brand story is all about the customer and how they view themselves. That’s a successful brand story right there. The brand is reaching out of the product, grabbing the customer’s hand and saying, “how can we help you?”
The big part of this story is, not only does the photography have to be decent, it has to speak to your customer. Your customer avatar needs to be at the forefront of your mind, when you are communicating with your clients, whether visually or using words. I wanted to be the girl in the picture, so the image spoke to me as a customer.
Think about your customer each time you speak to them, think about how they will connect with your brand and what message you are sending them about who you are and how that matters to them.
After all, a brand is nothing without a customer who is ready to talk back.
You know how it goes. You wake up in the morning, drink your morning coffee, get on Facebook Business Centre to see if you’ve had any success with your social media ads overnight and , BAM, you are hit between the eyes with a negative Facebook review.
Unfounded or not, its actually irrelevant. Facebook won’t remove it; you’d need some specialist, sweet talking ads expert in your pocket who is also in theirs to get rid of those comments, but, all is not lost. You have a couple of ways you can go with this.
What to do?
First and foremost, you should report it to Facebook as being Unfair. Regardless of how fruitless it will most likely be, the unfair button is there and we should use it.
Secondly, I would suggest responding to the reviewer. By ignoring it, you are telling anyone reading it, that you don’t care what people think. By acting angry and getting defensive, says more about you than the reviewer, and does nothing for your brand.
My rule of thumb is, always sleep on it. Give yourself a day to calm the emotional side down and respond without emotion, but within your brand voice.
What does that mean, within your brand voice?
Simply reply with your customers in mind, not the reviewer. Think about how you would like a future customer to see the real you. Reply in a way that does not react, it informs. Inform your customer, how you will treat them and how you expect to be treated in return. Do you want people to walk all over you and think you’ll do whatever they want to keep you happy? Hell to the no. Do you want your audience to see you as a partner, someone who believes that they are valued and their opinion is worthy of a justified response? Absolutely. Ensure that any future customer reads that response, and feels more confident about working with you, rather than concerned with how you will respond to negative feedback.
Sometimes its great to ask a question?
Thank you so much for your review. We are saddened by your thoughts regarding working with our company as we hold our customer service to the highest standard. I am having trouble seeing your account in our system though, so if you could please PM me to give me some more details I would like to get to bottom of the problem asap.
Feel free to use that little paragraph by the way 😊 You would be surprised how many times I have seen reviews disappear of their own accord because you called them out in this way, without being rude, but also, letting the reviewer know, there is a person behind the business.
Also, if you did mess up. Own it! People have so much more respect for you when you do.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review our business. At this stage, I 100% agree with what you are saying. We had a rough start to our working relationship, but we have put so many systems in place to ensure we fix the problem, and are sure that this little speed bump is just that, it’s a glitch in the system, and we are working towards a much stronger way forward. Thanks again, knowing how we can grow is more important than knowing how amazing we are. Our busines is bigger than that. I’ll be in touch in the next day or so to discuss how we can make this right.
Feel free to use that too 😊
Of course, anything defamatory is something you should definitely speak to your lawyer about. But hopefully those little bits of advice can help in some way.
Remember, its not your words, but your actions that will define you and more importantly, will define how others see you in this aspect of your business.
Be true to your brand, and the negatives become positive relationships in the end.
Subscribe to receive my Email Marketing Checklist
No spammy messages, only solid content to keep your marketing and photography on point. You’ll also get some free stock images to use on your own marketing content from my personal library.