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Rules of Brand Etiquette: Moving Relationships Forward Faster

In today’s marketing environment, brands have more opportunities to interact with their audiences than ever before. Unfortunately, this fact also opens the door for brand behavior that repels, rather than attracts and converts.

So, how do you ensure not only that your brand has good etiquette but also that its behavior is working hard for you in achieving your goals?

The answer is as simple as implementing a small set of rules for excellent brand behavior. And, fortunately, you don’t have to invent your rules from scratch.

What follows is our short course on brand etiquette for building better relationships and, therefore, faster success.

Don’t Be Coy and Confusing – Be Clear 

Communicating in convoluted ways will deteriorate your company’s brand every time and may result in lost opportunities. For example, website navigation that uses “cute” titles rather than clear indicators of what information will be found within each section sacrifices clear communication for “personality” and is not a worthwhile trade-off.

Be clear and concise while still infusing communications with your brand’s personality – it is worth the effort it takes to do this well. 

Do Make Sure Your Brand Responds – and Not Just to Inquiries 

Marketing is a two-way conversation. If you have a good marketing strategy (and specifically, a good content marketing strategy), your audience will interact with – and make inquiries about – your brand.

Since many profitable business relationships often begin casually, it’s important to take even the smallest interaction initiated by your audiences seriously. After all, even a simple “like” is a show of support for your company. So, if you’re not manning all of your brand touchpoints, you’re likely missing major opportunities to start new relationships.

Especially with digital communications, you have to make sure that every interaction receives a response with timeliness appropriate for each channel. For example, Twitter requires almost immediate response; LinkedIn’s InMail can be a little slower; and your online contact form can be even slower, as long as your form indicates your anticipated response time. 

Don’t Propose Marriage to People Your Brand Barely Knows

We’ve all had the experience of agreeing to connect with an individual on social media only to receive a sales message the minute we click “accept.” Annoying. And it’s not just the individual behind the profile who gets the bad rep but also the brand s/he represents. Brand perception suffers greatly, and the company is likely to lose any chance of a marketing contact in the future. Instead of jumping right into the sales conversation, allow your brand to get to know the people it’s interacting with – just as you would if you were meeting someone in person for the first time.

Do Help Others 

It’s basic good manners to offer assistance to those in need, and your brand can be the first to step up and offer help to others. Be on the lookout for opportunities to answer questions, provide information and share your brand’s expertise with those who are asking for help indirectly – for example, within online groups or expert forums. Companies that are always the first on the scene with good information (sans the link to their own sales page) get noticed and fast become the go-to resource for their audiences. Don’t assume the person you are responding to is ready for a meeting – you’ll know when the time is right to take the relationship to the next level.

An End Note on Etiquette

Of course, the above is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Rules of Brand Etiquette. The key is to ensure that your brand acts as a real person who builds real relationships with real people.

This mindset will encourage you to apply the basics of manners in everything your brand does – and those basics are all that’s required. Just remember all the things your mother taught you: be kind, be helpful, and be engaging. It’s as simple as that.

Good brand behavior also requires thinking through your entire customer experience blueprint. Read our article Make Your Customer Experience a Results Machine.


Let’s make sure your brand is behaving in a way that results in strong relationships and a healthy bottom line. Contact us to discuss conducting a brand audit to assess the strength of your brand today and to learn what you can do to ensure that it’s even stronger tomorrow. Call 410-732-8379 or email brand@substance151.com.