Remember when brands were just for cows? Okay, maybe not. But even though you never became a cowboy like your childhood self always wanted, you can still create the baddest business in the industry—er, the West. Except you’re not dealing with cows. You’re dealing with multifaceted, intelligent people: consumers. Branding is an immensely important part of your strategic marketing plan, so here are some ideas on how to beef it up.

Be consistent. Use the same username and handle for all your company’s social media accounts—it makes you easier to find. Use the same style of design offline and online; color, font, and logo are just a few. Unless you’re like us and have multiple clients with different brands and audiences, use the same voice across all your correspondence and advertising. If you have a style guide, follow it. If not, develop one. Make sure everyone in your company is on board too.

Be human. No one likes talking to robots (especially on the phone). So don’t sound like one. If you’re speaking or writing on behalf of your company, relate to customers on a human level. Don’t hide behind jargon and convoluted phrases. The more like a person you sound, the more relatable you will be.

Be up-front and present. Tell people what to expect from your brand and deliver on promises. Honesty is the best policy. Move quickly and communicate clearly in times of crisis. Acknowledge mistakes, fix them, and apologize. Otherwise, the situation will only get worse and your brand will lose credibility, customers, and possibly stakeholders.

Interact. Consumers are a part of your team. They read, like, comment, reblog, retweet, and share posts, something companies these days have come to rely on. When your content is relevant—especially if it’s funny and not trying too hard—people will pass it along. Let customers interact and shape your brand.

Use multiple platforms. Advertising is everywhere, so you have to be clever to stand out. There are tons of mediums you can take advantage of: billboards, print, radio, TV, and the all-important Internet. Be original, but stay true to your brand.

Have fun. Life is hard and business can be rough, but if you enjoy creating and promoting your brand, so will your customers. Making people smile is a good way to get their attention and potentially their loyalty.

Follow our Twitter for more branding tips and other fun stuff. Now that you know the basics, go out there and wrangle some business with that spiffy brand of yours.