If your brand is not about you, what is it about?
Last week we talked about brand mistakes. We danced around the topic of how you need to connect to your audience, but we never came out and said the words, “Your Brand is NOT About YOU!”
So, if the statement “Your Brand is NOT about YOU!” is true, then what is it really about? Simply put, your brand is about the relationship you’ve built with your audience….Which can mean a LOT of things!
It’s not just simply taking the words “I”, “Me”, “Us”, “Our”, and “We” out of our vocabulary. It takes a concerted effort to truly understand your audience if you’re going to be able to connect with them in a meaningful way.
Here are the main points we discuss in the episode on how to ensure you are keeping your focus on your customers.
#1. Be Authentic
How does your target audience perceive you? Don’t know? Ask them.
- The only way you’re going to come across as “authentic” is:
- 1- You actually are authentic.
- 2- You’re consistent with everything and true to your brand strategy.
- 3- You’re predictable – because of your consistency.
- 4- Nothing in your marketing or messaging comes across as ‘forced’ or ‘contrived’ or ‘insincere.’
- 5- Your strategy is based on the same emotions your customers feel when they interact with you.
- The only way you’re going to come across as “authentic” is:
#2. Create Personas
If you haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend going through the process of identifying your audience personas. This will identify all of their Demographics (who they are, age, gender, income, family relationships, where they live, etc.) & psychographics (what’s in their brain, how they feel, motivations, fears, interests, passions, buying patterns, etc.)
This process will not only help you identify your ideal client but will help you focus on them. It will make you wayyyyy more efficient in your marketing.
Bottom line: Since your brand is the relationship you build with your audience, it makes sense that you should do everything in your power to understand your audience. The opposite of this (and too many companies are guilty of this), is to try and be everything to everyone.
#3. Use the Right Words
Your brand needs to use “the right words!” Of course, unless you’re a first-time listener, you know we have word banks for each of the archetypes. These are available for $29.95 and have pages and pages of words and phrases that can be sprinkled throughout your marketing and messaging. But, this idea goes beyond simple word selection. Here are some other word related tips:
- Know your industry jargon: Buzz words, jargon, slang … these can all be helpful in describing the nuances of an industry but be careful. Sometimes, they can just be confusing to those who aren’t in the know. If you truly know your audience, you can pick and choose when and where you can sprinkle these words and ideas into your mix successfully.
- Client’s Inner Dialogue: Do you know how your audience feels about you? Have you ever asked them? Not only will this point out to you if you’re successfully conveying your brand’s big ideas, but it can also lead you to approaches that are more focused and tailored to your audience. Again, you can’t do these kinds of things without knowing your audience – think personas.
- Ask yourself, “What gets ME excited?” Chances are if you get excited about something, it’s because it’s unique, special, or totally awesome. If you’re jazzed, chances are it rubs off on your audience. Pick and choose words, phrases, and ideas that revolve around these concepts and you can’t really go wrong.
Our next big idea involves the concept of “positioning.” A LOT of brand strategists put a ton of time and energy into this idea. We don’t. Don’t get us wrong, this is a critically important idea and you really DO need to figure out how you’re going to position yourself, relative to your competitors and within your market. BUT (and there’s always a big butt), this is NOT what will make your brand powerful and successful.
Instead of worrying about how you pit yourself against your competitors, focus all that energy on building better and stronger relationships with your customers. Instead of worrying too much about market trends, put that energy into finding new and better ways of supporting your already established archetype strategy.
To be clear: We DO recommend that you put some time and energy into figuring out your competition and your market…but these should be dramatically less important to you than brand strategy building.
#5. Use Testimonials Creativity
Are you collecting testimonials? If not, you should! The more you collect, the more you get to pick and choose which ones help you reinforce your brand ideas.
However, let’s turn this around. If you analyze what people say about you (whether you use it in your marketing or not) and what words/phrases they’re using in their descriptions, you can get a feel for how effective your brand strategy is.
For example: Let’s say you’re a Lover brand. If the words and phrases in your testimonials are high energy, passionate and exciting, then you’re rocking it! If they’re soft and subdued, maybe you need to ramp up your attention to your brand’s Lover strategy.
#6. Nurture Raving Fans
Your customers DO talk about you behind your back. BTW, this is a good thing. The real questions are, “what are they saying?”, and, “How often do they say it?” Your goal is to create fans … raving, lunatic, rabid fans … ones who will fall on a sword for you … ones who will rant and rave and espouse you until their dying days.
The opposite of this is selling your product or service (which is good), but finding out this happy customer never feels compelled to suggest you to a friend, talk about you on social media, buy from you again, or anything else a raving fan might do. It’s super hard to get your word-of-mouth marketing going if this is how your customers feel and behave.
The Wrap Up
So, there you have it – great ways to ensure you are focusing on your clients more than your business. Now, go out at tell all your friends and colleagues how much this podcast episode helped you. Rave about it. Leave us a review. Thank you!
Questions? Call us! … What challenges are you having with your brand? What are you doing that is working well? We would LOVE to hear your story.