We see it often, brands that have mixed messages and inconsistent or disjointed imagery - this happens when brands lack understanding about themselves and their audience.
Before commencing any marketing activities, it’s crucial to get to know your brand and its purpose to ensure you have all your ducks in a row before grabbing the gun.
#1. Get your values and purpose right first
Before you start marketing your brand, you need to be sure you know its core values and the purpose of the business (what it’sthere to do or provide to its customers) Have a think about: What is your brand designed to do? Help people? Make processes easier? Solve a problem? Make customer feel good, look good?
- What part of your brand, do you feel is the X factor, that ‘something’ that no-one else has? What is your brand’s point of difference?
- What key values are ‘non negotiable’ for your brand?
- Why do you think your brand product or service is better than others? How can you position your brand to best compete?
You really need to get to the core of the how are your brand is different and why you exist in the marketplace.
#2. Let your personality shine!
Marketing-savvy as we are, your customers can recognise hard sells. Boring or pushy marketing messages are no longer effective - brands need to show personality, resonate with the audience on a more personal level. Customer service needs to be more human. Have a sense of humour, unique personality, don’t be afraid to be different!
#3. Speak ‘to’ your audience, not ‘at’ it
The days of marketing being pushing people to buy what we want them to buy, when we want them to buy and how we want them to buy it are long gone. You need to understand your audience first, the needs, their habits and preferences. Find out how they interact with your brand, or competition brands, what resonates and tailor your offering and communications accordingly. Be where they are, both physically and in digital space. Advertise in relevant places, at relevant time. Use their language, tone of voice that is suitable, that they will relate to. Listen to feedback and adapt.
#4. Be consistent with your marketing messages
Think of your brand as a radio station that beams out a signal. It needs to have one consistent tone, one voice, one theme for audiences to tune into. Businesses with mixed messages, designs and overall looks confuse their audiences and minimise their memorability and brand loyalty. Make sure your message is consistent, loud and clear across print, web, social and other media. That way your market audience will understand your brand and remember you.
#5. Constantly test, both internally & externally
No one will understand your brand better than your market - and at times no one is as brutally honest! There are many ways of obtaining market insights: customer surveys, feedback forms or even mystery shoppers - these will help you to gather feedback, shape and align your brand to your market needs and expectations. Your own staff also provide valuable insights as they already have a good sense of the values and purpose of the brand. It also helps the staff to know the brand better, sell it better, while shaping an inclusive company culture.
If you require any further information or assistance about branding or would like us to run market focus groups, online surveys or mystery shopping for your brand - contact us today on 1300 099 795
If you’d still like more free info about understanding your brand, download our FREE Brand Checklist here, it has 18 fundamentals needed to make sure you have all the right elements in place to build a strong and successful brand.
Written by: Craig Edwards (brand consultant / director)