When we engage in Brand Development and Discovery work, we seek out how to make meaningful connections between your business and your target consumer. We want to build a foundation that will lead to mutually beneficial relationships. What is brand development good for if we’re not considering the benefit of your target audience?
Your brand should accurately reflect the heart of the company: its mission and the contribution it makes to the lives of its customers. Unfortunately, without these guiding principles, companies make the mistake of talking too much about themselves or getting lost in features and benefits. They miss the opportunity to connect with their target market on that elevated level.
To create a meaningful brand marketing strategy that connects with consumers, we have to highlight those factors that will compel a user to choose you.
When I sit down with a new client to do a Discovery Project, I’m first going to ask why you’re doing the work you’re doing. I’ve met very few business owners who started businesses just to make money. They would never have stuck with it through the hard times if they did.
My favorite part of my job is to extract that story: why you started selling widgets out of your garage, or how, during the course of your day job, you listened to your customers complain of the same pain points every day — knowing that your current company was never going to solve that pain.
From the story of your business origins, we can extract and piece together what your mission is. Where is the heart of your business? What unique problem are you trying to solve, and for whom? That mission, the heart of your business, is the foundation upon which we’re going to develop a meaningful brand marketing strategy.
Consumers have innumerable options for who will solve their problems. Telling your story and letting your mission shine through your messaging is crucial in differentiating yourself from your competitors. That authenticity is the only chance you have of cutting through the noise and getting your message in front of your target market.
One mistake marketers often make is losing sight of why people spend money.
Most people aren’t looking to spend money just because they have nothing better to do with their cash. This seems like a common-sense statement, but marketers often inadvertently position products and services as impulse buys or some form of luxury.
People spend money to solve problems. They spend money to stop the pain. If you’re selling hiking boots, it’s important to distinguish that people don’t buy your hiking boots because they’re waterproof — they buy your waterproof hiking boots because they don’t want to hike with wet feet.
Once you’ve pinpointed the pain points you solve, you can shift your brand strategies to be customer-centric, and you can start building the framework for your messaging. Avoid brand marketing that only talks about your company’s history or features and benefits. First and foremost, you must speak to your target customer about the problem they’re experiencing.
Demonstrate to your target market that you understand their problem. Reassure your users that they have found the solution they’re looking for to stop the pain and that they will have a great experience with you.
Once you’ve thoroughly addressed your target’s pain, then – and only then – should you talk about yourself. You can discuss your differentiators, features, and benefits.
You might be surprised to see features and benefits incorporated near the bottom of this priority list. Traditional sales training teaches us that features and benefits are what sell products, right?
This advice is not accurate anymore, and it hasn’t been true for years. Getting carried away with comparisons makes your messaging about you where it should be about your user. People are getting blasted with brand marketing on every platform they can see. They do not care about you until you show them you care about them.
How often have you gone to a website that doesn’t immediately make clear what the company does? You’re reading about various features of the company’s product, but you’re not even sure what pain the product is solving yet!
We should use that prime real estate to talk to the user about them. Once you’ve gotten them interested in your solution, you can convince them that you’re the most desirable provider of that solution.
Do you provide unparalleled customer service? Money-back guarantees? Unique pricing structure or payment terms? Those things set you apart from your competitors and work to convince your prospects to make a buying decision in your favor. Even internal factors like a healthy company culture can set you apart in the eyes of your customers.
To develop a more meaningful brand marketing strategy, never lose sight of the fact that you are building your company on the idea of people changing other people’s lives for the better. Your brand’s impact on your market will depend on your focus on one goal: making someone else happier than they were before they met you.
Waypost’s brand purpose is to model the motives and actions of a trustworthy marketer. If you’d like a trustworthy marketer to help you with your own meaningful brand strategy, reach out to us and let’s talk.