branding is A LOT
Why branding can be compared to dating
How do you get your brand out there?
There are a thousand different strategies, filled to the brim with technical jargon and insider terminology that can sound like a second language. However, there’s a simpler, more human way to frame the assessment of your business. If you want to inject a fresh approach to your strategy, look at your brand like you’re hitting the dating scene.
When you think about it, branding progresses just like the matchmaking process – you’re developing a compelling profile, building up your confidence and propelling yourself out into the world because you truly believe you have something special to offer someone.
But sometimes, even though we know that we have so much to offer as a business, or as a person, we struggle to communicate our vision.
Does This Sound Like You?
You’re a business unsure of how to put itself out there; in the context of our metaphor here, a single person wading into the dating scene abuzz with excitement.
You see that your competitors are regularly attracting new clients and building their presence in the community. Amidst a crowd of businesses just like yours, you feel more uncertain of your marketing strategy. You feel trapped in the beginning stages of your journey and just can’t crack the code on connecting with the audience you know would relish what you have to offer them.
The similarities are striking indeed. Dating and branding can be more alike than you thought, so let’s see how thinking in this way can propel your business to success!
The first step in becoming the brand of your audience’s dreams is taking time to reflect. Understand who you are and what you want your brand to be. Be yourself. Think about what you want your brand to mean, and what you want your name to represent.
As they say, beauty is skin deep, which applies to brands today more than ever. Brands require a personality and a story that creates connections and engages with their audience. The brand story that you create must differentiate you from your competitors and invoke an emotional response. Customers need to know your intentions, rather than simply accepting their money for a product or service. They want to know how your brand is making a positive change.
Once you have developed your own compelling story, ensure that customer-facing employees understand this story and continue to share it.
In a dating context, you will save time and headaches when you know who you are and what you want. When you’re looking for a dream partner, what you’re really looking for is a person that ticks all your boxes. So, the deeper your understanding of those boxes you want ticked, the better prepared you are in finding them in a potential partner because you are confident in knowing what you want.
A branding specialist can help you understand your brand identity by building a buyer persona based on your overarching business mission. By understanding the customer you’re trying to reach, you learn how to tailor your marketing, customer service and anticipating their requirements and problems before they arise.
Becoming The Brand You Want to Be
After you’ve reaffirmed your business’ vision and know who you want to be as a brand, upgrade your business so that you wear your heart on your sleeve for all the world to see.
A striking brand image that demonstrates consistency between its visual identity and its messaging is the branding equivalent to showing up to date with a fresh set of tailored clothes, matching shoes and dressed to the nines.
Your visual identity exhibits an attention to detail and a tone for your business. Branding designers can transform specific words associated with your brand into relevant and engaging visuals to build chemistry with your audience. For example, if you want your brand to be seen as compassionate and personable, there are colours, typefaces and other design elements that will reflect that.
As with your visual identity, be consistent with your messaging. Voice is a crucial component in building rapport with your audience. A unique tone of voice in your content and copy, synchronised across your marketing platforms demonstrates coherence from your email ads all the way to your website. The quality of your messaging evokes the passion you have for your products and services, which will keep your audience wanting more.
Stepping Out There, And Staying Out There
Now that you have your brand and visual identity dialled in, get out there and make those connections. But while getting connected with your audience is cause for celebration, it’s only half the battle. When the person you’re looking to win over has a lot of attention from other admirers, you want to make sure that you’re top of the list. The same is true for brands. A high level of brand salience is the result of a strong brand and significant memorability and/or visibility. When a customer is ready to make a purchase, how likely is it that they will remember your brand when making that decision?
Keep Them Interested
Like the romantic looking for love, your business is in it for the long term. How do you build, and more importantly, keep such a relationship with your audience?
Once you have found a good match, wow your customers with a simple step-by-step onboarding program that guides them through your products and services and how to maximise results. Customers who have learned to master your product and are truly satisfied will show their commitment and want to go-public by championing your brand.
Long term relationships with your audience function much the same way as settling down with a long term partner. If we consistently treat our business as a person, rather than an entity, the more likely we are to build genuine and lasting relationships. It’s essential that you practice openness, honesty, and accountability consistently. You’ll build Brand Loyalty when you’ve demonstrated that your brand is worthy of it. Gaining feedback from customers via surveys is a proven method of tapping into any gaps in your products and services.
Don’t take shortcuts. Any gains you get from superficial appeals will only set you back in the long term when you don’t deliver on your promises. Whilst customers can be encouraged by brands that take a stand on social and political issues, they are also able to see when brands fake an interest that is clearly self-serving. In the dating world, the impulse to over-embellish your image is strong, but must be avoided if one is truly committed to the long haul.
The most important thing about building a relationship that has staying power is understanding that it’s a constant, ongoing process. Like in dating, you’ve got to keep your partner interested. When you slouch in your effort, it communicates a lost spark to your partner and that spells doom for your relationship. If you consistently engage your audience and connect with them at a deep level, this will enable trust, loyalty and long-term partnerships.
Rather than being the guy blindly feeling his way through the department store make-up counter, successful brands offering tailored customer experiences are seen as unique and smart by most customers, with personalisation seen as a priority. Rewards offered via loyalty programs, such as free shipping and discount codes build a sense of belonging and increases the prospect of return business.
The meaning of a brand from a customer perspective comes in the form of brand schemas, such as beliefs, attitudes and experiences. Positive schemas occur when a customer has a good perception of the brand. Just like in every-day relationships, when our favourite brand makes a mistake, the chances of the mistake being ignored are much higher.
The positive feelings created when being in a relationship are similar to the subconscious behaviours we have towards brands. For example, an Armani suit can instantly make us feel more confident and capable. Conversely, studies have shown that a high percentage of consumers will mistake a high-quality brand for a low-quality brand when packaged with unknown branding.
With your messaging, design and every facet of your brand image, it is a necessity that you maintain the quality of your appearance and the strength of your values at every moment in your brand journey. Customers are much more likely to publicly share their experiences in the business world, with review apps and social channels at easy reach. They’re also much more likely to check out the competition. Stay true to your values and go forward with confidence.
Think Your Brand Could Use A Makeover?
Strong branding will make your business a hot commodity in your market. A captivating image and personality will win the hearts of your customers, giving you the platform for long-lasting relationships.
We pride ourselves on helping brands struggling to find their voice and tailor their image to become an irresistible partner for your ideal clients. We’ve seen first-hand the dramatic effects branding has in connecting a business with its audience. We’d love to partner with you to create or nurture your brand and win the hearts of your customers.
Join the JD Community
We’ll be sharing more helpful tips and resources to help businesses promote themselves. Sign up below to be the first to know.
Did we miss any points? Have your say below: