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If it feels like your brand is swimming in a sea of sameness, it might be because you are.
Reaching your target audience isn’t as simple as directing marketing materials in front of them.
If your audience doesn’t connect with what they’re looking at, they quickly swipe past it to the next product without ever reading your message.
You need to stand out from the crowd and communicate your message in a way that resonates with your audience, while being relatable and reliable. Not an easy task.
According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of our purchases are made through the subconscious mind—meaning we buy products not just because we logically justify transactions but because their general existence appeals to us.
Chances are there’s something you are wearing right now (or something that you drove to work today) that was influenced by an emotional connection to a brand.
So how do we develop an emotional connection with our audience? The answer is through a clear brand strategy and these 3 things your brand needs right now.
1) Understand Your Foundation and Where You Are
Understanding your goals, why you want them, and how you are going to achieve them are the foundational components of almost any strategy. When developing a brand strategy, it’s not any different.
It’s not about the logo, but why the logo.
Your audience doesn’t care about whatever mark you choose to represent your company.
They care about what that mark represents and how it represents them as one of your customers.
The core components should start with your internal messaging like Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Values. Why do you exist beyond money? What do you wish to achieve, how are you going to do it, and what attributes do you want people to associate with your brand?
This the heart of your organization and should drive how you express yourself as an authentic brand.
Understanding what your competition is doing and where you are in the minds of your audience is the key to identifying opportunities to position and differentiate yourself in the marketplace.
Once you’ve identified the gaps, map out your positioning to your foundational elements. Develop your brand personality and how you’ll express it to emotionally engage your audience.
2) Develop Your Brand Expression
When you think of branding, many people think of visuals first—because that’s the fun part!
It’s only after we understand all of the ingredients from #1 that we can begin to decide how the brand should express itself to best connect to its audience.
Brand Expression is the way a brand looks and sounds through the lens of its brand personality and how we make an emotional connection to our audience.
Developing a clear and consistent messaging framework (you can follow the StoryBrand Messaging Framework like we do) and documenting your voice and tone will create a consistent voice customers can rely on.
But wait, what should we wear?
Well now that we’ve spent 90% of our time understanding:
- Why we exist
- What it is we want to do
- How it is we want to do it
- How we will behave when we do it
- Who our audience is
- What their pain points are
- What our unique offer is that can help solve their frustrations
- What they need from their relationship with our brand
It should be easy to decide what type of visual attributes we’d like our brand to have as well as which of those attributes would be most appropriate to help us stand out in the eyes of our audience.
By first creating a strong brand foundation, we are able to shape a brand voice and brand visuals that communicate the same consistent story and message, setting up your brand to be more recognizable and memorable.
A strong brand paves the way for successful strategic campaigns.
3) Create a Brand Guide
A clear message and visual strategy are only as good as your documentation and execution. If you don’t document your brand, your team will be working in 15 different directions communicating about 20 different messages.
Creating a Brand Guide document will give your team, other agencies, or new hires everything they need to keep your brand consistent, which translates to reliability and trustworthiness.
Think of it this way: if you were building a house, you would need a framework, foundation, support beams, and some time to hammer all details in, but then you need to ask yourself some important questions… who is moving into this house? Is it for a couple? A growing family? Dracula? How do we decide whether to choose brick, stone, or siding? That’s your visual strategy.
When you document your framework and visual strategy into a blueprint or a Brand Guide, your team will have the enablement they need to create a consistent brand.
Need help getting started? Mojo Makers Know Brand.
Making sure your message is heard by the right people isn’t easy. You need a team of experts who know how to position your brand, can help you communicate with your target audience, and can develop consistent messaging that is relatable and reliable. We’ve got you covered on all fronts to help you generate more leads and more revenue.
Tawni is a versatile designer obsessed with visually telling your authentic story in a consistent branded fashion. She is passionate about the customer experience and loves to incorporate human elements that require “a touch of hand” in her designs. Tawni is a lover of all things Japanese and enjoys ink drawing, painting, and a good weekend project.
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