Time and time again we see business owners, in particular, developing brands that are an extension of them. It stands to reason as most businesses begin as a very personal endeavor. And when a new business owner has little or no marketing experience, they often default to the voice they’re most familiar with … their own.
For the most part, this strategy (or lack thereof) works short term; a new business owner’s passion and enthusiasm can draw in clients and develop the business.
But as years can go by, promising businesses that originally experienced high growth can start to plateau. Marketing managers and sometimes marketing teams are drafted in to help push the business to the next level. A small fortune is spent on glossy brochures, ad campaigns and the latest in web design, but still you have a brand focused on your company.
If this sounds familiar then its time to test a different approach focused mainly on the requirements of your buyer. Instead of jumping straight in with generic facts such as when your company formed, where you’re based, number of employees or a long list of products and services, instead spend time defining the obstacles your buyer faces. Show them that you understand their very specific needs and address their challenges with whatever it is you’re selling.
Whether you’re owner manager or marketing manager, its crucial you strategically consider the following before starting your next branding project, be it a new brand, re-brand or brand refresh:
Clearly define your buyers: Gather key information through a buyer persona profiling exercise. This will help you accurately and effectively create an identity and core messaging aimed directly at the people who are most likely to buy your goods or services.
Set fundamental brand values with your buyers in mind: What do they need and expect from a company such as yours, both rationally and emotionally?
Ensure consistent execution of your identity and key messaging: Work with a creative agency that not only produces beautifully executed design, but that also works hard to understand your sales and marketing objectives. Your creative agency should be ready and willing to get to know your buyers as well as you do, and able to advise on the ways in which to do this.
Determining these buyer-focused branding factors is a great way to begin down the path of developing a truly effective brand your buyer’s trust and what to engage with, and a brand that shows you a return on the time and money you’ve invested in to it over the years.