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Or Before You Jump Off the Cliff.

What’s the most important thing to do as a brand to successfully go to market? Well, it’s actually several things.

Know Your Brand

First, you must have a strong sense of who the brand is and what it offers. You also need to determine what your brand represents and its personality. It may seem odd to think of your brand as a “who” but it helps to personify your values instead of simply listing them out on an About page.

When developing your brand’s positioning, messaging, and identity, honesty is key. It costs much more and is far more difficult to be something your brand is not. Customers today are smart and have more information at their disposal. This means that authenticity is not only endearing but necessary. Be prepared to have consumers call you out on any missteps you take if you don’t deliver what you promise. Never forget that authenticity is the fastest path to acceptance and helps bolster brand advocacy naturally.

Ask the Right Questions

After honing an identity that aligns with your goals and product/services, you need to look both internally and externally to answer some key questions. For us, a combination of online surveys and in-person workshops have proven to be the most effective ways to collect the answers.

There are two key groups that you will be addressing with your sets of questions. To start, it helps to get a pulse on your employees’ individual opinions, as well as pain points, to help identify and quickly bridge gaps within company culture. The next group you need answers from is your best current and potential customers. This helps you focus on what is most important to them and how to improve their experience with your company.

Internal Questions – The anonymous answers you gather from your employees can help you develop better training and ensure cultural alignment. Each employees’ concerns and understanding of their role in your company can help you streamline processes and reevaluate priorities if needed. Make sure that your team won’t be the cause of any miscommunication or negative perceptions.
Getting everyone on the same page while putting to rest any outstanding issues, from product quality to customer satisfaction, will allow your company to work proactively. Address any misperceptions found with strategic and well executed campaigns to successfully dispel myths while validating your authenticity. The last thing you want to do is waste marketing or advertising dollars due to unresolved internal issues.

Asking questions such as, “What makes you different from the competition?” or “How would you describe the brand’s personality if it were a person?” will bring to light any issues. Whereas asking, “What are the company’s values?” or “What is the company’s culture?” will help you confirm if your internal team can effectively communicate your goals to potential customers.

External Questions – A business cannot be successful without knowing their target audience and how to reach them. When thinking of questions to ask customers, think about having a casual conversation about what differentiates your company, what they prefer, and what they think could be improved.

Building out personas, or fictional characters based on your ideal customer, can work but getting multiple responses from actual customers is much more beneficial and can be eye-opening. Make your personas personal. Give them a name, photo, occupation, and other attributes such as age and education that will impact how you reach them to impact their buying decisions. Some other questions you need to ask to create better personas can include age, income, hobbies, emotional drivers, market awareness, and more.
Whether you are B2B or B2C, the whole purpose of this set of questions is to gain knowledge of customer needs and perceptions. While you may think you know their wants, many customers see gaps in places companies are unaware of. You always want to generate more of your best customers, so find out what makes them tick. Since people use logic to satiate their emotional desires, tap into what triggers their emotional need for what you offer.

So What Next?

After completing the brand discovery process, you should have all the information you need to better define the brand’s identity. Your gained knowledge from employees and current or potential customers will also inform things such as culture, color palettes, font families, positioning, message hierarchy, vocabulary, design elements, and image styles.

Defining your brand as well as understanding your employees’ and customers’ perceptions before heading to market, means your messaging will resonate better and, in turn, will produce more leads. Your internal alignment and unified voice will make it easier for your customers to know what you offer and how it benefits them. Now, you are ready to go to market!

If you’d like examples of questions asked in employee or customer surveys or how to solidify brand identity, email us.