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Using Authenticity to Market Your Brand.

Honesty is easier and cheaper to sell than false promises. In that vein, it’s important to boil down what your brand stands for, what you offer customers, and how that relates to what they need. To create this seamless alignment of authentic brand position and offerings efficiently, you need to first fully understand and define your brand. Start by listening and understanding what your customer really wants. This is just as important as being able to clearly articulate who your brand is and how you’re the best solution for them.

Next, you need to evaluate your customer’s preconceptions, expectations, and what their interaction with your company is like. It’s essential to find alignment and commonalities between your brand and your customers in order to establish a meaningful relationship with them. Since 86% of customers say that authenticity is a key factor and 81% need to be able to trust the brand in order to buy, building your brand on a solid foundation of honesty, transparency, and dependability is vital.

  1. Define the brand
    It’s necessary to make time to define “who” the brand is as it’s the first step in crafting a messaging and visual foundation. The “who” must reflect the benefits and values your company offers in relevant ways.

Creating, pinpointing and devising brand strategy starts with fleshing out important bits of information like the ones below:

Culture: Values and beliefs your company wants to be known for, both internally and externally.

Personality: How your company is perceived externally.

Tone: How you speak to your external audience.

Profile: Usually adjectives that encapsulate your company’s personality.

Position: Your statement that summarizes what your audience needs and how you answer that need.

Strengths: What your company does best, both tangible or intangible attributes.

Weaknesses: What your company needs to address or work on.

Message Hierarchy: Quickly prioritize your company’s benefits and value to your customer using the Why, What, How method.

Visual Hierarchy: How you will visually and aesthetically communicate all the above to your customers in-person or online.

  1. Know your customer
    You need to truly know your customer. Not just who you envision your customer to be, but who the actual people who are interested in and using your products or services are. Begin by asking who are your best customers and why do they choose your business? Surveying or interviewing customers is always beneficial. Some things to ask include: What do they like about your products, services and company? What engages them with your brand? What would they improve? How did they discover you? Would they be willing to provide a testimonial or recommendation?

After gathering answers to those and other relevant questions, it can be advantageous to create personas based on your customers. Consider that there may be age, economic or habit-based groups that your personas can be segmented into. You will want to define each persona’s unique traits. Some of the factors to consider for your persona’s include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Marital Status/Kids (B2C)
  • Lifestyle Identifiers (B2C)
  • Household Income (B2C)
  • Occupation/Title
  • Income (B2B)
  • Roles & Responsibilities (B2B)
  • Research Methods
  • Daily Activities
  • Personality Traits
  • Goals
  • Needs
  • Challenges
  • Motivations
  • Influences
  • Obstacles (to purchase)

Next, develop a personal backstory for each persona so you can relate to their needs and challenges. Each persona’s story should provide insights into their unique personality, role and purchasing behavior. Personas can help flesh out how customers look for products or services similar to yours, who influences their decisions, and how you start a conversation with them.

  1. How these fuel your marketing
    You need customers to have a successful business, otherwise you just have an expensive hobby. Finding where, when and how to productively speak to your customers can make all the difference. To do that, you will need to clearly articulate your benefits, how they relate to your customers, and then convey the value you provide.

Artfully defining your brand allows your customers to immediately know why they should care about you. Establishing brand identity and developing personas will help gather information on where and how your customers live, work, play and research information. This also helps reveal the correct channels and specific tactics you can leverage to deliver your message to them.

After nailing down who your brand is and who your customers are, you can start strategizing. This solid foundation of brand and audience creates effective messaging that speaks directly to lifestyle, needs or challenges. Make sure you speak to how you’ll solve your customers’ problems and the benefits they will receive from your product or service in every touchpoint. They need to know, and care about, why they should trust your brand.

When it comes to your brand and audience, building trust and authenticity is the goal. Always try to speak your customer’s language and fully address their needs and concerns. Need help crafting your brand, building your personas, or implementing strategy? We can help.