There is often a misconception that branding is just about logo design, when in reality it is SO much more than that. Strategic branding dives deeper and will help you to share who you are, what you do, and why you do it. To help break down the deets and unravel that mystery, we decided to write the Brand Building Blocks series. Each post will hone in on one particular aspect of a brand, from the basics of strategy to the different creative pieces.
Who are you talking to? What are they thinking? What do you WANT them to think?
In our first post of the series, we focused on your purpose. Essentially we honed in on who you really are and what fuels YOU. But your business isn't really all about you. (GASP!) You are the core of your brand and what is attractive about your brand. But without your people to purchase your products, buy your services and follow your story, you have no business.
One of the biggest mistakes a new business can make starting out is to assume their audience is "everyone." I know it's hard to feel like you are excluding potential customers, but if you aren't getting specific about who your customer is, you aren't including any potential customers either. Your audience should be able to look into your brand and see themselves mirrored back. They should instantly understand that you are speaking to THEM.
So let's start getting specific.
Settle on who your people are NOT.
This can be the hardest place to start, because it's natural for us to kind of just feel like jerks when we intentionally exclude someone. But if you aren't repelling anyone, you can bet that you aren't attracting the people you want to attract either.
The people you start saying "no" to are usually people that wouldn't have been a great fit. We've all been in a situation that wasn't working out and both parties suffer. By simply making it clear up front who just isn't for you will save a lot of heartache and frustration for everyone.
Now, picture your PERFECT customer.
Now you can start getting dreamy! By establishing who your customer isn't first, you're probably starting to see a pattern of what criteria matters the most to you when it comes to your audience. You should be considering gender, their job, their personal life, what brands they are attracted to, what they value and what your experience would be like working with them. Start painting a picture and see what comes to life!
If starting this broad is hard for you, think back to your favorite customer ever. Take notes on every detail. What was it about their personality you loved? What parts of the experience were made better when working with them that maybe weren't as fun as with a few past clients? Go above and beyond that and start to dream about what could have possibly made the client and experience even MORE amazing than it already was.
Our challenge to you.
Now you're feeling a little closer to your audience, we're challenging you to start making the connections between who you are and who they are. This relationship is what makes your audience key to your brand. With each building block of your brand, it's the connections you draw that will lead to a deeper understanding of your brand and a stronger foundation for your business.
To help guide you to make this connection, we wanted to include a FREE one-page worksheet in this post that you can download and walk yourself through. It takes baby steps from your customers needs and concerns and leads you to getting specific about what you can do and why it is important for your customer.
This is one page of a larger set of worksheets we work through with our branding clients, so if you're struggling to make the connections or are interested in a little feedback, send us your filled in worksheet! We'd love to chat.