What does your brand say about you? Are you connecting with your audience or just speaking at them? Connecting with your customers and attracting their attention is vital. But reinventing your brand to get that attention can be an intimidating and challenging process. Especially when you don’t know where to start.
Controlling The Narrative
Your new identity wraps your brand in new perceptions. And you get to choose them. Does your current brand reflect your company’s values, goals and vision? What do you want people to think about your brand? Your identity should articulate these in ways that resonate with your audience.
What feedback are you getting about your brand right now?
Not your logo or how you look but how people think and feel about your brand? (the experience of dealing with your company). Look to your sales and customer support teams, for input. Ask about both positive and negative feedback they’ve gotten. Complaints, are a good place to start. Address them operationally and fix the things you can, but if the problem is a perception problem, you’ve got an opportunity to change how they think with your next brand identity.
Create a list of the areas in which you want perceptions to change, then group the ideas into similar overall concepts. Ideally, you should now have 2 or 3 areas like “poor customer service”, “high-price” and “boring”, for example. These are the ideas we’ve identified as goals for our new identity to help change. I say “help change” because no graphic approach in and of itself has the power to change how people think of your brand. Your identity will support the goals you’ve identified but changing brand perceptions is a long game and you’ll need to patiently and diligently continue to create content that reinforces your new brand goals and act in ways that support those goals as well.
Assuming you believe you’re offering good value for money, you may want to address the perceived “high-prices” by adding messaging that boosts your value. Messages that describe your laborious manufacturing process or your exclusive ingredients, for example, will make you seem better and thus make the price seem more reasonable. Visually, this might look like using richer colours, more all caps letter-spaced type and perhaps areas of black or near black depending on your product category.
The Content Marketing you do, likewise, should reinforce the idea of “Good Value For Money” with stories that build the value perception for your users. By setting your sites on complaints and problems, you’ve identified areas that may be holding back future growth. Employing a messaging strategy that dispels negative attitudes by proactively addressing customer pushback keeps them on your side. Over time, the new messaging, and brand identity, will change how your brand is perceived.
Understanding Your Audience
The important thing is that you write and design content and marketing pieces with an accurate picture of your customer in mind. It’s critical that they understand and appreciate your approach and that it feels authentic to them.
Research the specifics of your audience by…
- Reviewing past sales records
- Checking social media follower profiles
- Read blog comments and profiles
- Review competitor sites, social feeds and follower profiles
- Customer service and sales anecdotes and records
The more you dig, the more you’ll find.
Look at profile pics and photos to determine your customers’ age, gender, family life, employment, priorities, attitudes and fears (read comments and note what they post). It’s a bit of “Sherlock Holmes-style detective work” and deductive reasoning.
Look for similarities in behaviour, demographics, attitudes and comments. Then group people by similarities into audiences. Create Primary, Secondary and possibly even Tertiary Audience Profiles, capturing everything you can about them. My free “DIY Brand Building Kit” download, may be helpful as you work through this. Also check out some other blog articles like “Targeting Your Ideal Audience.” and “5 Ways To Better Understand Your Customers.” for more on this.
That “feeling of authenticity” I mentioned, is one of the surest signs you’ve correctly understood who your customers are. The positive responses about your brand (a year or so from now), will confirm you’re on the right track.