TIPS AND TRICKS ON DIGITAL MARKETING
How does a fledgling business define its brand strategy? Here’s a quick run-down on how you can get started defining it yourself. At some point as your business grows you may need to get professionals involved in this, but there’s no reason not to understand the basics yourself.
Work Out Who Your Target Customers Are
If you don’t already have a good grasp on your target customers, stop everything and sort this out right now! You need to know your target customers not only for marketing or branding exercises, but also for designing better products and services.
Defining your target customers involves creating distinct personas. You might decide that your core customer base is young stay-at-home mommies, or active 25-29-year-old males who love sports. Look for the common characteristics among your customers for this exercise, instead of the uniqueness of each customer. We’ll talk in more detail about defining your target audience in chapter six.
Define Your Products and Services in Terms of Customer Benefits
Can you clearly spell out all the benefits of the products and services you offer? Benefits are defined from the users’ point of view and how they associate with the product. It’s not about product features or characteristics. “This product will save you 15 minutes each day”: this is a benefit. “This product has three advanced settings and automatic adjustments”: these are features.
The human brain needs to be convinced. You can claim with all your might that you are the best out there, but why should customers believe you? They might believe you are the best if they hear it from others, though, such as from clients, from their friends and family, or from an expert authority or influencer.
Case studies, testimonials, product reviews, endorsements and interviews are all good ways to help generate credibility of your brand and product. Ask your current (and happy) customers for a quote or a review. Get industry stalwarts, experts and influencers to try out your product. Feature interviews from people who have used your service. Stories and statistics can work well together to provide your potential clients with reasons to believe in your business.
Define Your Brand Personality
With the advent of social media, having a brand personality is important as it defines the tone of how you interact directly with your customers. Imagine your brand as a real person – how would that person behave, and what would that person’s personality be like?
Often, the brand personality is dictated by the personality of the business founder or founders, but it can change and grow to suit the needs of the customer base and industry. It might be funny, witty, charismatic, statesman-like, serious, friendly or authoritative. The brand personality evolves over time, and often harmonizes with the culture of the company. This may even influence the hiring plan, as businesses start to focus on finding people who are a “good fit” for the company. Being true to yourself and connecting with your audiences in a natural, friendly way is often the best strategy.