When a prospective customer thinks about your brand – let’s assume they already know your brand or company – who do they think of? (And I don’t just mean you or the person answering the phones.)
Normally, we’d consider “what” they think of: your products/services, your reputation, etc.
But in this blog post, I’m going to talk about the person that your company would be – if your company was a person. And then, do the same thing for your target audience. Why? Because these two things can tell you a lot about how you currently market yourself, and if you need to change direction for your future marketing efforts.
Really Know Your Brand? Answer 2.5 Questions and Find Out!
So, as promised, here are the 2.5 most important questions about your brand that you need to answer today.
Question #1: If your brand was a person, who would it be?
Close your eyes (figuratively, or this post will be a really short read). Imagine that a big blue genie has popped out of a golden lamp, waved his magic wand at your company, and it brought your brand to life as a real-live person.
Who are you looking at? Is it a musclebound superhero? A confident surgeon in her hospital scrubs? A James Dean-lookin’ “cool dude” in a leather jacket and blue jeans?
If you’re “Smith Family Furniture” or “Mama Victoria’s Restaurant,” you likely have your answer. Your personification would be Mom and/or Pop – probably 35–60, local entrepreneur, and a cornerstone of your community.
But if you’re a chemical company, is your brand a serious, bespectacled 55-year-old scientist in a lab coat?
Or if you own a local insurance agency, would your firm be personified by a great-hug-giving grandparent with kind eyes, ready to provide wisdom and cookies?
Now you’re getting the picture. Hopefully you’re doing this exercise in your head, trying to figure out just “who” your brand is (… and if that’s the right person you want to be).
PRO TIP: As a writer, I’m a big believer that word choice says a lot about your brand.
Think about these three things:
- Contractions = Would you say “We are proud to provide” or “We’re proud to provide?”
- “And” = Would you start a sentence with that word?
- Parentheses = Do you use comments in “parens” to address your readers directly?
For me, the answers are always “We’re,” Yes, and Yes. These things are tools that do away with boring formality – and provide a brand voice with friendliness and authenticity. (See my previous Rocks Digital post on “How to Create Your Company’s Unique Brand Voice.”)
Question #2: If your perfect customer was a person, who would it be?
Enough about you for now. Let’s talk about your ideal customer – and the personification of that customer.
Using those examples from above:
- Smith Family Furniture and Mama Victoria’s Restaurant = Pretty much targeting the average local family. To be more specific, the person(s) in the household who’s in charge of picking the furniture and choosing where to eat. So, it’s a mom or dad (or both) ages 25–55, in your immediate area (and all the demographics that go along with your location) – who’s likely looking to save money.
- Chemical company = Maybe chemical engineers or specific manufacturing types in charge of specifying or purchasing supplies. Could be a CFO, VP/Director of Operations, Purchasing Manager or Senior Engineer. Likely a middle-aged, highly educated professional you’re talking to.
- Local insurance agency = Very likely to be the same “person” as Smith Family Furniture and Mama Victoria’s. A committed family person tasked with making important decisions for the household.
PRO TIP: Do a deep dive into finding this person (or people – not everybody is part of a big family).
Look at the general demographics of your typical customer and read up on statistics and trends.
Example: If you’re the local insurance agency owner, and your business focuses on products for the senior market – have you done the research into the seniors in your area? Are the ones in their 60s and 70s still working? Are they staying in their homes or downsizing? The more you know about your target demographic, the more defined the “person” of your target audience becomes.
Bonus Half-Question: Are you bringing these people together?
What if you find out that your “person” doesn’t quite represent you the best? Or that you’ve been trying to reach the wrong “person” with your marketing efforts?
You might be coming off too stiff and formal – or too informal and amateurish. And you may be perceiving your target audience incorrectly. What if you’re trying to reach the Dad of the family, when Mom is the real decision-maker? Or what if your best customer is a younger, single professional who lives on their own?
The bottom line:
- Figure out who your brand is.
- Then take a good look at who your best customer is (or best customers are).
- Think about how these two people connect. If they don’t, you know you need to change direction with your marketing efforts.
There’s a lot more questions than answers above. That’s on purpose.
The More You Know Your Brand, the More You Grow Your Brand
Take some time to think about these questions, because the more you know about yourself and your customers, the more focused – and successful – your marketing will be!
Have you already figured out who your brand is? If so, how have you reshaped your marketing to reflect it? Share your thoughts in the comments!