Your brand is your identity. It’s shared across all types of media and interacts with customers and audiences everyday.
So your brand is out there, but when you communicate, do people listen? Do they care? Is what you’re saying engaging new customers, or is it driving them away?
Before you start panicking, take a deep breath.
The answers to these questions may lie in adjusting the way your brand communicates.
Talk Like a Human
Remember that the people in the store aisle and the people visiting your website are actually human, so talk to them like you would talk to a neighbor.
Be friendly. Be yourself. Be the person that you would want to talk to at a party, but also be the person who listens to those around them.
People are much more inclined to listen to a brand that speaks naturally and even more likely to ignore a brand that doesn’t.
Express an honest genuine interest in their daily lives and activities, like you would with a friend. Simply put - less corporation, more human.
People want to feel like their favorite brands know their wants, needs and desires. By listening to your consumers and speaking to them in a natural way, they will listen and, more importantly, tell others about their experience with your brand.
So, go have a conversation with your customers. Fascinate them. Educate them. Add value to their lives, and they’ll come back to you for more.
Tell a story
Stories add value to just about everything. In fact, everyday there’s more evidence of the increasing role that stories play in consumer behavior.
Would Dos Equis be the enticing, eccentric beer we know and drink today without “The Most Interesting Man in the World?” Likewise, TOMS Shoes might not even exist without its endearing story of giving to children in need.
Stories add emotion, and emotions influence our opinions and behaviors by imprinting a memory that shapes how we process our thoughts and decisions. When consumers consider one brand versus another, it’s that interplay of emotions that influences their decision.
The real value in your brand story is your unique solution. Regardless of the type of story you decide to tell, the customer should be the star. Your brand is simply the benefit.
A memorable brand story is a powerful, effective tactic to get your message beyond the clutter of other brands. Your story should play on the emotions of your audience and capture their attention - it’s the surest way to guide customers directly to your brand.
Own what makes you unique. Cookie-cutter brands are forgettable.
Customers are interested in something greater than the nuts and bolts of your business. They’re interested in your values. Add purpose to your message. Communicate what sets your brand apart and stick to it. Let it define your brand.
When your brand speaks on its values with confidence and conviction, authority follows. The beauty of authority is that customers will trust that your brand message is verified, trusted and believed before any other brand.
It’s not enough to say you’re authentic. Be genuine. Show your interesting side.
Red Bull is a perfect example. Sure, they say, “Red Bull gives you wings,” but they go so much further than just saying it or slapping it on a can or poster. Red Bull has embraced its mantra and has sponsored everything action sports related. From mind-blowing snowboard stunt artists to skydiving, Red Bull is giving people wings, and their customers rely on that authentic message to validate their purchase decision.
People don’t remember brands that are mundane and expected, so give your brand a voice of its own.
Know Your Audience
Better communication begins when you better understand with whom you’re talking.
If your brand is a hospital in Houston, then your opinion on the best place to get barbecue in Jacksonville, Florida doesn’t belong in front of your audience.
It’s important that your brand doesn’t clutter your audience with irrelevant messaging, but rather, it’s important that your brand understands their problems and works to be a unique solution.
Empathy is key. It builds relationships and creates a deeper bond with your audience by showing that your brand pays attention to their needs.
When you empathize with your audience, your brand taps into their emotions and validates their feelings. That validation turns into trust, and trust turns into loyalty.
You want your brand to engage your customers, and sometimes it doesn’t necessarily come down to what you’re saying but how you say it. Even the best brands, products and services need the right message. If you want audiences to care about your brand, then you need to say something worth caring about.