Here is some advice I would give to small to mid-sized business that if followed will help them spark brand growth. These are three of the “secrets” top brands use:
• Define your target consumer. You can’t be all things to all people. A big part of being a “brand” is making hard choices about targeting your best and potentially most loyal consumer base. The more focused the better so that you can create a customized experience that will make your brand indespensible in their lives. You have a much better chance of making a connection with a consumer if you know specifically who they are and what they want. For example, just targeting men is probably too broad, but putting definition around what “kind” of men (like health conscious dads) will provide direction on how to reach them.
• Find your emotional benefit. Functional benefits are only half of the story and chances are that they alone won’t differentiate from your competition. But discovering how you can make your target consumer feel can set you apart and become the basis for building your brand experience. A ready-to-drink tea beverage provider, as an example, should not just claim to satisfy a consumer’s thirst, as that is merely a functional benefit. Instead, connect with your consumer by offering all-natural tea that’s hand-picked at the peak of freshness to deliver pure tea satisfaction and suddenly there’s an emotional benefit to leverage.
• Create a consistent experience. Marketing is all about creating an experience that adds value to your target consumers’ lives. The trick is to apply that experience across every single touchpoint so that your brand is consistent at each and every interaction. Everything is a touchpoint, including your logo, customer service staff, your company website, and your sales force. Imagine, though, if your company receptionist was rude and insulting to consumers. Your entire brand could be destroyed by just that one interaction.