The 4 Most Important Questions Your Brand Must Answer

4-questions

Critical to the development of a strong brand is the ability to powerfully and concisely answer the following four simple, but critical questions. Ask yourself whether your brand has taken the time to think through each of these areas, or whether it’s time to revisit these four fundamentals that make all the difference to your business success:

1.WHO are the most important targets for the brand?

The biggest mistake that businesses make is they try to reach every body and they end up connecting with nobody. It may sound counter-intuitive, but the narrower your target – the wider your success. Zero-in on a specific type of person and delve deep to know what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, what’s missing that your product or service can help address?

At Brand School Master Class one of the first exercises we do is to create a Target Persona. We develop a character, like in a novel, and give them a back story. Really drill down, the more specific, the better. Think beyond standard demographics like age and gender. Do they live in the city or suburbs? What’s their family dynamic like? What keeps them up at night? What’s on their DVR? What was the last vacation they raved about? Then get more specific about their needs in relation to your category. What’s going on in their lives right now that might make them receptive to your brand message? What else have they tried to meet this need? Who are their key influencers? Some brands have one target while others have several different targets. If you have more than one, do this exercise for up to three targets – but then look for the common drivers between them. These Target Personas become the fundamental inspiration that will help you keep your branding, marketing and advertising more productively focused.

2. WHAT is going to compel them to choose your brand and stay loyal?

Once you understand what your ideal target is really searching for…how can you meet that need? Great brands don’t just help to get things done – they help people feel differently about themselves. Your Brand Promise needs to be more than about functional benefits. You need to really connect emotionally. Starbucks isn’t selling coffee, it’s promising community. Nike is not about running, it’s about achievement. At Brand School, we call these kind of benefits “top of the pyramid” promises (think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). What’s at the top of your brand’s pyramid that will really connect with your customer and turn them from an occasional user to a loyal fan? The deeper you go in your WHO – the Target Persona exercise – the easier it will be to zero-in  a compelling and differentiated brand promise.

3. WHY should these high-priority targets believe in your brand?

Now that you’ve got their attention with a powerful Brand Promise (or Brand Idea) WHY should they believe that you can deliver on this?  In Brand School Master Class we dive further into creating Brand Pillars – the differentiated and credible ways that you support your Brand Promise.

These Pillars should reflect your unique point of view in the category, how you see and do things differently. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, your Personal Brand is also an important Pillar. How does your personality and passion help your customer get what they need?  Share why what you do is important to you, and share your personal story or the story of how you started your business. But always keep your Target Personas in mind when developing the Pillars and avoid trite support points like “High Quality” and “Trustworthy”. Those are a given in any category and are not going to make you stand out.

4. HOW is your brand felt in every touch point?

This is where the rubber really hits the road. Any brand can say they are great, but how many can really prove it in all of the customer interactions? Look for moments of magic that are going to bring your brand to life and help you connect with your ideal target. Stay fresh and consistent with your language and visual brand representation.

Virgin Atlantic delights their flyers with tiny salt and pepper shakers shaped like airplanes with feet. Pleple were carrying them off the plane with them so Virgin Atlantic had the words “pinched from Virgin” printed on the bottom of the shakers. Snapple places entertaining facts on the insides of their bottle caps which have become collectibles. Place words of wisdom or tips on packing slips, invoices or cash register receipts to keep your brand in the eyes of your customers. Include a genuine thank you note in your packages along with a sticker of your brand’s logo. Don’t forget the outside and/or inside of packages and tote bags. The idea is to surprise your customer and create a stronger brand connection.

Answering these four critical questions will help you develop a clearer brand,  build a stronger business, grow your customer base and continue to innovate ways to serve your consumer better. Brand School Master Classour highly effective, premier branding program, delivers the tools and steps you need to strengthen your brand and your connection to your customers. See if your business qualifies for Brand School’s exclusive programs at BrandSchoolOnline.com.

BT BrandTwistSchoolLogosHSept27withTagline

 

 

 

The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories – Free Webinar Replay

Finding the balance between your business’ visual and verbal communication is essential to presenting a solid brand identity and building consumer comfort and loyalty. The smoother and more consistent you are in presenting your brand’s promise the more comfortable your ideal customer will feel when interacting with you – and the more likely they will be to stick with you as a loyal brand ambassador.

But how do you know which “tone” defines your type of business? How do you map your visual images with your language to tell your brand story with the right feel and attitude?

Recently BrandTwist Founder & CEO Julie Cottineau joined Rebecca Swift, Head of Creative Planning at iStock, to present a free webcast, “The Ying and Yang of Powerful Brand Stories,” on visual and verbal branding.

Click on the video, above, to learn how to:

  • Get your brand noticed by creating a compelling story
  • Use pictures and language to engage your market
  • Search more effectively to find the perfect image
  • Arrive at a verbal and visual balance to help your business succeed.
  • Identify the three main “tones” that resonate with customers, and know which one is right for your business.

The positive responses and feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming and we send a big thank you to all who shared their comments.

We’re thrilled that iStock has generously made this free webcast replay available…. AND DON’T MISS OUT ON MORE:

istock_logo_complete

 

SIGN UP ON iSTOCK FOR MORE webinars, inspiration and great visual content to support your business and brand.  Sign up HERE. 

 

bt-health-check-2

You could receive a BRAND ASSESSMENT one-on-one strategy session with Julie Cottineau. Fill out the form to see if your brand qualifies, HERE .

 

Enjoy the webcast and valuable branding and marketing insight and please share it with friends or colleagues who you feel might benefit.

 

 

The Tattoo Test: Measuring Brand Passion

apple1

People often ask me how do you measure consumer’s connection to a brand?

Is there some research metric that captures a level of engagement, likelihood to recommend, resiliency to switching?

Sure there is all sorts of quantitative methodology, including Net Promoter Scores .

But I like to go by a much simpler metric….the tattoo test.

Does your Brand elicit the kind of love that would drive people to … Keep reading » display it on their bodies. Not just a T-shirt or a baseball cap, but the more permanent and intense expression of a tattoo or in the case of this picture an icon shaved into the back of their head?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on several brands that evoked this kind of passion. When I worked on Kool-Aid at Grey Global in the late 90’s kids used to send-in pictures of Kool-Aid man shaved into the back of their heads. This was pre-Flickr so taking and sending in these pictures was more work than it is now, so it was further proof of love.

Virgin is definitely a passion brand. The logo itself is a sort of tattoo. A signature of not just quality but also of Richard  Branson’s personal passion.

And a quick search of “Apple body Tattoos” on Goole revealed over 13 million results. No doubt many of these tattoos inked recently as homage to Steve Jobs.

Can you set out to create a “tattoo brand”?

Yes and no.

For me it’s like setting out to be really, really, funny or practicing and practicing and learning to tell really good jokes.

If you  constantly work on your material, pay attention to what people laugh at, work on your timing, are not afraid to push the limits and even fall flat on your face a few times…and if you have an authentic interest in making people laugh (and some innate ability) I think eventually with hard work (and a little bit of luck) you will be considered funny.

It’s the same with creating passion brands. Tattooing can’t be an objective in itself. But if you set out to offer something that really connects with people…not just functionally, but emotionally as well. Eventually, you may see the proof in black and white (and perhaps a bit of colored ink as well).

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What brands would make your tattoo list?

Our online Brand School course will give you the insight and tools you need to make your brand memorable. Receive more information about the next semester and free tools and tips when you join our mailing list.

Please also check us out on Twitter and Facebook for more insight and discussion on branding.

Quality information. The value is priceless. I loved every minute of it! I’ve recommended Brand School to industry friends and colleagues. – Barb W.