You know that friend who is always there for you. You can rely on their empathic, yet reassuring and authentic manner. And, every time you see them, you know it’s going to be an enjoyable experience. That’s why you try to catch up with them as much as possible. They just get you. They know how to communicate with you and understand how to make you happy. You can share your problems with them – knowing they’ll have the answers.
A friend like this has similar characteristics to a strategic brand. A brand that no matter where it’s seen or heard, its perception remains the same with the people it’s wanting to attract. A brand that forms bonds, guiding customers back to it wanting more.
So, what are the five characteristics of a strategic brand to help you achieve authentic connections with your target audience?
Without a doubt, the most important aspect to figure out is the why behind your brand. Why do you do what you do?
This must be understood with clarity so your brand can connect with the people it serves. Why is this so important? Simply, people don’t align with a brand or business because of what they’re doing –they’re motivated to action by why they’re doing it.
Your brand is a problem solver. Your audience faces a challenge and your brand solves it for them – or, at the very least, relieves some frustration. A strategic brand deeply understands the challenges and frustrations your audience faces, and aims to move them from pain to pleasure.
These are your audience’s pain points.You need to know when and where they run into these pain points and the emotion they feel when this happens. Also, you must understand how they’ve attempted to overcome the challenge in the past, if it has worked or failed, and how they plan to address it in the future.
Knowing your audience’s pain points makes going to market much easier – and, your communication efforts far more focused and efficient.
To know your audience is to understand them. To understand them you must unearth the little details that determine their life and make them who they areas individuals. These details include (and are not limited to) their demographics and psychographics. The more information you can gather on your audience, the better placed you are to truly understand them as people.Remember, your audience is human.
When you have a comprehensive understanding of the people who make up your audience, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to communicate with them in a way they can relate to. You’re more likely to be able to speak their language. When this happens, your audience relate to your brand on a deeper level and view you as one of them. This lays a foundation for a meaningful relationship with the individuals of your audience – and, goes a long way to creating alignment with them so they become repeat customers.
Your brand’s Unique Selling Point (USP), or proposition, is the unique benefit exhibited by your brand that enables it to stand out from its competitors. It’s the reason you give your audience to choose you over your competitors. A brand needs a USP so it can define its position in the market. This is a fundamental principle of branding. It’s an opportunity to tell your audience what you stand for, what you represent and the problem you plan to solve for them.
Where possible, position your brand as a new opportunity for your customer – rather than a betterment of an existing solution. Being the new opportunity builds your USP. Betterment, on the other hand, is not new and can fail to excite. At a deeper level, a betterment positioning can be a reminder to your customer of their previous failed solution.
Your audience relies on your USP to make a decision that best aligns with their needs. It makes it easier for your audience when it comes time for them to choose between you and another brand.