Yesterday I was sitting in my big, comfortable sofa with feet up, ipad open, just flicking through Facebook and clicking through some websites and I started to take notice of my unconscious reactions…
As I spent 30 minutes or so, soaking up the information provided, I became aware of my ad-hoc behaviour as I found myself enthralled by some sites yet bouncing straight off of others – sometimes after only one click…
So what caused my unconscious to pick and choose where to stay and go? What was the hook that caught my attention?
It can’t JUST be the ‘look’ of a website… whilst we’ve all heard the quote about needing to grab people’s attention within the first 5 seconds or they’ll leave… what is it that makes people stick around after that?
It’s easy to think that branding is all about pretty colours and attractive fonts and whilst I would certainly recommend that your branding incorporates eye-catching and appealing graphic design to complement, clarify and enhance your readers experience of your brand (and keep them with you in those vital first few seconds), a pretty website and a cliché tagline unfortunately, do not alone, a great brand make … and will certainly not keep your customers enthralled for long…
We live in a fast-moving world and people are impatient and if you’re not interesting… if you don’t hold their attention… if you don’t make them feel something good… they’ll be off faster than Usain Bolt from the starting blocks. Yet GREAT brands do something special to us and they make us want to stick around for more…
Brands need thought. They are real. They are authentic which ever way you slice them. You see, much more than the features of your products, what keeps people enthralled is YOU…
If you understand the anatomy of a great brand, then you’ll be way ahead of the rest who didn’t – sound good? Super! Let’s begin…
People want to feel connected to a brand before they buy. People buy from people they relate to, so thats the first secret to great branding… be a real person… reveal the real you.
Reveal The Real You…
Great brands don’t pretend to be someone else, not only is it exhausting but people will see through it and then they’ll resent you for lying. Cover bands are great but wouldn’t you rather see the real deal?
So whatever your past experience, life story, values, personality, when communicating with your audience, be honest and show people who you REALLY are. Allow yourself to be vulnerable… and more importantly, relatable.
You will not appeal to everybody all of the time, but there are people out there who will love you just the way you are because they can relate to your experiences of life. These people will become your raving fans. These are the people that matter and will ensure your business grows.
Define Your ‘Why’
You may have heard it before (and you certainly will if you’ve looked around my website – yep, here I go again!), but I’m going to say it again and again until you get it! …’People don’t buy WHAT you do – they buy WHY you do it’.
Think of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and other great and successful entrepreneurs, they all had a clear notion of their ‘why’. They knew WHY they wanted to achieve what they wanted to achieve… and they felt compelled to create businesses to fulfil on it.
A great brand isn’t about the quality of products or better prices or services – it’s not about manipulation – it’s about loyalty.
People who live a certain lifestyle or aspire to be a certain type of person are drawn to brands that help them build their own identity by association. Having good quality products and services is, of course important, but it is the ’cause’ or vision represented by the brand, product or person that inspires and creates loyalty… and multi-million dollar businesses just don’t exist without inspiring such loyalty.
So take a step in their direction and be prepared to share with your audience your deepest desires to change the world. What inspires you to help others? What do you love? Why did you choose this business? What is your deepest motivation? Openly sharing your ‘why’ creates likability and trust for your audience… and the easiest way to do that is through sharing your own story to explain why you feel the way you do.
We’ll want to define a PURPOSE…
And once we recognise our ‘why’, we want to direct that into a life purpose or mission that inspires us to contribute… and the business(es) we build are the vehicles to help us do that.
We can climb a mountain, but once we’re there, what more is there? This is why we need a purpose – a mission for ourselves and our brand. This way once we complete one goal we can move to the next – each falling within the big, exciting mission for our lives.
Get Clear About Your Target Audience…
Entrepreneurs all need to start with a clear and engaging brand that speaks truthfully but we also need to know to whom we are speaking.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘if you try to attract everybody, you’ll attract nobody’. Tempting as it may be to try to capture everyone in your marketing, I can assure you that talking to a niche will get you much better results.
You see, we are all attracted to brands that make us feel good. And good is usually when we perceive that association with that brand enhances our own self-image for the better, or the brand ‘understands our problems’ and can provide us with solutions. If you don’t know who your specific customer is, how can you make them feel alluring or solve their specific problems and persuade them in ways that they’ll relate to? Answer: probably you can’t.
So sit down now and describe to yourself your perfect customer – man or woman, age, where they live, what are their struggles, what books do they like, where do they holiday, what are their hobbies and more, more, more!
Get a clear image of who this person is and where they hang out and then always write specifically to THAT person in your marketing and share your messages in the places they’ll be – both online and off.
Getting clarity around your brand personality and story is one of the most important things you can do as an entrepreneur. Great branding is one of the most essential aspects of your business as it allows YOU as the entrepreneur to step out in confidence and it allows your AUDIENCE to trust you – and trust, my friend, is the Holy Grail of marketing 🙂
To Your Incredible Success!