There are so many relevant questions to ask yourself as you go about telling your brand’s story.
Does our logo resonate with consumers? Who even is our target audience? What type of paid media should we focus on? What can our team do to improve our social content and SEO?
These are all pertinent questions, but in a vacuum, they aren’t enough to build a strong, cohesive and consistent brand. Instead, here’s the most important question to ask when branding your business: Why us?
The answer to that question allows you to create an intentional plan that establishes efficiency and integration.
Let’s take a look at some of the variations of the question for your brand.
In 2014, Tom Brady said: “If you don’t believe in yourself, then why is anyone else going to?” That logic applies perfectly with your brand. If your internal teams aren’t excited about your mission and the direction you’re headed, what hope is there for your audience?
At Firespring, this question serves as our core focus when we help clients discover their brand voice. Through a facilitated team activity to align your brand’s unique characteristics (we call it a Trait Agreement), Firespring delves deep into the key themes of your brand. Throughout this exercise, your team will answer questions such as: “Who are we? Who are we not? Who do we want to be?”
By answering these questions with key stakeholders, brands identify key themes in communication, which in turn formulates a brand identity and reveals the voice and tone of your brand.
In the activity, I love to have teams look at it like this: Five to seven years down the road, these are the key themes you would want employees and customers to use when describing your brand.
The process helps brands build a foundation for storytelling that internal teams can align with and that is easily transferable to your target audience.
“This process made us realize what was always in front of us,” HobbyTown Marketing Director Celeste Vanderlip said. “Without going through the process with Firespring, this would have never happened.”
Now that you have the foundational pieces for your brand identity and a solidified brand voice, it’s time to turn your attention toward your audience. How do you reach them with your key messaging?
It’s a great question. Finding your brand characteristics is the first step in building an intentional road map where integration creates more efficiency. The result of the activity is a brand that knows how to communicate more authentically with its audience.
These key themes build a brand’s core messaging. That includes mission statements, taglines, job postings, social media copy, advertisements and more. Establishing this true north creates consistent messaging in every interaction with consumers.
“The initial impact from it allowed our team to align our brand with our top vendors and begin to execute a cohesive marketing calendar that reaches the right target audience at the right time,” Vanderlip said.
By combining this exercise with customer audience development, brands successfully navigate key messages to different audiences. The same key message won’t apply to every member of your audience. But by agreeing on traits, brands excel in tweaking the core message to the relevant audiences.
Once an individual in your pipeline converts, work is done, right?
The buyer’s journey extends much further than the purchase. We want to continue to usher current customers through the buyer’s journey to become advocates for your brand.
One of the benefits of branding your business successfully is empowering your audience to tell your story for you. This means companies can’t stop contacting customers following their purchase. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Continue to reach your customer base, but change the messaging. The way we talk to a current customer must be different than the way we talk to potential customers.
That’s where the results of aligning your company’s messaging and voice becomes your best friend. You aren’t changing the tone or voice of your messaging, just tweaking the content to fit your approach. Still, these current customers must be able to see emails, direct mail pieces or social content that cements their purchase and continues the relationship.
Consistently telling your organization’s story is a major advantage of branding and it’s a building block to be able to do much more in marketing.
If you’re in the process of branding your company, let’s set up a time to talk. And stay tuned for our next blog on the advantages of branding that will focus on the importance of brand archetypes.