Your brand exists to make lives better.
It doesn’t matter what your organization makes or sells. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2C or B2B. Customers must come away with the thought or feeling that your brand will somehow make their lives better.
Too often, marketers focus their messaging on what their organizations do – the features of their products or services. Creative briefs zero in on the unique selling proposition and all the support points. And while that information is important to convey, the messaging must be within the context of the customer’s journey. The customer is the hero, not the brand. The brand offers guidance and can be the catalyst of a customer’s success, but it is the customer’s life that is changed.
My favorite example is Nike. The company started out selling shoes, but their brand was about more than shoes. Their brand was about inspiring people to exercise or pursue athletic excellence. Their tag line is “Just do it”, not “Just wear it.” The empowering idea of achieving greater fitness and health is about the customer’s life, not the shoes. As such, it connects on an emotional level.
Triggering customer emotion, even subconscious emotion, is essential. Because after all the features and benefits have been thoroughly examined, the customer’s ultimate decision will have an emotional component to it. And the best way to ensure that your customers make emotional decisions in your favor, is to position your brand as one that exists to make their lives better.
So what do you do?
Begin a process that will uncover the true essence of what your brand can be, and how it can develop more meaningful relationships with customers:
Make sure you have a clear and complete understanding of your customers. For starters, what do they care about? What do they worry about? What are their goals? What are their underlying motivations that could pertain to your organization’s products or services?
Undertake an internal brand examination that identifies what your brand and your organization stands for. What is your higher purpose?
Develop a story structure with your customer as hero and your brand as guide, teacher or helper.
Create messaging based on your story structure, making sure it is communicated in the context of customer goals and experiences.
If your organization hasn’t gone through a process that identifies your higher purpose and the emotional needs of your customers, and if you haven’t developed language and a story that positions your brand as guide to help your customers achieve their goals, don’t worry. At any point in time, you can go through this process and transform your brand and your marketing program. In just a few months, you can have a more relevant and valuable brand.