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Set Your Brand Up For Success

Companies around the world, large and small, spend a lot of money creating their brand image. But as they use ads, emails, blogs, and online channels to promote their brand, they may encounter resistance to the brand rules they have worked so hard to establish.

The problem is that many times the approach a company uses to create their brand elements (such as a tag line or product name) is too inwardly focused, too much about the brand. When a company positions itself as being about the brand, it creates and communicates based only on common attributes it thinks are special and unique, such as being the fastest, the cleanest, the best, or local. These attributes do not, however, differentiate them from the competition.

Today, as people are inundated with thousands of marketing messages, they want to connect with a brand message that relates specifically to them and their needs. The company, then, has to adapt how it articulates what makes its brand unique—the company has to find ways to reach its target audience that are understandable and relate to that audience.

One way to approach this type of messaging is to create test marketing messages based on what you know is important to your target audience—in relation to your product or service—and ask them for their perspective. Ask if the message makes sense to them, makes them want to use the product or service, is important to them, or even makes them care.

A simple way to think of this is to create, measure, and adapt. Create your brand messaging by thinking about the audience, not about the brand, because the audience is thinking “what can your brand do for me?” Measure the response your brand message gets by listening to your audience and hearing their needs and wants.

Then adapt your brand messaging so it is aligned with your target audience. Learn from what the audience says and how they say it. Use their vocabulary and their phases; talk with them not at them. By making your customer part of the brand experience, you build loyalty and affinity toward your brand through your customers.

Set your brand up for success by listening to your customers. Create, measure, and adapt.