Brands and their audience must have a healthy relationship. In order to do so, a brand must listen in order to give their audience what they want. The more you listen to them, the more you learn about them. The more you study, pay attention, & listen to your audience is what I believe the key is to getting their attention. What do they talk about? Where do they interact on a daily basis? What channels do they use? How often are they using these channels & at what times? Once you’re able to address these questions, creating a strategic plan will become more powerful & clear. The more you know about someone, the easier it is to figure out how to get their attention. By doing so, you’ll be giving them what they want, which will enable you to receive whatever it is you may want in return! :)
Your opportunity lies in finding a neglected worldview, framing your story in a way that your audience will focus on it & go from there. Just think about how the biggest brand became so large. Nike for example: They make clothing for ATHLETES, but because of how they tell communicate each story, people all over the world wants to be apart of it. Nike doesn’t target your normal everyday people, they target ATHLETES, but create stories with morals that everyday people could relate to. DON’T target the world, focus intensely on a small audience that shares the same “worldview” as you. You have to have values & create story morals that will convince your target audience on why they should believe in you (& not your competitors). Study your audience & focus intensely on creating those stories that will get them to become emotionally attached to your brand.
STORIES! Not stories about you, but stories honoring your audience! People want to feel important and know that they’re appreciated. The reason that most athletes wear Nike is because of the way that the brand makes them feel. Nike communicates a story that ALL athletes can relate to, & since they do this remarkably, most athletes want to be a part of the Nike brand. The ideas that survive are the ones that are created based on a set of core values with morals that the audience can connect with on an emotional level.
Jeff gives an excellent look at how brands should focus more on doing this because you love it . . & not just for the sale! Thanks Jeff! :D
Originally posted on Empowered Living with Jeff Crume:
So many people today tweet, share, post, comment, and like, all to get you to do what? To BUY! “Well, of course! Isn’t that why we all do what we do?”
In the emerging trend of social media selling, it’s hard to even like someone’s page, connect with them on Twitter, exchange an email, or comment on their blog without getting a barrage of unsolicited solicitation. My “like” was not payment or currency given in exchange for your sales pitch; I simply liked your blog.
Will you still like me when I don’t buy?
Not everyone is in the business for the business. Some simply do what they do because they love to do it. Stephen King is quoted saying, “Yes, I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being…
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Most people see their brand as a hero, meaning, everything is all about them, which is why most of them FAIL! I don’t believe that brands should be out here to save people (leave that for themselves) instead, acting as their mentor, & showing them that you understand. STOP enforcing, let’s start supporting, STOP talking about yourself, why not embrace your audience, & let them know how great they can be? There’s too many selfish brands in the world & there should be more of them uplifting their audience. GIVING to them, making them feel special, & reminding them how important they are.
“Appeal to a man’s heart, not his brain.”
I believe that thinking of your brand itself as a story will make your strategies & campaigns become emotional, clear, & authentic. EVERY communication is another chapter with you & your audience. Just think about.
When J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books, from the beginning, she made it clear that Harry would be the hero of it all. Even though Harry Potter is a brand that J.K Rowling created, it didn’t seem that way while I was reading ALL 7 of them! Why? Because J.K Rowling is an excellent storyteller & knows how to create characters that her audience could relate to.
Even though Mrs. Rowling was the creator of one of the largest brands of all time, she wasn’t the hero of it all. The most compelling stories come about when the author (founder) creates a brand that will act as a mentor to its audience, while keeping them as the hero. Think of Nike commercials & how most of us can relate to many of them. Even though Nike clearly targets athletes, they communicate a story based around the values & morals that their audience relates to.
I don’t believe that brands should get caught up in “brand consistency”. Meaning, sticking to the same campaigns, same voice, same experiences, same design, & that same message! Yes, you should know what your brand stands for, but also knowing how to market from that place to the best of your ability. Trying new campaigns, new voices, new experiences, new designs, & new messages is what I believe will take brands to the next level. Once people start sharing & connecting with your brand, they may use it in ways you hadn’t planned. Your audience may suggest changes or even create hashtags for you. Don’t shoot them down because they aren’t sticking to the same old stories! Instead, why not embrace the new, and see it all as an opportunity to GROW…..fast!
I believe that if I don’t know WHY my brand exists, it’s going to be unclear when it comes to building it. Knowing why will be the heart of everything & also with determine how I make important decisions we face. Answering that simple question will be something that I can always go back to.
Let’s use Steve Jobs for example:
In 1998, one year after Jobs had returned to Apple, he reminded everyone (including the company) why they were there in the first place. In order for Apple to have gotten back on track & reach the next level, Steve knew that they’d have to go back to WHY Apple was created I the first place. Once he opened his eyes to WHY, everything, from that point on was remarkable! :)
*The WHY to your brand should go deeper than money can buy. I believe that the “WHY” should consist a set of values that steer your brand (especially when making important decisions).
If you’re better with twitter, build a solid following via twitter. If you’re better at writing about a specific topic, then stick to that specific topic. I don’t believe that people should try to be the best at EVERYTHING! It makes more sense to me when people stick to their strengths and when it’s time to grow, FIND people who’s strengths make up for your weaknesses! That goes for any brand in ANY industry. Whether you’re a fashion designer, writer, blog, tech, or food. FOCUS intensely on what your strengths are & when it’s time to grow, find the right people who make up for everything else.
For example, Nike is THE biggest athletic brand of all time! They didn’t get there by focusing on anything outside of athletics! Nike started off by targeting specific athletes & communicating emotional experience that communicated a universal message, around that specific audience (athletes). Even though there are everyday people who aren’t athletes that wear Nike, most people wear it because of the way the brand makes them feel. They continue to keep their focus on the characteristics athletes and the brand will continue to grow.
I’ve stated before “In order to attract other humans, I must approach my audience as one.” Give them something that they can relate to. Why not bring your brand closer to their everyday life? For example: If you’re a writer, why not write about topics that you know your audience can connect with & relate to? Another example: If you’re a tech startup or small business, why create an experience that your audience can have with your product. Something that’ll get them attached emotionally. Emotions and stories are what I believe we live off of. That’s what makes life exciting & even keeps people looking forward to better things. Being human is connecting with my audience on a human level & NOT bringing them facts about my company that they could care less about. Giving them an experience that only my brand gives & making them feel special will ALWAYS be THE main factor when it comes to approaching an audience.