No one is immune to good branding.
Studies have shown that the human brain responds with emotional brain activity when it processes a brand name, much like the brain responds when it processes another human face.
Brands make people feel a certain way - positive, negative or neutral. The question is, what is your brand how does it make people feel?
One thing is for sure: your brand must create a MATCH between your CORE VALUES and your CUSTOMER’S BELIEFS.
That’s not usually how branding is defined, so let me go deeper into this.
If you’re in a competitive industry – like landscaping, wedding dress retail, bookkeeping or eCommerce – your customers have choices. And because consumers have more choices today than ever before, you must realize that it doesn't work to simply say, "my products are better than everyone else’s!"
This should be obvious to you: You can tell everyone that what you offer is better, but no one will believe you. So, your brand must do something else: Convey to your customer that you get them, agree with them, and share their deeply-held beliefs.
This is why you "click" with some people really quickly when you first meet them – it becomes immediately apparent that you have deep similarities, sometimes including humor, similar religion, same hatred for the Yankees, etc.
We're hard-wired to find similarities, and people are trying to find similarities with your brand.
If your brand doesn’t communicate what it stands for, how can people agree or align with it? That would be like saying, "do you want to gain a new friend today? Why don’t you start by not sharing anything about yourself with anyone. That’ll work!"
Not so much...
In fact, the more sharing, the better. The more people you piss off by being you, the more people you’ll attract who LOVE everything you’re saying and everything you stand for.
Brands are the same way, so start to think in terms of matching your core values to your customer’s beliefs. You’ll be shocked at how magnetic you can make your business if you think in terms of matching instead of marketing.
Here's a Branding Exercise You Might Want To Try
- Write out your brand’s core values. What does it stand for? What does it believe in? What does it promise? These can be business or personal, and a Google search for great company values will give you some options – like "going above and beyond," "on time, every time," "no jerks allowed," and industry-specific ones like "dresses that make you feel like a million bucks," or "landscaping that makes you proud to live there."
- Write out your customer’s beliefs. This is easier than you think, because hopefully you speak with your customers (and if you don’t, get out there!). What do they desperately want when it comes to your product or service, and what do they believe is true about buying it?
If you own a bookkeeping business, you could easily design values like "bookkeeping should pay for itself through expert solutions," and "100% transparent records with weekly reporting so you always know where your numbers are."
Key Insight: When you match your brand's beliefs to your customer's beliefs, you won't have to sell; instead, it'll be obvious that you really "get" your customer in ways no one else does, making it easy for a natural relationship to develop.