Audience: The Core of Every Great Brand
Audience is Everything
One thing all successful brands have in common: they recognize that the customer experience and perceptions can be tightly controlled and planned in such a way that their brand is seen as the only correct choice for their customer base. When you understand customer base and what drives their purchase decisions, you can create a selective, finely-tuned experience to excite and engage that customer.
Great Branding Stands Out
The best brands understand the value of knowing their customer. There is nothing more valuable to a business’s brand marketing efforts than having a deep understanding of what their customer cares about. When you know what your customer is all about, you connect with them on their level, and that’s what separates the “wanna-bes” from the brands that see explosive growth.
Great Branding Impacts Revenue
To understand the real impact of knowing an audience and building a brand around their values, consider the well-known Ford F-150 brand vs the Chevy Silverado brand.
Ford builds its brand on rugged grit, on toughness. Messaging and advertising for the F-150 is focused on strength, hard work, and getting the job done – core values of truck owners. The visual style of the brand presents the messaging in a way that reflects these values. Many F-150 ads also mention fuel economy, towing capacity, and other product specifications, but this is not the focus.
Chevy Silverado ads, conversely, position themselves as “the most dependable, longest-lasting trucks on the road,” which speak well of a passive trait, but are more refined in their presentation and speak less of the values that resonate with the core audience. Is it any surprise then, that F-150s outsold Silverados in 2015 by nearly 100,000 units?
Great branding creates demand and impacts the bottom line.
Audience is the Secret Sauce
What all of this comes down to is, when you know an audience better than they know themselves – when your messaging, design, and customer experience are in line with their life expectations and deepest desires – you become the only choice and dominate the competition. The biggest failure of a brand is one that tries to position to sell to anyone and everyone. Lack of focus creates unpredictable results, and often fails to connect or resonate with any audience at all. A simple rule of thumb: Ensure the message speaks to someone specific. If it doesn’t, it’s speaking to no one.
People Buy Better Versions of Themselves
As marketers, it’s our job to communicate the values and the life-changing opportunity our product or service provides. The simple truth about why branding works is that customers are interested in seeing that you “get” them, and that your product resonates with their deep needs, wants, and desires. Customers in general don’t care about business, and they don’t buy products. They buy better versions of themselves.
Take this approach and you’ll find you grow into more than just another company in a sea of competitors. You’ll grow into a successful brand; one worth the time and attention of a customer base excited to support their brand.