So, you’ve got your brand and ideal client defined and you know you need a brand strategy, but how do you know which tactics to employ and whether or not they are right for your brand? This comes largely from experience, expertise and (honestly) trial and error.
If you have no experience or expertise in this area, hiring someone to help is the best way to save yourself a lot of money, time and frustration (I’ll address that in my next post) and get big results fast. But whether or not you decide to hire a strategist, designer, branding photographer or creative firm, it’s helpful to know how branding strategies work to attract your ideal customer.
We’ve already discussed somewhat how humans tend to gravitate toward people and things we like. We are tribal, social beings and want to fit in. That’s a key component. If you want your personal brand to attract a certain type of person, your brand has to reflect what that person likes and wants in their life. Ways to achieve this include having a defined and targeted brand style that’s reflected in carefully created images, videos, graphics, written and verbal communications, advertisements, events, etc.
Additionally, having some knowledge of psychology around buying, spending, values and even things like color and symbol association, culture, body language and facial expression are helpful in positioning your brand in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. This is the kind of thing branding experts totally nerd out about, and for good reason. They are all part of the many split second decisions and judgments we make as humans and consumers each day. They influence how we determine where we’ll live, what kind of career we’ll choose, what kind of clothes we’ll buy, what kind of friends we’ll seek out and yes, what kinds of brands we’ll love.
Knowing how your ideal client responds to as many of those items listed above in relation to your product or service will help you shape your brand strategy. Here’s a hypothetical example to help you understand.
Let’s say you offer life coaching to women. That’s pretty broad. The more you can narrow down your target market (your tribe) the better, remember? That’s so you can figure out the best strategy for reaching them. Let’s say you narrow that down to high level executive women who want to accomplish even bigger achievements in their professional and personal lives. Contrast this with a coach who’s ideal customer is stay-at-home moms who deal with depression and anxiety and you may already be able to tell how your strategy for reaching each might be different. Defining what your ideal customer and brand is not, can also be very helpful in determining what it is, by the way.
Let’s continue with our example. For the high level executive women you might use imagery and style in your brand that communicates sophistication, exclusivity, high end, minimalist but luxurious, fast paced, etc. Your price point would be high to reflect the exclusive nature of your services and give the perception of high value. You will, of course, actually offer high value to your customers and become known as the coach who helps high achieving women accomplish even more and you’re worth every dollar at that. You would advertise at events executives attend, in trade magazines or high priced fundraising events.
For the stay-at-home mom dealing with depression and anxiety, her pain point is different. She’s not looking to run a marathon or close the biggest sales deal of her life, she just wants to feel better and be able to get out of bed in the morning. Brand elements she may be attracted to could include images of comfort, joy, family, normalcy. She may be afraid or feel ashamed about the way she feels so you’ll want a lot of warmth and trust to come through in your brand. You may advertise on social media with ads targeted at moms, in new mom groups and family friendly events or through pediatricians or OBGYN offices. Your price point may be more affordable, reflecting an air of accessibility.
Can you see how defining that client helps you come up with the right strategy and also how the right strategy will help you attract your ideal client? It’s a cycle of sorts. A very powerful one when used strategically. Which brings me to my next post about getting the help you need to build a powerful brand. Stay tuned!
Who is Tanya Goodall Smith?
With two decades of development and design experience for brands like HP, GUESS and Microsoft, Tanya Smith is on a mission to bring a sophisticated marketing edge to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and personal brands.
Owner of WorkStory, Tanya is a Branding Expert who works with organizations and individuals nationwide who want to massively increase their visibility in a crowded marketplace and be consistently sought after by the very best clients. Authentic story telling through photography, video and simple but powerful communications is her forté.
Tanya is on the board of the Inland Northwest Chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), honored as an award winning package designer by the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors and a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She is also a highly sought after published author, speaker and teacher, credited with over 100 industry magazine articles, podcast interviews and in-person speaking engagements.