You’re waiting for a cashier to make her way down a double line of cars to you. As she serves the guy before you, she says ‘my pleasure’ a total of five times and wishes him ‘a blessed day’.
Where are you?
Yes, you’re at a Chik Fil A drive-thru.
What gave it away?
Chik Fil A’s catchphrases and unique drive-thru system are instantly recognizable.
The way your brand speaks to the world determines the volume and kind of customers you’re going to get.
First impressions are everything here, especially if you’re just starting out. From the moment people see your brand, people form an opinion about it. If it’s a positive opinion, they’ll be more likely to remember your brand. Well done. You’ve targeted the right people. You’re one step closer to winning new loyal customers. What if people feel negative, or worse, apathetic about your brand? You could be targeting the wrong people. Or, you could be targeting the right people but missing the mark with the way you present your brand.
Either way, a clear brand identity will make sure you're reaching an audience that will value you.
How to Make Your Brand Magnetic
Your goal is to make your audience associate your brand with positive feelings. If your audience feels good about your brand, they're more likely to become loyal customers. Here’s how you target the right people with your branding:
Brand Visual Identity
Your brand’s visual identity is what people will notice first and go on to remember. In half a second, your brand’s look sends thousands of messages to your audience.
Yes, first impressions count.
A good brand aesthetic acts as a visual metaphor. It should communicate your brand’s mission, voice, and personality in a way that appeals to your audience.
Set yourself apart from your competition with unique colors, fonts, imagery, and designs. But remember, you need to make sure your design choices resonate with your target market.
Brand Voice and Message
Once you’ve caught your audience’s attention with your brand’s visual identity, they’ll want to know more about you. Here’s where brand voice and messaging come in.
So how do you develop a strong brand voice and messaging?
When you’re developing your brand messaging, you need to select every word with intention. Your aim is to find phrases and sound bytes that resonate with your audience.
Listen to the way your ideal customers speak. Use the words they use.
Speak directly to your audience by using ‘you’ in your messaging.
Cut through the clutter with recognizable and unique sound-bytes. Chik Fil A’s ‘Have a blessed day’ catchphrase is a great example of this.
Aim for clarity, brevity, and precision. Your brand is competing in an attention-driven economy. Make sure you get straight to point of your brand’s value and offerings.
Your messaging should inspire your target audience to take the actions necessary to become your customer.
Side note: It’s tempting to get idealistic with your messaging. When you’re determining your brand voice and messaging, make sure you can actually do what you say you do.
It’s time to focus on how you’ll use these concepts in your brand’s communications.
Spend lots of time researching your customers’ wants, needs, habits, and preferences. Find out what kind of content they consider valuable and where and when they want to find it.
People pay attention to brands for three reasons; to be entertained, to be informed, or to be persuaded. Make sure your brand communications do (at least) one of these things for your target audience. This is how your audience will determine your brand’s value.
Do you still feel overwhelmed? Here are a few quick and easy tips to make your communication strategy a little easier.
5 Ways to Simplify Your Brand’s Communication Strategy
1. Be choosy
Limit the number of channels to those popular with your ideal audience. If your audience loves Facebook, then you won’t reach them on Twitter. Find out where your ideal clients hang out on the internet. Determine where they go to explore their interests online. If you ask these questions, you’ll find the right platform.
2. 80/20 concept
80% of your content should offer entertainment or educational value. Leave 20% for self-promotional material.
3. Establish a consistent tone of voice
Create a list of go-to words and phrases that you can use and scale through your brand’s communications.
4. Incorporate consistent visuals
Make sure your social media imagery always includes a logo or a recognizable design. This way, your brand sticks in the back of your audience’s mind as they scroll.
5. Plan your content
Use a content calendar to plan your content ahead of time. You’ll have a clear vision of what you’re putting out. It'll also help you work out where you need to fill in the gaps with more value-driven content.
Do you want more insight into how you can develop your brand’s communication strategy?
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