How to create the perfect brand? A brand is the most important reason of why we buy certain things, of why we do certain activities. It is the blend of emotions that push us as humans to do something.
If you are a living person and you are reading this, you need to build a brand, either personal, for your own business or for a company you are working for. Remember, brands push us to execute actions.
In this article, we will provide you with the solid foundations you need to create the perfect brand, a brand that stands out, a brand that people love, and a brand that influences others.
Let's get started!
Table of Contents
1. Understand the human side of your audience
When it comes to talking about the audience of a brand, most people forget they are actual human beings with thoughts, emotions, and aspirations and all they see is just one more follower or one more visitor. They don’t see a real person, they see a number.
First thing first when building your brand is understand this human side behind your audience, understand their psychographics.
Psychographics is a qualitative methodology used to describe traits of humans on psychological attributes. Psychographics are applied to the study of cognitive attributes such as attitudes, interests, opinions, and beliefs, as well as the study of overt behavior (e.g., activities).
Psychographics are so important that these methods of study gained prominence in the 2016 US presidential election in that the opposing campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump used them extensively in microtargeting advertisements to narrow constituencies. You can see more about this in the Netflix Documentary, The Great Hack.
If the sitting president of the U.S (at 2020) used the power of psychographics to climb his way to his charge, it is clear that the power of these methods of studying groups of people is extremely efficient and powerful.
More than putting all your effort on the demographic data that studies age, gender, location, etc. (which, don’t get this wrong, demographics are super important too) you should put your effort into the psychographics that focuses on the personality, values, attitudes, interests, and beliefs of that person that is into your brand.
Don’t forget that what you see is not just a number, it’s a person. If you can keep this idea in mind and carry it out, you’ll be 5 steps ahead of most of your competition.
2. Model your brand’s values according to your target audience’s beliefs
Now that we first clarified what is the human side of your audience and why it is important it is time to apply these concepts to your brand. As you may have already guessed, the psychographics of your audience must be aligned with your brand. If the beliefs of one person contradict those of your brand it will be almost sure that they won’t follow your brand.
The first step to get this done is to obviously gather information about the beliefs and values of your target audience, so you need to have defined what type of persons are you trying to reach.
Once you’ve defined this hypothetical psychographics of your target audience, you need to validate this data, why it is extremely important to validate this data? Because your suppositions may be biased.
This basically means that you are not being fully objective, or at least the most possible, because you are gathering your information based on your own personal beliefs and previous experiences or information, and this is a problem because at the end of the day you will select the wrong psychographic data.
Validating your data is not a complicated process, it is actually quite simple. You can do it in many different ways but the main core of this process is to ask people with kind-of aligned interests with a specific subject and confirm its beliefs about it.
For your better comprehension of this, let’s put a very simple example:
Your brand is about golf, based on luxury. You suppose that the people interested in luxury golf brands believe that, and this is a very stupid example but it’s easier to understand, the earth is flat. So then you go and ask 5 different people of what do they think the earth’s shape is, if they confirm your hypothesis, you are going in the right direction, if not, you must change those beliefs according to the average of the answers you get.
This is nothing more than the basic but incredibly effective scientific method. You formulate your hypothesis (the hypothetical beliefs), you run your experiment (ask people what their beliefs), and you confirm and adapt your hypothesis.
It is very important for the validation process to be well-executed that the people you ask must be actively interested in your brand’s topic (luxury golf in the above example), and the number of people you ask (the sample size) is considerable, and the people you ask, random.
If you run your experiments on people that are not interested in your brand’s topic you will get the wrong psychographics, and if you don’t ask enough people and randomly, you’ll get biased and non-generalized psychographics.
3. Make sure your brand is continuously diving in a blue ocean
When talking about a blue ocean I am referring to The Blue Ocean Strategy, the book by Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim. A blue ocean strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant.
For your better understanding let’s put a real-life example of this:
Cirque de Soleil is one of the most well-known examples of this strategy. Cirque de Soleil was formed in Canada ‘80s, the show has since gone on to entertain 155 million spectators in more than 300 cities all over the world.
As you can see, this show is a clear example of rotund worldwide success. How did they achieve it? They reinvented the circus spectacle industry by pursuing low-cost tickets and complete differentiation from other circuses.
By getting rid of live animal acts the company was able to reduce the costs. They achieved the low-cost focus they were looking for, but what about complete differentiation? They created an introduction with live music and a storyline, inspired by the ancient theatre, and an emphasis on human physical skill helped Cirque du Soleil to create new elements that had never before been seen in the world of the circus.
This is how the brand of Cirque de Soleil conquered the circus industry, by “continuously dive in a blue ocean”. Differentiation is key to the success of your brand.
If you are offering something other brands already offer, what’s the point of choosing yours? Your brand must bring a uniqueness factor to the equation that makes it completely different from others. This way you will achieve a group of fans that loves your brand and just your brand.
Experience is what prevails, an amazing experience will make the person that follows your brand be absolutely delighted, and this is how you win fans.
Fans are at those individuals at the top-level rank of your audience. These people will follow you everywhere, do whatever you say, buy whatever you have to sell. This is because you conquered their attention in a way no other brand could. That’s the power of differentiation.
- Don’t forget that the people from your audience are not just numbers, they are persons. If you can keep this idea in mind and carry it out, you’ll be 5 steps ahead of most of your competition.
- Always make sure that your brand’s actions and initiatives are fully aligned with your brand’s values and your audience psychographics. Never, ever go against that, because those are the deepest roots of your brand, for sure you don’t want them to wilt.
- Make sure that your brand offers some factor of uniqueness no other brand can offer or they actually offering. This is the way you will create delighted fans.
Now, you have incredibly solid foundations where you can build your amazing brand upon. You may see that these foundations differ from the most generic tips you will find out there, and that’s because we went deeper, into the roots of brands, focusing on a more emotional approach, that at the end of the day works better, because we are emotional beings.
I strongly encourage you to do a little more in-depth research about psychographics and its applications, to get a bigger picture of this.
Thanks for reaching here, I’m truly excited to see what you will create with these guidelines.