In my last two posts in this series I took a deep dive into branding, and why audience perception, authenticity, and a great brand story are essential components to branding done right.
Today I want to detail how to create a customer experience around what you offer.
You might have an amazing product or great services, but how do you create a customer experience around it? Go beyond story to connect with your audience?
Even if you think your products and/or services might not be that much different from your competition, an effective branding exercise will change YOUR perception of your own brand.
To me creating a customer experience around your brand is about three things…
1. Understanding the power of CONTEXT.
2. Truly knowing your CUSTOMER.
3. Then… CONNECTING with them on an emotional level.
Let me explain…
1. Branding and the power of context.
Think about the mind of a potential buyer, and where his or her views come from: Origin, emotion, wants, needs, experience, history.
Now, think about products or services you’ve purchased or might consider buying in the future.
How do you see them? The company that made them? And why do you think this is so?
Now, focus on taking what you do and framing it in such a way as to elicit “that” feeling in someone else.
The environment you create (your brand) has a heavy influence on how a potential buyer behaves.
Discover what makes your product remarkable through context. That becomes your brand story. If you need a little help, go back to post no. 1 in this series: How to Give Your Brand Depth and Meaning Through Story.
2. Understand your customer.
You also need what author Daniel Pink calls attunement—attuning yourself to others, and in this case I’m referring to your potential customers.
People need to believe in you to buy from you, so don’t rely too much on YOUR viewpoint, but DO be acutely aware of the conditions around you. If you see the world through another’s perspective—in this case your customer’s—you’ll be much better off.
“Attuning yourself to others—exiting your own perspective and entering theirs—is essential to moving others. One smart, easy, and effective way to get inside people’s heads is to climb into their chairs.”
Work daily to climb into your ideal customer’s chair. This goes back to his or her beliefs and what I mentioned above.
Learn how to truly be in tune with your audience. Learn how to listen to your customers.
3. Connecting with your customer.
As Chris Ducker states: “It’s simple really: if you ask your audience what their problems are, they will tell you.” “And when you solve those problems they will gladly pay you for doing so.”
But you must connect with them before you ask.
Work to earn their trust by creating an emotional connection with them. A big part of this is by simply practicing authenticity—being crystal clear on what your brand is, what’s in it for them, and how you will make their life better. Are you a trusted, reputable source?
Do you want some nut and bolts advice on building a brand that connects with your audience?
Email your list and ask, ask, ask. And if you do receive emails, respond to them!
Pay close attention to blog comments.
Use Survey Monkey: www.surveymonkey.com.
Survey your audience with 5-10 simple questions. The majority should be geared towards how you want them to see you and your brand but put in one or two or three that beg to be answered…
- What is the biggest problem you now have? What can I provide that will help you get past it?
- Is there something I can offer that will make your life easier?
Listen, then provide what they need. Use your blog, your list, your social media channels to ask, then listen carefully. This is how you create a more compelling brand.
Offer a free consultation, as an incentive to fill out your survey, answer your emailed questions, or provide details of a need in your blog’s comment section.
If you have not yet found your ideal customer and what they truly need, keep asking.
Work daily to find out what is troubling them, what they need to get past, or a service that could help grow their business.
It can be as simple as finding their problems, then solving them, but you must listen carefully to your customers.
So, if you want to amp-up your brand, work to…
1. Understand context.
Remember, someone buys a product, works with an individual, or hires a team based on their beliefs. Work to frame your brand in such a way as to elicit “that” feeling in someone reading your copy, watching your video, scrolling through your website.
2. Know your customer.
Your brand is all about how your audience sees you. Part of this is the environment you create, but you must get to know your people. Why? Every potential customer is influenced by his or her belief system, and your brand image—the mental creation that is your brand—is a combination of their shared experiences. So, work daily to get to know them.
3. And connect with them.
Through a constant story that brings out some kind of emotion. Don’t resort to deception, but do work to become a master story-teller.
Earn trust be being honest and following through. Be real and 100% clear on what your brand is, what’s in it for your customers, and how you will help them get past something.
And use those digital tools at your disposal to get to know them better and truly understand their problems.
This 1-2-3 combo can result in brand magic for you and your business.
If you haven’t read all the posts in this series, you can find them here:
If you want a detailed plan on how to build a brand that rises above the noise, connects with the right audience, and drives the action needed to help you advance your business, sign up for my email list where I’ll show you the 6 steps to bring your brand to life.
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