In the 9-step digital marketing blueprint that 21 Handshake has created, specifically to help out small and growing businesses, our second step deals with branding. We really like discussing the important of branding – we already have several podcast episodes devoted to different facets of branding! But today we wanted to talk specifically about how branding relates to your target audience.

If you want to take a look at our other branding conversations first, be sure to check out episodes 12, 13, and 70 in our podcast library. But for now, we’re going to discuss how to analyze your brand vision, and how it relates to your potential customers.

Brands and Audiences: You’re On a Date

There’s a quote we recently posted on Instagram that goes like this: Marketing is like asking someone out on a date. Branding is the reason they say yes.

That may sound like a silly metaphor at first, but it’s actually incredibly apt. Remember past dates, how they went, and what motivated you to say yes or know when you were asked. There are a quick list of questions and details that everyone runs through, subconsciously or not, when making that date decision. On a surface level, they’re looking at the person asking: Are they attractive? Do they look like a nice person? How do they smell? What are their eyes telling you? How are they dressed? Also, on a deeper level, you are considering their compatibility: Do you share friends in common? Do you have the same interests or hobbies? Are they easy to talk to? What past experience do you have with this person?

All these things go into making that date decision. And the same is true when your marketing reaches out to a potential customer. They’re looking at your brand – what you look like, how you act, the information you’re presenting about yourself – and deciding whether or not to give your business a try. We encourage you to think a bit about that, but we also want to move on to an important conclusion…

Brand Is Much More Than a Logo

We talk about this more in-depth in episode 12, but it’s worth reiterating. Your brand is more than your logo! It absolutely is your logo, the colors you use, and your tagline, but it’s also a lot more than that. Essentially, your brand is everything that people know about you when you open communication with them. In our podcast, we’re walking through a little brand workshop using 21 Handshake as an example, so you can really get an idea of what that means. Some helpful exercises include:

  • Describe your brand in one sentence!
  • How do you think your brand makes people feel?
  • What value does your brand promise people?
  • What peers does your brand have?
  • Ultimately, what are you proud of?

Your Areas of Improvement Are Directly Connected to Your Brand

It’s also important for your brand vision to consider what areas you need to improve for your brand – and what’s preventing you from doing that! Do you wish your brand was more accessible? Do you need a new logo? Are you worried your brand doesn’t really have an online presence? Think about where you want your brand to be in the future, and do a little gap analysis so you have clear goals for what you need to do! (For example, 21 Handshake wants to get better at amplifying our friendliness and demonstrating the human side of our company.)

As you think about areas of improvement and change, remember that your audience may see your brand differently than you do. You may think that your brand shows a certain quality or evokes a particular emotion, but your target audience may not see that at all. That’s why it’s important to get feedback from your audience to make sure that you’re on the same page – and that assumptions aren’t holding your back. If you and your audience disagree on what your brand means, then you have a new goal!

Imagine Your Brand as Different Products

This is a great little exercise that we find quite helpful when a business is forming its own brand vision. If your brand was something else – a product or a person – what would it be like? What would its features or personality be? Some fun questions to ask are:

  • If your brand was a car, what car would it be?
  • What if it was a song?
  • What if it was a phone?
  • What if it was a superhero?

Are You Ready? Set Some Goals and Get Ready to Dive Into Your Brand

We know that this seems like covering a lot of information all at once. Typically this brand analysis and study of how your brand works/looks like takes much longer, at least an hour or so of work. But it’s important to get a good overview of what’s involved ahead of time. The goal here is to end with a clear vision of where your brand is now, and what you want your brand to be more like in the future.

If you found this episode interesting, you’ll definitely want to stick around for our following episode, where we will be talking about a brand audit – basically, a great way to check all the content related to your brand and see where you can expand your brand, and what you need to do to make sure your brand is consistent at all levels!

Additionally, keep in mind that these brand exercises are included in our Coach programs that 21 Handshake is currently offering to a limited number of clients in a beta program release. At $199 for 9 weeks, you won’t find another coaching effort like it! To learn more, visit our COACH webpage, read up, and apply.

Finally, if you enjoyed this episode, we’d love it if you left a review and recommended it to a friend. This really does make a difference to us! Until next time.