Everyone knows the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but yet odds are you have chosen a book because you are attracted to the cover. It’s natural for us as humans to be comfortable making a well-informed, educated decision, and that is exactly how branding affects a buyer’s journey.
When we think of branding, the first thing most businesses think about is color and logo design, and while those are key elements, branding is more than how you look. After all, you may choose a book by its cover, but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll like it, read it again, or recommend it to your friends.
Solve Consumer Problems
For any business, branding starts with a consumer problem. Your brand’s number one goal should be to solve a problem for your target audience. This means you need to understand the pain points of your consumer.
Let’s use a realtor for example. Is your client looking to buy a home or sell it? That’s the first problem you have to identify. From there you need to identify the pain points of that problem. Say your consumer is selling their home. Are they first time sellers? Is the home market ready? Do they know how to list their home? How are they going to market their listing to potential buyers? Those are the “pain points” associated with the problem a home owner is looking to relieve.
Once your business has identified a customer’s pain points, you can start to create content around solving those pains.
The next step in the branding process is to show your personality. What do you, as a company, value? How are you going to get the buyer’s attention? Is your business a little quirky or strictly professional?
All of these factors contribute to becoming top of mind.
Top of mind comes with a variety of perks from high ROI to more sales, the list is endless. Here is an easy way to think of it: What is the first brand that comes to mind when you want to buy a soda? Most people instantly think of Coca-Cola. Their brand is top of mind for the average consumer which is why many restaurants, entertainment venues, or even schools partner with the brand and only sell Coca-Cola branded products.
Unique Selling Proposition
Now that you have successfully identified the consumer’s problem and given them a taste of what your brand is all about, it’s time to differentiate your business from the competition. The content you created in the brand personality phase helped get the buyer interested in your solution, but they are also potentially considering your competitor’s.
This is where your company’s branding needs to showcase your unique selling proposition, or what makes you different and better than your competitors.
Going back to the realtor example, when a seller is looking to list their home, most agents charge a 3-5% commission. However, let’s say your company charges a flat listing fee of $4,000. This is your unique selling proposition. The flat fee is a critical part of your branding, and it is what will help buyers choose you over the competition.
Offer Something They Can’t Turn Down
At this point of the branding process, your client is ready to purchase your product or service. Now is the time to make an irresistible offer. Whether it is service or quality that goes above and beyond the industry standard or a special deal like the flat listing fee from the example above, use your unique proposition to make it difficult for the buyer to go anywhere else.
Once the customer has chosen your brand’s service or product, make sure you know they are a valued consumer. From follow-ups on service appointments to remedying any malfunctions or inconsistencies in a product, every interaction a buyer has with you or your product helps to build your brand identity.
Build a Loyal Customer Base
With your brand voice and identity solidified in the consumer’s brain, you need to begin anticipating how their needs may change and how you can help solve any new problems.
Think about the realtor one last time. If your business helped a client sell their home, now they might be on the hunt for a new one. This time shift your branding to the buying services you offer. By doing so, your company starts to develop a loyal consumer base with repeat buyers.
The Branding Process
It’s important to remember that branding is a process, not just how nice your packaging is. When you think about how branding affects the buyer’s journey, there are six steps you need to take:
- Identify the Consumer Problem & How Your Brand Solves It
- Use Your Brand Personality to Gain Attention & Become Top of Mind
- Showcase Your Unique Proposition
- Make an Irresistible Offer
- Provide the Best Consumer Experience
- Build a Loyal Customer Base
Using this six step branding process, you will develop your company’s offer, messaging, brand personality, and marketing strategy.