Whether you are considering making a small logo tweak or a complete personality change, here are four questions you should ask before you go down the road of rebranding.
What does rebranding mean to you?
A rebrand can mean many things to many people, so it is important you are clear on what you want and what it means to you. For some, it is a simple update to their logo and messaging, but for others, it is a complete brand change, that may include a new logo, brand personality and even business name.
As you can imagine there are significant differences in cost – and not all are financial. If you want to make a big brand change, and you have been operating for a while, there are a few more things you need to consider like:
- What is the goodwill associated with your brand (your reputation and implied credibility)?
- How recognisable is your brand to your customers and potential customers?
- Have you done a lot of work on SEO that you could lose should you change name and domain name?
Why do you want to rebrand?
This is the most important question to answer when thinking about rebranding, and you need to answer it honestly. Is the rebrand because you want or need a change or is it because the customer you want to target is disconnected from your brand?
Doing a complete rebrand can be a big marketing task, and in many ways, you will be starting again so make sure it is for the right reasons. If the reason behind your rebrand is that you want or need a change to feel more energised in your business again, then look at a slight logo update or a change of messaging as opposed to a full rebrand.
Who are your customers and what do they want from your brand?
Your customers should always be at the forefront of any brand decision you make. After all, if they don’t feel connected with your brand they won’t buy from you, and that is a BIG problem!
Look at who your customers are and what they are likely to respond to. Say for instance you want your favourite colour pink reflected in your logo, but your clients are mostly male, it may not be the wisest choice. While this is a basic example, the same applies to the rest of your brand.
Don’t make the mistake of making your brand entirely about you. While you do need to have a connection to it for authenticity, and you may have even founded your company out of a personal need or frustration you are not your customer.
Where are you going?
Peek into the future, what do you want to achieve with your brand? What are the values, vision and mission of your business? What difference do you want to make in the lives of others? What do you want to be known for? What growth and innovation plans do you have? What goals do you want to achieve? Where do you want to be in three, five and ten years?
Now ask yourself, what kind of brand will get you there? What story do you need to tell and sell to capture the minds and hearts of customers and potential customers?
That is the brand you need to create or keep.
Every day we are exposed to thousands of brands and marketing messages. Texts, emails, social media, television, radio, billboards, cars and buses all tell us what we need to be, do, have and buy. As a result, our customers have never been more savvy, or more immune to marketing messages as they are today.
For those of us who play in overcrowded market places or are busy creating new ones, the need to be different and memorable in our marketing has never been more important. Here are three copywriting tricks to help.
Never underestimate the power of a good metaphor. Metaphors compare two items that are seemingly unrelated, yet are similar in a way. Think Coco Pops’ ‘Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy’, or Butter Menthol’s ‘Like a comforting hug from Mum’.
Metaphors give you the opportunity to simplify complicated concepts or introduce new ideas and products in a simple, relatable way, allowing your potential customers and investors to understand the value in what you do.
Metaphors can also help you evoke emotion, quite quickly in fact. Get the right comparison and you can often transport your customers back to a time or situation that creates the right emotional response for them to see the need to buy your product or service.
I know rhyming has a bad rap in some circles (forgive the pun), but there is still benefit in using it. Not only does it make messages easier to remember, but research has also suggested that rhyming phrases are perceived to be more accurate and truthful.
I’m certainly not saying you need to go and make lyrical magic with every piece of marketing material you put out, but don’t be afraid to get a little creative. Give rhyming a go on one of your calls to actions and test your results.
3. Play the role
As you develop your brand personality, it is important to identify the role you want to play with your customers. Your role or relationship to them can dramatically change the tone of voice and content you use in everything from a social media update to an ad campaign.
Do you want to be the older authoritative figure they listen to and admire? The quirky aunt they love? The best friend they can’t live without? The older brother or sister who is looking out for them?
Find the role your customer needs that best matches your mission and why. Not only will it make you more relatable and your tone and purpose clearer, but it can also help you build rapid rapport and loyalty simply by reminding them of someone who is important to them.
When it comes to putting together a successful marketing campaign you need to know your market, but a general overview will only get you so far. To get that intimate voice in your copy where a potential customer wonders “are they reading my mind?” you need to get to know your buyer.
One of the best ways of doing this is to establish buyer personas, avatars that describe the people you want most as your customers. These avatars embody the demographics, characteristics and behaviours of your ideal customers, and give you a single person to direct your blog posts, social media updates, videos and sales copy to.
But where do you start? While ideally you want to interview your ideal customers to get it straight from their mouth, you can also start to establish personas by looking at past customers and who you want to work with. Here are some questions to ask to get you started.
Getting to know your buyer
The best place to get to know your buyer is by looking at their demographics and personal characteristics. This will give you clarity around the type of person you are targeting and the voice you need to use to communicate to them.
1. Are they male or female?
2. What is their age?
3. Where do they live?
4. What stage of life are they in?
5. Are they in a relationship or single?
6. Do they have children?
7. What level of education did they complete?
8. Did they attend a specific school or university?
9. Where do they work?
10. How long have they worked there?
11. How much do they earn?
12. How much do they spend?
Uncovering your buyer’s pain points
Your buyer’s pain points can tell you a lot of information, from what problem you need to solve and product or service you need to lead with, to the messaging you need to use, objections you need to overcome and risks you need to minimise.
13. What do they value?
14. What is important to them?
15. What do they need?
16. What concerns them?
17. What frustrates them?
18. What do they want from your product/service?
19. What don’t they want from your product/service?
20. What do they appreciate?
21. What don’t they appreciate?
22. What challenges are they experiencing?
23. Are they time-rich or time-poor?
24. Are they more focused on price or value?
25. Are they a leader or a follower?
26. Are they cautious or a risk taker?
Discovering ways to reach your buyer
By drilling down further you can also start to identify the best ways of reaching your buyer, what tactics to use in your marketing and who else you may need to market to get your buyer over the line.
27. Where do they like to socialise?
28. Who do they like to socialise with?
29. Who’s opinion do they hold in high regard?
30. Who influences their buying decisions?
31. Who do they look up to and admire?
32. What are their interests?
33. How do they like to communicate?
34. What books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade publications, blogs and websites do they read?
35. What radio, television or YouTube channels do they listen to and watch?
36. What social media platforms are they most active on?
37. What social media influencers do they follow?
38. What events do they attend?
39. What places do they frequently visit?
40. What other brands do they use or are they loyal to?
These are just some of the questions you can ask when establishing your buyer personas. When you have an avatar set for each of your target customers consider pinning their profiles up in your office so you and your team never lose sight of who you are talking to and serving.
Do you use buyer personas to help make your marketing more targeted and engaging?
P.S. Need help developing your Buyer Personas? Give us a call on 07 3820 9810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
With customers bombarded with so many brands and advertisements each day, it is your job to make your marketing messages more persuasive and relevant to break through the noise.
But where do you start? Here are six tips to help you make your marketing messages more persuasive.
1. Know what your customers are buying
When your customers choose to buy from you, they are buying more than a product or service. They are buying the solution to their problem, the answer to their question, the feeling they’ve been missing or the convenience they’ve been wanting.
When you uncover what your customers really want, you capture not only the attention of your customer but their heart as well.
2. Speak with authority
Every purchase requires your customer to trust you. The higher the purchase price, the more trust your customer needs to have in you.
To build trust, you need to speak with authority. Present yourself as the expert, share your knowledge, draw on your experiences, and tell stories about the value you have provided. Own your skills and expertise. Be confident in your abilities and bold in your belief that you can deliver. Confidence makes you more persuasive.
3. Leverage social proof
People follow people. People also want to be part of something – a movement, cause, group or community. Social proof helps you to build this.
When you share the experiences others have had with your products and services, you ease the concerns and minimise the risks for your customers. But more importantly, you create commonality among your customers, and that can be built into a sense of community.
4. Treat customers as ‘the one’
Do the unexpected. Go above and beyond. Be committed to doing the most you can do in your business. The more you can make your customers feel like they are the only one you are concerned about and the only one you are speaking to, the more powerful your message becomes.
5. Keep it simple
Our customers crave convenience, yet many of us have a tendency to overcomplicate our sales process. We give too many choices and price points, include too many steps and clicks and request too many details.
Keep it simple. Don’t ask for every contact detail up front, make your website easy to navigate, ensure the next step is clear, and your calls to action are compelling and easy to follow.
6. Create urgency
We are a competitive bunch. If we think we are going to miss out on something, we act faster. So once you have established your value, create urgency through special edition products or services, time limited opportunities or bonuses open to limited people.
How can you be more persuasive in your marketing?
Questions are powerful in sales and marketing. When you use them right they uncover needs, challenge thought processes, demonstrate your uniqueness and increase conversions.
If you aren’t convinced already, here are four reasons why you need to ask your potential customers more questions in your sales and marketing.
1. Questions engage
Questions draw readers into your words and make them involved. When a question is asked (a closed question in this case) we naturally answer it, we can’t help but agree, disagree or form an opinion.
When this happens, your potential customers are more likely to read on. Your potential customer will want to see if you share the same opinion, have an interesting point, or can provide the solution to the issue, problem or ‘what if’ scenario raised in the question.
2. Questions challenge beliefs
A well-posed question can help you challenge your potential customers beliefs, disrupt their thought process and help them uncover needs they don’t know they have so your message or point of view can pierce through.
These piercing questions are particularly important when people have “heard it all before…” or when you are launching a new product, service or concept and need to educate people on why they need your business.
3. Questions break down perceptions
A lot of times potential customers bring perceptions to your business and industry. They make assumptions about what you do and how you do it based on their level of understanding and experience with competitors.
While this can work in your favour (the education is done for you), it can also work against you and fuel their objections if they have had negative past experiences.
When you pose a question based on your point of difference or a failing in your industry (think “Tired of [insert point]?” “Sick of [insert point]?” or “Isn’t it time you [insert point]?”), it can change your potential customers perceptions of you, demonstrate your understanding of them and separate you from competitors.
4. Questions can make sales
Leading questions, where you ask your potential customer a series of questions you know they will say yes to, have been proven to increase sales conversions.
When you can get potential customers in the habit of saying “yes” when you ask them to act or buy they are more prone to say “yes” again.
What questions could you ask to engage and convert your customers?
As we are discovering “why?” is one of the most powerful questions we can ask. Not only in terms of problem solving, but also for motivating and influencing our customers and prospects.
When we can convince our prospects as to why they should buy from us, and take them on an emotional journey to get there, we are in a far greater position to make the sale.
But what emotions should you appeal to and where do you start? In my experience here are the top three selling emotions and how to use them.
To move quickly, people need to experience discontentment with their current situation. As much as we want to move towards pleasure, we are far more motivated to move away from pain. Just think about it if we were all motivated by pleasure, we’d all have what we want, or be well on the way to getting what we want.
The purpose of using discontentment is to create a need or desire in the mind of your prospect. Discomfort can come from many different emotions including frustration, envy, resentment, regret, guilt and even fear to name a few. You might find yourself appealing to current emotions or the possibility of them experiencing them in the future by taking prospects to the ‘worst case scenario’ (think life insurance for instance).
When you can demonstrate their pain and frustration or potential or pain and frustration, you start to make your prospect discontent. If you can make them uncomfortable and then show them a way to be more comfortable than they have ever been, you have increased your chances of making the sale.
A word of warning: When you are appealing to emotions, particularly strong, negative emotions tread carefully and sensitively. You need to make sure the feeling is about one specific area that you can move your prospect out of quickly to not leave those feelings associated with your brand.
Hope is a powerful emotion. It can motivate us to act completely out of our comfort zone and do some crazy things for the potential of a reward.
Once your prospect is discontent, give them hope that there is a way out. If discontent is your ‘worst case scenario’ then hope is your ‘what if…’ scenario.
A word of warning: Hope is where expectations are made. While you do need to build up your ‘what if…’ scenario, don’t build it up to a point where they could experience disappointment if they buy from you.
Now your prospect has hope it’s time to build excitement. Excitement motivates us to move forward, and it also ensures that whatever we are excited about stays at the forefront of our mind.
To get your prospect excited though, they also need to see the value, incentive (“what’s in it for me?”) and urgency. You need to demonstrate to your prospect that they need and most importantly want to act now.
A word of warning: When someone is really excited they want to act immediately – and you want them to act immediately because the feeling can be fleeting. To cater for this make it easy for them to act by being clear on the next step. The fastest way to squash excitement is to make the process too hard or long.
Are you appealing to the right emotions in your marketing?
There can be something quite intimidating about a blank page. The pressure to fill it with words can be overwhelming. Even the most experienced writers can, at some point, feel as though their ideas have dried up, and they don’t know where to start. But it can be overcome.
Whether you need to write a presentation or proposal, a book or a blog, an advertisement or an anecdote, a newsletter or news release, here are five ways to help you overcome blank page paralysis.
1. Work backwards
When you are stuck, it can help to look at the end goal. What do you want to happen as a result of this? What is the next action step? What do you want customers, readers, journalists, staff members or other stakeholders to take away from it or do as a result of it?
Once you know the end goal, it is easier to determine what you need to write to achieve it, giving you a place to start.
2. Be inspired by the work of others
Need to give a presentation? Watch some TED Talks and other great speeches in history. Have a blog to write? Read other blogs and publishing websites. Need to develop an advertisement? Look over the most successful advertisements developed over the years.
Sometimes we need a touch of inspiration to get us on our way. To see an example of how it is done right or to see it achieving results for us to know it is possible and make a start.
Inspiration should not be confused with plagiarism though. You don’t want to copy what you have read, listened to or watched. Instead, look at the subtle details that appealed to you like their tone of voice, presentation of facts, how they formulated their argument, captured attention or used imagery.
3. Reconnect with your creativity
Sometimes sitting behind a computer can stifle our creativity. We can get too caught in the humdrum of routine and are too easily distracted by the noises of new emails and social media updates coming through.
Think back over the times when you have been the most creative. Chances are it wasn’t in front of your computer screen; it was with a pen and paper, over a whiteboard, away from your desk or talking with others. Also, take into consideration the time of day it was. Identify any patterns and do what you can to recreate these moments of creativity.
4. Write your way
You don’t need to write from start to finish. If you are more inspired to start at the end or halfway through then follow your inspiration. Pressure will only fuel procrastination and overwhelm.
Make notes under different sections or headings and come back to them when you feel you have more clarity. There is no right or wrong way to fill a page. You need to find the process that most suits you.
5. Delegate it
If you are experiencing severe writers block and can’t find a way around it personally, then delegate it. Give yourself something to work with by asking a staff member, ghostwriter or copywriter to do the first draft for you.
It might just take someone else’s interpretation of your business, product, service or topic to help you gain more clarity around your positioning and what you do and don’t want to say.
There is no questioning the benefit of content marketing. But while attracting and converting customers with valuable, relevant and consistent content can yield a significant return on investment, not everyone gets it right.
To ensure you do, here are four of the biggest content marketing mistakes businesses frequently make so you can make sure you avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Thinking like a marketer not a publisher
When it comes to content marketing you need to think like a publisher not a marketer. A marketer’s focus is on selling, where a publisher’s focus is on producing interesting content that engages readers and keeps them coming back.
Your content should build your credibility and expertise and showcase your value in such a way that readers see the benefit in working with you without you having to push for the sale. Sales naturally come when you add value.
Mistake #2 – Being inauthentic
When customers and potential customers sense inauthenticity they lose faith and you lose followers. To build credibility in your content marketing you need to be authentic.
To ensure you are being true to yourself and your brand you need to know what you stand for, why you do what you do, who you are targeting, what they want and why you are using social media. When you know this you can then establish your tone of voice, personality and the content that aligns with both you and your target market.
Mistake #3 – Unoriginal content
There is nothing worse than reading blog posts, books and resources that are a regurgitation or blatant copy of someone else’s content.
While it is only natural that some content will be similar when you have a similar viewpoint or process to someone else, you can always find a way to make it your own. It could be through using a personal anecdote, a case study of a client, your professional experience or approaching the topic from a different angle.
Mistake #4 – Publishing for the sake of publishing
We’re all told about the importance of regular content. In fact it’s drummed into us so much that often regularity gets prioritised over quality.
The result? We publish content we know isn’t our best, prescribing to the theory that something is better than nothing. But it’s not.
You can lose credibility and followers if your content isn’t valuable to your readers. Missing a blog because you can’t think of anything to write is far better than publishing something that is irrelevant or of a lower standard.