Branding a business to appeal to everyone nearly always fails. The brand ends up being one of many instead of standing out and appeals to no one in particular. We reduce the brand to a base-level commodity. Likewise, trying to brand on a buying trigger doesn’t make much sense unless you sell something people need daily. A buying trigger is ephemeral. It’s just timing. You’ll miss the mark unless you’re in front of the prospective customer at that exact magic buying moment.
Two things happen when we shift our thinking away from what we want people to buy to what we want them to feel.
First, we start to understand our customers more personally, making it easier to speak to them. Second, we get clarity for ourselves on what makes our business truly unique.
Craft a brand to appeal to the customer base who need what we do and who will love how we do it. Build it to draw people in so it resonates. Aim that brand at people who will trust you before they need you. When that buying trigger moment happens, who already knows that you’re the business they want to work with.
A whopping 95% of our decisions are made without thinking. This includes purchasing decisions, both large and small. We “go with our gut” and do things because it “feels right.” We love our comfort zones. We buy a phone because it’s Apple, shoes because they’re Nike, a car because it’s BMW. We often don’t think about paying more for brands that we perceive as better, even though the product might be equal to a lower-cost competitor. We buy from brands that feel good, that we trust, that we think will give us peer approval, and that feel like safe decisions.
I look at these psychological needs in two layers. Where we are in a moment and the deeper layer of how we’re wired.
Buying triggers happen in the moment, which is also where our situation emotions like anger or happiness are. The deeper layer is where our gut instinct is, and it’s tied to our underlying needs.
One person might be driven by a need to feel connected to others when another craves independence. While one might freak out when they can’t control things and crave structure, another may have a need to feel that they are the best at something.
That deeper layer is what we’re seeking. Your customers are human. You, as the leader of your company, just so happen to be human, too. You have those same needs, and chances are that you built your business at least in part to fill them. You attracted people to work with you who feel similar things.
After using my brand assessment with clients, I decided to make a simplified version available
to website visitors. It only takes about 5 minutes to complete. Even better, you’ll also get a short series of emails to help you learn more on how to use your new knowledge. It’s all totally free.
The twelve brand archetypes fall into four main quadrants based on the core human needs that they appeal to. These are connection, structure, independence, and mastery.
After taking the brand archetype quiz, you’ll be able to download your brand profile. Through the following couple of weeks you’ll get more emails to help you hone in on your brand style. Some of the information is available on my website, but most of it isn’t. It’s exclusive to the email series and, like the brand quiz, it’s totally free.