As brands, we’re in the business of trying to influence buying decisions, right?
Hopefully not in a super manipulative, creepy kind of way, but more in the way of trying to show the people we know we can best serve, that we’re here to help!
We try to position our brand as being the best choice for our ideal customer’s needs. We showcase our points of difference and establish a brand image, which separates us from the pack. Yet what I see missing with a lot of brands, is that they don’t know how to speak to a certain part of the brain that actually has a heck of a lot of control over decision making: the emotions or gut instinct.
Did you know that as women, we’re apparently genetically predisposed to being awesome in the gut instinct department! Go us! So that means if your ideal client is a woman, it’s time to sit up and take notice of your brands ‘gut’ appeal.
So what is this whole gut instinct thing?
Well have you ever noticed that when you see something you really connect with, you get this inspired, spacious feeling in your gut and when you see something you don’t connect with, you feel tight and confined? This is the gut instinct at work. Without facts, figures or logic, the brain sends a message down to the gut about whether something immediately feels good or bad, trustworthy or not to us. It’s the right side of our brain kicking in and it is a lot more persuasive than many realize.
So as a brand, how can we make sure we are not only a sound choice for our customers from a logical stand point, but also that we create an amazing, warm gut feeling inside them, filling them up with positive emotions and making them feel totally confident in our abilities?
Be relatable or aspirational to your ideal client
I don’t know about you, but I tend to trust people and brands who I feel I can relate to. Maybe we have similar personalities, similar interests, their style resonates with me, maybe they talk the way I would, or speak about things that I can totally relate to. When I see a bit of myself in a person or brand OR see something maybe I’m not really like, but I aspire to be, this creates the beginnings of a connection. This is where knowing your ideal customer comes seriously in handy. It’s even easier if your ideal client is a lot like you. Let’s face it: with personal brands, which many of my clients have, we don’t want to just be parading around with this false image which we think will appeal to a group of people who are most likely to buy what we sell. Instead, we want to be true to ourselves, to have fun conversations with like-minded people and to have clients which we enjoy working with. Either way, when you know your ideal client intimately, you’re better able to connect with them and make them have a positive response to what you’re putting out into the world.
Inspire them with your ‘Why’
We’re all sick of promotions and the endless noise of marketing messages. When someone speaks from the heart and soul about what they truly believe in, it has the ability to cut through the clutter and connect. Your ideal clients are looking for brands they can believe in, who are working towards a better future, in big or small ways. The big thing to remember is that you don’t have to be developing a cure for cancer to have a dream or a purpose that is worthwhile and something people can get behind. Maybe you just want to make the world a bit more beautiful, to spread more happiness around. That’s a beautiful dream that many people would connect with. The important thing is to let your audience in on WHY you do what you do. Don’t just assume it’s obvious. When you lead with inspiration, not manipulative sales tactics, great things happen!
Create a visual brand identity that makes your ideal customer’s gut go Yes! Yes! Yes!
Our visuals have the power to immediately connect. I know for me, when I jump onto someone’s site, I immediately know if it resonates with me or not. We’re all attracted to certain styles. Something is going to appeal to me if it is modern, feminine, soft, has some colour, feels inspiring and happy, and shows an attention to detail. If a site looks dated, generic or corporate, I’m going to be turned off and start seriously questioning whether I could ever work with the person, or if they sell products, I’m going to perceive them as lower quality or less desirable. We’ll all have our preferences and tastes. That’s why you can’t design branding that’s going to appeal to your friend, her little kid, her dad and her grandma. Someone’s going to be intuitively turned off. They’re going to get this bad feeling in their gut that you’re so not going to get their problems or desires. So make sure your visuals are in-line with who you want to attract.
Ask yourself how you want your ideal customer to feel when they see your branding / website / logo / colours / blog post!
What words would you love your ideal customer to use when describing you to all their friends? How do you want them to feel emotionally once they finish working with you, or use your product? Once you have your words, make sure you live and breathe them in your brand applications. Let them guide you and give you direction with your design, copywriting and verbal communications!
Overall focus on being yourself, speaking your truth, telling your story, being kind, generous and compassionate with your customers and you’ll go far!
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