Imagine this: you've put in blood, sweat, and tears to craft a brand that will take the world by storm. You've got the visuals, the logo, the catchy tagline – the brand identity is all set! But wait, why aren't people connecting with your brand how you envisioned?
Fret not, my entrepreneurial pals, because today we will unveil the magic behind aligning your brand perception with expectations. Buckle up as we journey through the land of branding with clarity and confidence as our compass.
Brand Perception: The Reality Check
Your brand's perception is like your first impression on a blind date – it shapes how your audience views you. Think about it: you put in all the effort to look your best, but if the vibe isn't right, the connection fizzles. Similarly, if your brand doesn't resonate with your audience, they won't stick around for the second date – or in this case, a purchase.
Here's the kicker: your brand perception is not just about how YOU see your business. It is about how your customers perceive it. It is like creating a masterpiece, then handing the paintbrush to your audience and letting them add their own strokes. Scary, right? But when the consumer has a positive perception of your brand, that is where the magic happens!
Expectations: The Secret Sauce of Branding
Expectations are the little devils that can make or break your brand strategy. You might expect your customers to instantly fall head over heels for your brand, or you may feel your brand is communicating exactly how you want it to, but reality might have other plans. Here's the deal: expectations need to be grounded in reality.
Remember, your brand is not just a flashy logo – it's a promise. You are playing the wrong game if you promise top-notch service but deliver something mediocre. Your brand's perception should align with the experience you offer. It's like serving soup to someone who wanted a salad – you would feel cheated, right? Same goes for your customers.
The Bridge: Where Perception Meets Reality
Ladies and gentlemen, entrepreneurs and business wizards, the bridge between brand perception and expectations is where the magic unfolds. This bridge is built on trust, consistency, and understanding the audience's desires. Let's break it down:
Authenticity is Queen:
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, your brand should reflect who you truly are. Trying to be someone else is like wearing shoes that are too tight – uncomfortable and unsustainable. Authenticity builds a genuine connection that resonates with your audience.
To achieve authenticity, check in with your messaging and image. Is everything lining up with the brand pillars you’ve developed? These 4-5 terms pave the way to effectively communicate what your brand stands for, so triple checking, reframing, and tweaking here will help you achieve success quicker.
Consistency is Key:
Imagine if your favorite coffee shop served you a different tasting latte every day. You would be baffled, right? Consistency in branding is equally important. Your brand's visuals, tone, and messaging should be unmistakably yours so the customer recognizes it instantly. A quick trick is to pull a few marketing and sales pieces developed during the last quarter and do a cross-reference to make sure you are on brand across the board.
Listening is Learning:
Your audience isn't just a bunch of wallets – they arere people with desires and preferences. Listen to their feedback, engage with them, and adjust your brand accordingly. It's like taking advice from someone who actually knows what they are talking about. And remember, my golden rule is no response is still a response, so when pulling the data make sure you are telling the real story.
Over-Deliver and Underpromise:
If you set your customers' expectations low and deliver a stellar experience, they will be pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, promising the world and delivering a pebble might leave them disappointed. At the TBMCo, we build our marketing plans around super serving the core audience. Stick to that, and you will be just fine.
When your brand perception and expectations are in sync, you exude confidence. Confidence is that elusive element that transforms a so-so brand into a captivating one. Your audience senses and is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. If you have read From Individual To Empire: A Guide to Building an Authentic and Powerful Brand, you know I always say there is no such thing as the it factor. It is really just knowing your brand so thoroughly, and communicating it so well, that the confidence shines through in nanoseconds.
The bottom line is to nail your confidence, and therefore your brand growth, by embracing the process of refining, adapting, and aligning perception with reality. Branding is not just pretty pictures and snazzy fonts – it is crafting an experience your audience can't ignore and will want to stick around for long term.
Marketing is giving them what they want, but branding is about giving them what they expect, and that makes all the difference.
Now go out there and #gettobranding! And, if you feel you are still struggling with this concept, read more about our proprietary 3-phase brand development process here. Together we can dive deeper into how to develop a brand story that is truly authentic and engaging using shared values with a focus on brand loyalty. Make sure you are building a business empire with clarity and confidence so that it doesn't just survive – it thrives!
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