Brand: 10 questions you need to ask about your customers
Brand has been around for a while but it can still be a confusing subject for many businesses and business owners. For example, many people still believe branding simply involves the creation of a simple logo, a tagline and a website. While a new logo and website may form part of the visual brand deliverables of a B2B branding process, they aren’t the total sum of the brand process. When it comes to creating a new brand or refreshing an existing brand, there are a range of factors that need to be taken into consideration other than just the logo design and an impressive-looking website.
One of the most overlooked factors is the simple consideration of your end user – your customer. Your branding is what generates a timeless connection with your customer. Even if your current marketing efforts are designed to engage, its the ongoing branding that keeps your customers coming back.
The best place to start building brand magic is to consider and analyse your ideal customer or client. Put them at the centre of your brand. Knowing who you’re marketing to enables you to resonate with them in your overall strategy.
Here are 10 quick questions you need to ask about your customer before you can begin to make your own blend of brand magic.
#1. Who are your customers really?
Most businesses think they know their customer. Most only know them on a fairly superficial level. If you don’t know your customer how can you expect them to buy from you?
Are you selling directly to individuals? Best practice is to find out the basics first: your customers’ gender, age, marital status and occupation. If you sell to other businesses, find out what size and what kind of business they are eg. are they a small private company, a family business or a big multi-national? Also source out who makes the decisions and who are the influencers to those decision makers. This should form part of your brand and customer intel. Think of it as your business knowledge bank or your brand ‘black book’.
#2. What do they do?
If you sell directly to individuals, find out their roles, occupations, responsibilities and other outside interests. The basics form the glue in the relationship. Take an interest and find common connections. If you sell to other businesses, find out as much as you can about them (ideally before you meet them – do your due diligence) and get a clear understanding of what their business is trying to achieve – and the challenges involved. This way you don’t come across as too hard sell as you’re focusing instead on adding value and aligning with their business goals.
#3. Why do they buy?
The golden question. If you know why customers buy a particular product or service, it’s far easier to match their needs to the benefits your business can offer. Most businesses simply don’t ask this question for fear of ‘the truth’. Be bold – ask. It’ll help your business grow. Remember there are two types of benefits – emotional and functional. Both are equally important but ‘brand’ focuses on the emotional benefits to ensure the brand connects deeply with the customer so they keep coming back.
#4. When do they buy?
A tricky one. If you approach a customer just at the time they want to buy, you will massively increase your chances of success. Finding this out however is the real challenge. Marketing campaigns can help here as well as market research and analytics for the online world.
#5. How do they buy?
Some people are happy to buy online from a website, others prefer a face-to-face meeting. Some like to ‘tap and go’, others prefer hard cash or the personal touch. Again, it depends on the customer. Its no good having no EFT facilities if 90% of your customer base want easy, no fuss payment options. This is crucial intel on the sales process and needs to be factored into your overall brand identity and marketing approach.
#6. How much money do they have?
Businesses will be more successful if they can match what they’re offering to what they know their customer can afford. Gauging this can save a lot of wasted time and effort. Further, you can tailor your offering to their budget accordingly.
#7. What makes them feel good about buying?
If you know what makes your customer tick, you can serve them in a way they prefer. Why? Because people buy emotionally first. Pin pointing the feeling and actively working at developing that feeling by associating it with your brand will pay dividends.
#8. What are their expectations of you?
What can you promise them? Are you communicating this? If your customers expect reliable delivery and you don’t disappoint them, you stand to gain repeat business. Manage those expectations to build trust. Don’t believe me? Even Steve Jobs said it – ‘Brand is all about trust’.
#9. What do they think about you?
How are you perceived? If your customers enjoy dealing with you, they’re likely to buy more. Here’s the catch. You can only tackle problems that customers have if you know what they are. If you don’t know their problems, how can you solve them? The solution? Ask them. Trust me – it will be revealing and could transform how you set up and do business in future.
#10. What do they think about your competitors?
If you know how your customers view your competition, you’ll be in a much better place (and head space) to position your brand strongly as a consequence. Relevancy is a powerful concept I’ve mentioned before. Brand is about identity and being sure of who you are, how you see the world and attracting a community based on and around those core beliefs and values.
Be open minded.
Be your customer for brand success.
I hope you learned something new, insightful or useful from this blog.
At The Brand Experts, we believe in helping businesses build a ‘brand and business DNA’ for business growth. We achieve this through a series of workshops designed to help businesses realise and communicate their ‘Why?’, their identity, voice and personality. Why? To resonate powerfully with ideal customers and make a difference in their world. I’m passionate about creating brand stories & building business identities that help business get the growth they want.