Time after time, when we are being asked to help build an online brand’s success curve and increase awareness, penetration, conversion, repeat business and onward recommendation, I am amazed to discover just how little work has been put into defining the building blocks of the brand in the first place. The initial focus can often be simply:
Whilst this is all good stuff, this step simply provides us with a style guide without the time really being taken to use the opportunity to challenge the definition of the brand in todays rapidly changing, ultra competitive online world. Whether you are launching a product or service for the first time or looking to update your current online offering it really is worth taking the time to drill down and do some analysis before rushing headlong into a new website/logo/ strapline etc etc. If I may be so bold, I would like to offer a simple, three step process to get you started.
1. Why do you do what you do? I’m afraid “We’re in it for the money” is not enough. Perhaps you have found a way to solve a long standing problem and are passionate about sharing this with other people? Maybe you are taking a family company, with its traditional values, online for the first time? Whatever the reasons, if you don’t clearly understand them how can you develop a meaningful conversation with your audience?
2. What is unique about your product, service or experience? What is unique about how your product or service meets a need/ solves a problem/ meets an aspiration and how does it differentiate you from your competition? This needs careful thought so as to avoid too many ‘blue sky’ promises or claims and will also help you highlight areas that may need some attention and areas where you competition may appear stronger. It will also add to your understanding of the journey
3. Who is you ‘ideal’ target customer? Often treated very generically, using ‘big picture’ demographics and market share numbers. Drilling down to that bullseye customer persona can inform your entire content strategy. Who are they? What needs or aspirations do you meet? What problems do you solve? Is there any calenderisation involved? You really have to define the who, what and when if you are to have a meaningful online dialogue and knowing the character of your customer will inform the style of conversation you have online (professional/ playful/ understanding).
Seemingly simple, if you put the groundwork in first, you really will add tremendous value to the process of launching or refreshing your online presence and give us the opportunity to reflect the unique nature of your business as we help to build a framework for successful online brand and business development. It will also help portray you honestly in a world where so many claims made online are simply that!
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