We’ve discussed branding mistakes before… Sometimes you are making them without even realizing it. But what if you really feel like your business isn’t growing? Could it be your brand’s fault? It’s likely that your brand just isn’t connecting with your target audience. Now you have to figure out why that connection isn’t happening.
Here are 7 reasons why your brand might not be connecting with your target audience and how you can fix the issue
You don’t know who you are trying to connect with
This is one of the most common issues that we see when it comes to lack of connection between a brand and target audience. If you don’t know exactly who you are targeting, your brand could be totally off. And before you say, “well, my brand is for everyone!” Think twice. Very few successful businesses focus on everyone for a couple of reasons:
- Unless you have an unlimited budget, everyone is hard to reach at once.
- Different audience segments have different needs and wants. Sometimes when you cater to one, you alienate the other.
If your audience is too broad, you are likely missing out because your target is too broad for you to make an impact. It’s best to start with a focused segment so they can get to know your brand and then you can easily expand from there as you learn more about yourself and your audience.
Before making any more strategic moves with your brand, take a step back and fully define your target audience down to the miniscule behaviours that set them apart from other segments. Then move forward thinking about your brand by identifying your value proposition based on their needs, not just what you THINK they need.
You’re too focused on you
Everything you do is about you, not your audience. While this may make sense in your head (you want people to learn more about what you do right?), in practice it just looks like you only care about yourself. Your brand and business can’t exist without your customers, so you need to shift your perspective to focus on them the majority of the time. This shows that you value your audience and what they have to say.
One way to keep yourself in check is to focus on the type of content you share. A good rule of thumb to follow is the thirds rule:
- 1/3 of your content promotes your business, brand, and ideals – you can be “salesy” with this content as it is meant to convert your customers.
- 1/3 of your content focuses on industry trends and thought pieces, curating content from third parties who share the same values and ideas as your brand and audience.
- 1/3 of your content is all about engaging your audience and influencers on social media – focused on creating meaningful dialogue and showcasing your brand personality.
You’re in a relationship with yourself
A relationship isn’t very fun if it’s one-sided… Even worse than just focusing on yourself, you could be just disregarding your audience completely in favour of this content machine you have built. You’re just pushing out content with no thought about your audience or what they want. It can be easy to fall into this type of rut if you put a lot of pressure on quantity of content rather than quality.
You need to start engaging your audience in dialogue and actually listening to what they have to say. You might be surprised at what you can learn from your audience about your brand and the way you are connecting with them.
A great way to ensure you show that you value your community of customers is to build a loyalty program. This will not only help you engage directly with them, but it will also instill longer-term loyalty in your relationship.
You’re not connecting on an emotional level
Lasting personal relationships are usually based on some sort of emotional connection – the same can be said for your audience/brand relationship. If you are relying on auto-responders, automated systems, bots, and other AI to build out your brand connections, you are doing it wrong. Sure, it might make your life easier, but you are forgetting that your customers are human and you are human acting on behalf of your brand. If you remove the human aspect to it, then what is the point?
Instead, focus on creating memorable interactions, choosing to appeal to your audience emotions rather than adding to the noisy content machine. Meaningful interaction surrounding your values and ethics as well as causes you support is a good place to start.
You don’t stand for anything
Like humans, brand should have a strong point of view. If you are constantly sitting on the fence and not taking a stand, your audience might not feel a strong connection with you.
This isn’t to say you all of a sudden need to become activists, however, showcasing what you believe in will help your audience connect with you on a deeper level.
Your marketing mix is off
We’re no talking about “the 4Ps” of marketing, we’re talking about your digital vs. traditional marketing tactics mix. Social media makes it easy to turn your attention on a solely digital strategy, and in some cases, people aren’t even on digital at all.
You need multiple touchpoints to be effective with your marketing, so you should think about how you can use both digital and traditional tactics to build your marketing strategy. This will keep things interesting and allow you to be a bit more creating with your marketing.
Not enough focus on thought leadership
Just because you say you know what you’re talking about doesn’t me you actually do… And it certainly doesn’t mean your audience is going to blindly believe you. You need to prove your expertise by engaging in marketing tactics that help to build your credibility through content and third party channels. You need a thought leadership platform that will establish you as the go-to expert in your field. People take experts seriously.
If no one trusts you, they won’t buy into what you’re selling. In fact, there are annual studies that focus solely on trust – it’s important and you can’t ignore it. A great way to start is to build a consistent blog strategy where you showcase your expertise. This is highlighted by a strong social media strategy as well. Once you have that foundation in place, you can move into media and influencer relations to work with third parties to help you tell your story.
When done right, branding doesn’t have to be difficult, but you have to put the work in to create a strong foundation.
If you are stuck in a rut or don’t know where to start with your brand, be sure to give us a call!