I Want You to Like Me: why we brand

I am as dramatic as they come.

On most mornings, I sing Broadway before the sun rises.

I have a line from a musical for every mishap in life.

And the Hallelujah Chorus will always be the most appropriate response to anything that goes well.

Sometimes it’s comical — even cute; other times it’s so questionable that I have to wonder about myself.

My tendency to perform in social situations stems from an infatuation with entertaining. I believe that a laughter-filled room is one of life’s greatest pleasures. So, naturally, I became a part time comedian.

I want to make people laugh, because I want people to like me.

You can call it what you want you want. But I call it branding.

In the world of biz and brand we have to make a decision about how we want to show up for people. We make that decision based on how we want to make people feel.

We figure that making them feel that way will also make them like us.

We know (because every marketing book since the begging of time has said it) that if they like us, they’ll buy from us.

But here’s what we don’t realize…

We are basing our actions on assumptions.

I assume that because I admire witty, sarcastic people who make me laugh, everyone else does too. I assume my friends will be humored and my ideal client will have a good laugh and we’ll live happily ever after.

Au contraire.

My comedic performance in the show called life has often been met with blank stares or hurt feelings.

Humiliating? Certainly.

But it’s taught me invaluable lessons for my rendition of a show called branding.

(1) You CAN decide how you want to make your audience feel

How you want to make people feel is indicative of your character. Your character is instrumental to the foundation of your brand. If you don’t bring who you are into your business, you’ll spend your days — and your marketing efforts — parading around as someone else.

That’s exhausting. And it breeds resentment.

Make a decision about the emotions you want to elicit based on who you are and how you want to show up for people.

People won’t remember what you said. They’ll remember how you made them feel.

This is the fun part of being in business.

This is your legacy.

(2) You have to UNCOVER what will make them feel that way.

You can’t decide people’s reactions for them. You can only influence them. To do that, you have to understand who they are and what makes them tick.

Just because that one scene in that one movie makes you feel that one way, doesn’t mean it’s going to make your ideal client feel that way.

Uncovering what makes your ideal client feel the feels requires effort and research and an unbiased third party for good measure.

You have to stalk them. Learn their habits. Where they shop. What they watch. You have to understand their struggles and their motivations.

And once you have all of this information, you can start to draw some conclusions about the way they view the world and how certain actions or imagery or experiences might make them feel the way you want them to feel.

Even then, your work isn’t done.

You have to create content and curate experiences that you anticipate will elicit the feels you want to make them feel.

Then you have to wait and watch and gauge the response.

You may have to reroute a few times, before you get to the final destination.

You may annoy or offend people along the way.

But one day you’ll find the spot where you share just the right parts of yourself that make your ideal clients feel just how you want them to feel.

And it will be pleasant and profitable and oh-so-fulfilling.

Laura Diaz is the CEO and Senior Strategist at Kiss Me Creative where they make client love all day long. Her super powers are efficiency, follow through and creativity based on sound logic. She enjoys long sips of coffee and short lines at Starbucks.