Branding Your Business — Why Your Company Needs It Now More Than Ever
Does Your Business Need A Brand?
You have much more in common with big brands than you think.
When I work with small business owners, they often associate the term “brand”, with big companies like Coca Cola, Nike, Mc Donald’s, Verizon or Apple.
Many of them haven’t put much thought into building a brand because they don’t know why they need to be one. Their mindset for getting in front of customers is by advertising or posting on social media. They don’t realize they can speed up the “know, like and trust” of the buyer’s journey and create a fanatical fan-base or tight-knit community quicker with the what I call Authentic Cult Branding (more on that later).
Well here’s the deal… conventional advertising and exposure through social media is not working like it used to.
Well here’s the deal… conventional advertising and exposure through social media is not working like it used to for both small business and big brands. That’s because in this digitally connected world, consumer attention is getting harder and harder to come by.
There is so much information available at the tip of our googled fingertips. People are tuning out to avoid information overload. Consumers today are more selective in what they tune into these days. With brands, companies, social media, broadcast media and live streaming entertainment all vying for your attention, attention has become the new commodity.
In this on-demand culture in what Google has labeled “micro-moments” (where we as consumers “want what we want when we want it”), the way to capture attention these days is to be there with the right message when your potential customer wants it.
Being there in that micro-moment with the right message is what branding is about. Branding helps your customer to understand what you can do for them, and wraps it up in a nice, super cool, attractive package.
This on-demand culture is shaping consumer behavior into what I think of as the indulgent expectations of a spoiled little child. That child expects us to serve their needs immediately, and deliver customized, personalized goods as if we were reading their mind and know their heart’s desires. And when we meet those needs, they are happy for the moment, and from there, their expectations continue to grow.
Google is calling this “the hyper-segmented revolution” driven by this kind of individualized consumer behavior. Brands and business owners like you need to respond to these new expectations in meeting these needs for each individual.
Google has been consulting with the the global consumer goods company Unilever on consumer behavior. Unilever’s CMO Keith Weed says their goal is to meet a billion customers one-on-one in this hyper-segmented way, rather than trying to fit a niche.
Branding with Hyper-segmentation in your unique specific, intense, profound, vehement voice is what I call Authentic Cult Branding.
Branding with hyper-segmentation in your unique voice is what I call Authentic Cult Branding. That is speaking so intensely, profoundly, vehemently, and specifically in your authentic company culture voice to fulfill the needs of that “spoiled little child”. That child will feel so understood, so nurtured that a fierce loyalty will naturally happen. I know that sounds extreme, and it is. The psychology is that people want to feel understood and want to belong to a culture that they strongly identify with. And if they believe in the message behind that company’s culture, they feel a fervid cult-like loyalty to belong to it, get behind it, and even proudly promote it as if it were theirs.
In this attention economy, authentic cult branded messaging with one-to-one hyper-segmentation is currently one of the most effective ways to cut through the ever-increasing noise in the crowded marketplace.
What are you doing to cut through the noise?
Steps to Building an Authentic Cult Brand
- Define your brand narrative, brand ethos and core values
- Study your customer to understand how to serve them (Be like that parent who watches the emotional development of their child like a hawk to swoop in and feed and nurture that need when they need it.)
- Determine where your prospective “cult members” hang out and take time to understand why they are there, the etiquette of that platform, and the culture they are gravitating to.
- Create individualized authentic cult branded content in the language that speaks to your hyper-segmented customers and prospective “cult members”.
- Create what they are going to need before they know they need it or just when they need it. Serve that to them in a way that is helpful and frictionless.
- Know what makes you different, what you stand for, and how that feeds the needs of your “cult members”.
- Showcase your brand by being helpful, speaking in that language that helps them to feel nurtured and understood.
- Interact individually with your “cult members” giving them attention that feels personal and supportive.
- Encourage your “cult members” to share their story, their experience with your brand — the transformation and the meaningful philosophy that needs to be spread for the betterment of the world or your industry.
- Continue to pay attention and adjust to customer behavior (similar to the complexity of a developing child) in this ever changing landscape of our connected world.
Learn more about Authentic Cult Branding
Watch the replay of Angeline Longshore’s live interview on CBC Live with Leland Best. Below is a short clip. Watch the entire show here http://bit.ly/2zsXrQE