HOW BRANDS RESONATE MEANINGFULLY WITH THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE
Nick Birch 2014
All aspects of a brand image should resonate with its target audience in order to create a meaningful relationship. Before a brand can improve the lives of those who use it, the identity of both needs to be clearly understood by the other. Once this is established, a relationship can be forged and nurtured much like a relationship between two people. Like a relationship, the parties need to bond, to listen, to grow, to be authentic and to stay that way.
When Interbrand (2014), the world’s largest brand consultancy, released their 2007 Brand Marketers Report, the following five top aspects of successful branding were revealed (Airey, 2007):
2. Understanding of Customer/Target
4. Creative/Design/Brand ID
Many other aspects were of course discovered in the survey, but the best practises may be found under these top five – the first beating the second by twice the percentage (Airey, 2007). When implemented successfully, valuable brand equity can be attained, attracting a responsive audience and relevant target customers.
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Attitude Design (2008) attests that brand consistency ‘is where a business attempts to communicate messages in a way that doesn’t detract or wander away from the core brand proposition’.
Firstly, the logistics of good brand design mandates that it can remain consistent when reproduced across a variety of media, ‘both in print and online, and at a variety of sizes. What is legible on the side of a truck may not work as well when reduced to the size of a favicon in a browser address bar. A complex identity with gradients and transparency may work well on a web page, but may prove difficult to embroider on branded apparel. A well-designed brand identity system is flexible enough to easily accommodate different methods of reproduction and sizes’ (Sanna, N/A).
Secondly, Hebert (2011) believes consumers have a self-identity, and the products or services that they choose are an extension of that self-identity.
It represents what they like, and who they are. This is where consistency comes in. It is important for a brand personality to be consistent with its target market. Let’s say you were offering a service to a higher-income class. However, your service is very low cost, and has a personality that feels “cheap”. This creates inconsistency between the brand personality and the target market, which will most likely result in failure. The brand personality doesn’t match the same personality as the target market. And since a product/service is an extension of self-identity, the target market will not purchase it if it doesn’t match.
There is also a fine line between adapting along with the customer and pivoting too much without focus. As can updating trusted brand icons such as well-known logos. ‘A brand can be a delicate and ephemeral construction, an embodiment of trust and attachment only to be tampered with carefully’ (Romanik, N/A). However, rapid change is usually essential in the startup culture to evolve and adapt, closing the difference between a new idea and what customers want. ‘While the idea of a pivot may be seen as a negative, it’s a fact of startup life. Change is constant so startups have to pivot to adapt, slide into new opportunities or reload on concepts that aren’t resonating’ (Evans, 2013).
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Your target market is the most important thing going for you. If you don’t understand your consumers, how are you going to sell to them? The best brands know how old their target market is, how much disposable income they have, what kind of activities they like, what their interests are, what kind of products/services they like, their personalities, where they live, where they go, etc. Knowing this information will allow your brand to be focused. It will allow you to reach your target market more efficiently, with better results.
- Quote paper
- Nick Birch (Author), 2014, How brands resonate meaningfully with their target audience, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/274459