The word “brand” is thrown around a lot lately. With social media “celebrities” are sometimes more aware of the power of branding than small- and medium-sized businesses.
Your brand is more than a logo: it is like the cover to the story you’re telling. Your website is the “choose your own adventure” book.
One Size Fits All.
In my very first advertising internship ever — back in the early 90s — my boss tossed out “All Purpose is No Purpose.” I had never heard it put that way. It sounds so simple (and it is), but it’s the hardest thing to remember. After all, you want to talk to every customer who might want to give you business, and — especially in this time — we all want to be clear that we are inclusive and open to the entire spectrum of the marketplace.
What toothpaste can teach.
While there are some things that a lot of people find attractive, our business isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about connection. About making people feel seen and comfortable and engaged.
One very popular branding example is toothpaste. In order for the FDA and ADA to approve a toothpaste, certain criteria have to be met. It means that the only thing a manufacturer can really do (and still call their product “toothpaste”) is change up the flavor and the color.
But there are still a million brands of toothpaste. Why?
Because each one is selling something different. What’s inside the tube may be more-or-less the same, but the product is very different. Crest sells better “checkups” at the dentist. Close-Up sells fresher, more “kissable” breath. Colgate sells stronger, healthier smiles.
By targeting people looking for specific qualities, each of these brands can communicate a clear story much more easily.
What we can learn.
If we start with the most fundamental truths about your product and your brand and clearly define a single user — maybe two — who will are the most natural fit.
Then start with addressing what that potential customer or user needs and where their other tastes lie. Are they fine arts people? Are they well-traveled? The more clearly you understand your ideal customer, the more comfortable and confident your brand will be.
And the more likely you are to reach beyond that narrower base.
But that sounds hard!
Doesn’t have to be. Let me help!