Understanding the Psychology Behind Perfect Brand Names

See how the emotional response brand names elicit from consumers can impact your business to ensure you choose the best brand name.

Almost all guides to starting a new business include picking a name as one of the first steps. That might sound like a simple task. Still, you should carefully consider the emotional impact of any names under consideration.

You certainly want to avoid making the list of the worst all-time business names. Yes, there’s a pizza restaurant named Poopsie’s and a propane company called Passmore Gas. You can even find a popular taco joint in Texas called Dumass Tacos. The founders may have been in on the joke and appear to have succeeded anyway. As local business owners, they probably knew their market pretty well. Still, the joke might get old and in particular, not so well embraced for companies that hope to grow into a national or even international eCommerce brand.

You’re starting a new business. Risky of frivolous company names can backfire when you need to use them to appeal to an audience that you haven’t even had a chance to get to know yet. That’s why business naming services exist. They focus upon not just helping new brands avoid offensive or misunderstood names but even by using the psychology of branding to create a positive impression.

Why does psychology matter for brand naming companies?

Brand names may do more than help people identify different companies. Sometimes names provide clues about what the company does, how they work, or what they believe in; however, often, they don’t. According to Psych Central, brand names trigger more of an emotional response than other nouns. While people tend to process language in the more rational parts of their brain, they also pass a brand through their more emotional, right side before responding.

That makes brand names an important part of marketing. While the rational part of a consumer’s brains may make logical comparisons, advertising works mostly because of how it can make people feel about the company. Companies reinforce this response by presenting their brands with consistent fonts and logos. One psychologist who studied the psychology of branding even went so far as to conclude that the way people thought about brand names appeared to give them a “special, neurological status.”

Creating a brand name you won’t regret

Julian Shapiro founded NameLayer, a company which provides business naming services. He mentioned considering the emotional reaction that you want customers to have when they hear your brand, even without knowing one other thing about your business. Shapiro referred to this quality as gravitas, or the degree of seriousness you hope to evoke from customers, investors, and even employees.

You can certainly choose a fun name, even for some serious businesses. Still, this tactic won’t work for all types of companies. As an example, he said that he wouldn’t pick a domain like Securit.ee for a cybersecurity firm. On the other hand, he’d be fine with playing with domains and extensions for a casual clothing or photo-sharing site. Think about the types of prospects you plan to court and how you attend to acquire them before you decide how serious you need your name to sound.

If you choose your own name or try some suggestions from business naming agencies, you should still try to figure out what sort of emotional reaction each name elicits before settling. You will probably benefit by asking other people for their perspective. Shapiro suggested passing names by partners, colleagues, and perhaps even better, friends who aren’t involved in the business.

How to choose the perfect brand name

You can find plenty of advice about picking the perfect brand name. For every set of rules, it’s easy to find examples of companies that violated these rules and succeeded anyway. Still, these risk takers either knew their market very well or got lucky enough to enjoy some benefits that outweighed the potential risks of eliciting the wrong reaction. As a business owner, you’ll have plenty of other business matters to focus on without having to worry that you’ve offended part of your market.

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Smart Hotel Marketing: How Hotels Can Fill Reservations Now

Smart hotel marketing involves focusing on existing demand, offering value, and targeting demand during and after Coronavirus.

If you work for a hotel or hotel marketing company, nobody needs to tell you that the COVID-19 outbreak has seriously impacted your business. During the best of times, hotel marketers operate in an extremely competitive environment. For many locations, customers will simply cross the street to save a few dollars or enjoy an extra perk with their loyalty program. At the same time, some hotels have managed to find some unique opportunities to maximize their bookings with savvy, budget-friendly coronavirus marketing.

Seven Tips for marketing my hotel during and after the coronavirus crisis

It might help to review some of the challenges hotels face right now before considering suggestions for coronavirus marketing. For example, USA Today reported that occupancy rates across the country have dropped to about 20 percent. Compared to the same period last year, the hotel industry has suffered over a 70-percent decline.

On the other hand, some kinds of hotel properties have held on better than others. For instance, budget and suburban hotels have typically not suffered the same drop in bookings. People still need to travel for essential work or urgent personal reasons. In some cases, healthcare professionals have decided to self-quarantine in a hotel to protect their families.

With the current drop in travellers in mind, consider these hotel marketing tips that can help you weather and emerge from the current situation.

1. Pick your marketing battles

Most marketing analysts caution struggling hotels to keep marketing, even if they have to trim budgets. You may even find that it’s easier to compete on paid search and other platforms because other venues have also had to redirect some marketing dollars. Instead of casting a wide net, try to hedge your bets.

As an example, Hospitality Net encouraged hotel marketers to direct ads mostly to domestic and not international audiences. Because of travel bans and discouragement, you may do better by appealing to a domestic and even fairly local audience than you could if you tried to advertise your New York City hotel in Spain.

2. Consider local marketing efforts

As an obvious example, some hotels have restaurants. Even if the dining rooms have closed, curbside pickup and delivery still attract customers. Some upscale restaurants have enjoyed success by packaging up multi-course or family meals for anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays. More modest restaurants have attracted local residents who are tired of their own cooking or businesses that may need lunches picked up for essential workers.

As for coronavirus marketing, some healthcare workers or impacted people may need a room to isolate themselves. This may be the best time to attract these customers by offering generous deals for long-term stays. You might also offer your meeting rooms for people or organizations who need in-person places to gather during the crisis.

3. Beware of too much price competition

Certain, the section above suggested considering offering lower rates for certain kinds of guests. Before that, current statistics appear to suggest that budget hotels have faired the best during this crisis. Still,you can’t lower your rates below a certain point and still expect to profit, so engaging in too much price competition just to fill rooms can lead to an even worse disaster.

Typical industry advice is to offer deals that you would normally offer during a promotion but not better. You may decide to offer long-term rates for certain situations because you can enjoy certain economies by having the same guest stay for several days to several months.

You might also consider some packaging bundles and services that add value but don’t reduce your revenues so much. Some of these ideas make particular sense during the outbreak. For instance:

  • Instead of the typical breakfast buffet, consider offering a free breakfast delivered to the room.
  • Rather than having a late-afternoon happy hour in the lobby, switch it to a room-service cocktail.
  • Offer free coupons or discounts for various closed services that begin on the date when they open again.

4. Consider promoting more flexible cancellation policies

Right now, most of the large hotel chains have updated their cancellation policies to better accomodate guests during the coronavirus crisis. Until June 30, Marriot will let guests make changes or cancellations without charges so long as they do it with 24-hours notice.Hyatt, Hilton, and other large chains have similar new policies in place.

After all, with hotel occupancy rates down, most hotels don’t have concerns about turning away guests because of overbooking, so they probably don’t have so much to lose. These more flexible cancellation policies can help reduce the concerns of customers who may worry about having travel plans disrupted. It can also help encourage people to stay home if they suddenly find themselves sick with the coronavirus, so you can also consider it a safety measure. Even if you plan to resume your typical cancellation policy later, you can also earn some good will by remaining more flexible now.

5. Promote your health and safety measures

These days, it’s common to find travelers searching with terms like “coronavirus safety tips for travelers” or even “coronavirus-safe hotels” on major search engines and social networks. As the outbreak progresses, you have probably already striven to protect your employees and guests through such measures as:

  • Asking guests about possible exposure to COVID-19
  • Providing protective equipment, disenfectant, and additional guidance to cleaning staff, food handlers, desk clerks, and even valet drivers
  • Offer touch-free checkins and checkouts
  • If you allow them, keeping any quarantined guests and even their laundry and belongings away from others

Right now, you might have somewhat more limited ways to broadcast your coronavirus-safety messaging. Google only appears to display organic, authoritative sources for most searches related to coronavirus. Still, you can reassure potential guests by including messages about your safety efforts with your website, emails, social site postings, press releases, and advertisements on all sorts of digital media.

Because of the global pandemic, everybody has become a lot more aware of the way that germs spread. Even after the initial crisis has passed, your guests will probably take a lot more care with their own hygiene and expect, of course, the hospitality industry to do the same thing. The work that you do today to ensure health will help you maintain your reputation during this current situation and for years into the future.

6. Consider creative coronavirus marketing strategies

Sometimes tough times call for bold, decisive moves. As an example, the Washington Post featured one Swiss hotel that’s offering a luxury self-quarantine package to guests. Their package even includes such options as coronavirus testing, doctor visits, and a 24/7 nurse. They also provide delivered meals and optionally, a personal chef. This high-end hotel already catered to wealthier clients, and they charge quite a bit for these additional services. After they promote their offer on Facebook, this bold move has resulted in an increase — not a decrease — in revenues.

7. Keep marketing your hotel

Cornell research during the Great Recession found that hospitality companies that maintained a marketing budget faired almost 20 percent better than those that did not. Examples from all sorts of economic downturns, including the Great Depression, have found strong correlations between marketing spend and performance. At the same time, you may need to cut costs and should carefully consider how you will spend your marketing dollars.

Chetan Patel serves as the vice president of digital marketing and customer retention marketing for the ONYX Hospitality Group. He suggests on inveting in retargeting because it’s usually a more productive way to drive revenue than the top of the funnel. Instead of working so hard on improving demand or brand awareness, target people who already know about your brand and are likely to have a demand.

As part of this, Patel also suggests concentrating on metasearch. Aggregators like Expedia, Orbitz, and Hotels.com already attract high-intent consumers who want to book rooms. These aggregators also participate with such metasearch platforms as Google, Kayak, and TripAdvisor. Hotels can also bid for better advertising placement and in some cases, target this sites for different types of advertisements. If you work with a hotel marketing company or other marketing agency, ensure they can get your hotel displayed on metasearch and fully exploit the opportunity to get seen by customers who are ready to book.

How smart hotel marketing will help you emerge stronger after the coronavirus outbreak

Nobody doubts that hotels and all hospitality companies have to overcome unprecidented challenges during the coronavirus outbreak. Some analysts have warned that as many as half of U.S. hotels may need to close, at least for now. On the other hand, some hotel brands have managed to offer prices, packages, and services that have helped them maintained enough hotel occupancy to hold on and a few have even increased revenues.

As for takeaways, don’t stop marketing, even if you need to tighten the pursestrings somewhat. Focus on targeting potential guests who are likely to need your services by providing value and reassurance and in some cases, creative offerings. After the worst of the crisis has passed, people will resume traveling for business and pleasure. Some may even want to make up for lost opportunities, so you could find your hotel quite busy.

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Using Place Branding to Restart Marketing in Travel and Tourism

Place branding ideas that will strategically enhance your hotel marketing efforts and assist in post-coronavirus recovery.

Place branding refers to creating an identity for a location, such as a city, town, or state. The idea started to gain traction a few years ago as a way to attract visitors, businesses, investors, and residents to various destinations. As has happened after some other disasters, place branding might provide an effective way to help enhance marketing in travel and tourism. Consider some hotel marketing ideas to use to help restart tourism by using place marketing concepts after the outbreak of coronavirus.

Enhancing marketing in travel and tourism with place branding after coronavirus

Right now, news of the COVID-19 outbreak has consumed attention all over the world. Governments have imposed various travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing directives. Naturally, tourism marketing companies have found themselves in the tight spot of attempting to produce revenues while still acting responsibly.

City Nation Place provides an entire publication dedicated to place branding. According to that publication, even more than the current lost revenues and profits, the damage to the reputation of some states and cities could take a long time to repair. At the same time, they have observed some localities responding to disasters better than others. Anybody who is involved with marketing in travel and tourism can benefit from examining some case studies about the way certain destinations have responded to disasters in a way that could enhance or detract from their brand.

California wildfires and the California Wine Country

During 2019, wildfires made the news all too frequently. Locations hit by these fires include California, the Amazon, and Australia. In a reference to earlier fires that affected California’s Wine Country, the CEO of Visit California said that the destruction impacted less than one percent of the entire state. At the same time, that’s not the picture that people from elsewhere got from media coverage. Instead, it appeared as if the entire state was burning.

Obviously, news stories about blazing infernos can attract attention. Factual stories that mention that the fires only affected five wineries and less than two percent of California grapes rarely get much notice by the public. Still, Visit California responded by organizing a feast to help raise funds for assistance and promote the resilience of the residents. They held the celebration, called The Grateful Table, in a field that bridged both Napa and Sonoma Counties. The successful event raised about $150,000 and perhaps best of all, attracted very positive media attention to California Wine Country.

Puerto Rico and Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Most people have probably seen images of devastated landscapes and cityscapes after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. Images of desperate pleas for water, food, and supplies also made the top of the news cycle. While this narrative did help ignite relief efforts, it also had some negative long-term ramifications.

Even a year later, people sympathized with the island territory, but they no longer wanted to make travel plans to visit. According to the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, Brad Dean, news on the anniversary of the disasters did more to remind people of unfinished repair work than to inform them of all of the projects that had been successfully completed. They worked hard to change the news narrative to one that highlighted the progress they had made and how welcoming and pleasant a destination visitors would find Puerto Rico. Though they faced a tough battle, they succeeded by ensuring that the majority of news stories about the disaster’s anniversary contained a positive message.

How can I incorporate place branding into marketing for my hotel or other destination?

The case studies above illustrated good efforts to rehabilitate the image of an area impacted by such natural disasters as fires and floods. In many ways, people should compare a pandemic more to a natural disaster than any other kind. Except for a few conspiracy theorists, nobody thinks that anybody intentionally spread the virus or certainly, meant to get themselves or their own family infected.

As with other disasters, people mostly can’t judge a location for experiencing the calamity. On the other hand, they might judge the destination’s reaction to that disaster. For instance, neither California nor Puerto Rico wasted any energy trying to present a false narrative that minimized the destruction they experienced. Most of all, they simply wanted to show the world the true narrative of the ways that their people reacted, that they welcomed visitors, and that guests could still have a great experience when they came.

Why you should brand your location when you brand your hotel

As noted in Creative Supply, few people visit Paris because they want to stay in a particular hotel. Instead, tourists stay in a Parisian hotel because they want to visit Paris. Just as in other kinds of real estate, location matters a lot. You should consider this if you’re looking for hotel marketing ideas for a big city, tropical beach, or even a convenient suburban location beside a major freeway, airport, or business district.

Naturally, you want to sell the value and attractiveness of your hotel; however, you will miss opportunities if you don’t also promote the attractiveness of your address. In order to develop this asset, you should think about ways to invest in it. Your investment might consist simply of helping to promote it as you promote your own property. During this time of a worrisome disease outbreak, you can also consider investing by figuring out ways that your hotel can help your community.

For instance, if you the chefs and staff of your closed dining room don’t have enough to do, perhaps you could see if local hospital employees could use your catering services or even a wing of your underutilized rooms to house traveling nurses. You don’t even necessarily have to give all this away for free, but you might try to offer the kinds of promotions and flexibility that will make your offer attractive. By engaging in this kind of enlightened self-interest, you will also have a chance to develop plenty of feel-good stories for your social media and advertising platforms. You can highlight the good work your local people do to combat COVID-19, and in turn, highlight the good job you’ve done supporting them.

Follow the principals behind place branding 

At any time, you should follow established principals behind place branding to help make your efforts more effective. As documented by Place Brand Observer, good principals of place branding should include:

  • Distinctiveness: Consider the aspects of your location that set it apart from other places.
  • Authenticity: Of course, you will want to focus on the positives, but you should remain honest and highlight things that will matter to travelers.
  • Memorability: Figure out what visitors probably remember about your location and even what might entice them to return or even want to live there.

The publication also mentioned co-creation and place making. Your hotel cannot control all of these aspects because they require partnerships with other institutions, organizations, businesses, and even the government. The section above mentioned the example of reaching out to a nearby hospital to see if they could find uses for your services.

To really drive place branding, you should consider reaching out to all sorts of other businesses, government organizations, and institutions to develop cooperative efforts. As you work to improve your location for everybody, these other entities can also add to the effort and even help promote your hotel.

How place branding will improve tourism marketing for the post-coronavirus recovery

Some hotels may have such unique features that people travel to stay there. Still, people even usually stay in Disney hotels because they intend to visit the amusement parks. You will have a much easier time marketing the value of your own property if you also make sure that travelers understand you provide easy access to a welcoming location that offers them the things they want to experience.

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Rethink Your Small Business Brand Identity Design for COVID-19

Strengthen your brand identity design after Coronavirus: Develop new distribution methods, enhance your brand purpose, expand markets, and more.

Some marketers only associate brand identity design with actual graphic design. Logos, fonts, and colors make up part of the package that help consumers identity a business, but that’s not all of it. Taken together, the concept of a brand refers more to an emotional or even a philosophical reaction that people have. And that’s coming from Lucidpress, a company that helps customers mostly with the graphical aspects of their small business branding.

While the visual elements and consistency of small business branding remain critical, that’s probably not the part of the brand that business owners may seek to change during and after the COVID-19 epidemic. Consider some examples of businesses that have successfully transformed themselves to remain viable during the outbreak and emerge even stronger afterwards. These examples are bound to generate some great brand ideas for your own company.

Small business ideas to change my branding during and after COVID-19

Forbes mentioned that it’s not entirely possible to know how the coronavirus outbreak will change long-term consumer behavior. Right now, it’s easy to see that consumers have grown more cautious about leaving home and in many cases, spending money. Like Forbes, many marketers predict that people will retain some of these habits for quite awhile in the future as the world emerges from the outbreak and begins to experience more normal conditions.

With that in mind, consider some brand ideas that can help enhance and promote small businesses during the current outbreak and even into the future.

Establish brand purpose

Certainly, your business exists to make money. The idea of brand purpose refers to establishing a reason for your brand to exist beyond generating profit. A business can derive its purpose directly from the types of products or services that it offers customers. For instanced, a daycare exists to take excellent care of children.

However, this purpose can extend further to the ideals and causes that the company supports. Numerous studies have found the people will vote with their wallets to support companies that align with their own views, even if it costs somewhat more to do so. If you can establish your brand purpose both with the products or services you supply and by supporting good causes, you will always have an easier time attracting and retaining customers.

For some brand purpose ideas, consider these diverse examples:

  • Most people have had a hard time finding hand sanitizer on store shelves. Several distilleries have helped enhance their brand by switching from only producing alcoholic spirits to producing alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Depending upon their own business needs, they may sell, give them away, or sell some and donate some. Either way, they can keep employees and suppliers working while enhancing their brand image by providing vital supplies.
  • A number of beauty and cosmetic companies have also switched gears to producing sanitizing gels. In addition, Avon has started creating personal care packages with such essentials as shampoo and body wash as donations to Feed the Children.
  • Lego has also contributed with its existing “Explained With Lego Video Bricks” video platform on YouTube. To support the multitudes of currently homeschooling parents, they have recently posted a number of educational topics. These range from explaining how renewable energy works to the fundamentals of genetics.

In all of these cases, the businesses contributed to their customer’s current needs, those of worthy charities, or some of both. Can your business contribute by helping consumers with the current situation or at least, donating to good causes?

Create constructive partnerships with other good brands

When the going gets tough, maybe the toughest work together. You can find a number of ways that small businesses have partnered up with other brands for their mutual benefit.

For instance, restaurant dining rooms have closed all over the country. Of course, some of these places have turned to pickup and delivery for revenue. Along with this, some meal delivery services have focused upon helping to promote the local eateries they work with and often, waived some delivery fees for the duration of the crisis. Typically, grocery stores can still do business and have generally done a brisk business since people still need to eat. They have even partnered with local restaurants to offer packaged meals from within the grocery store.

As another example, several eCommerce companies have teamed up to make pledges to donate a portion of their revenues to virus-related charities. All of these different brands have promoted a website that informs the public about this worthy effort and at the same time, the charity site also promotes the business.

Expand business into new markets

Some companies have found that their past clients just cannot use their existing services at the moment. For example, one cleaning company lost business because many customers refused to allow them inside their homes during the outbreak. They did find new customers when they pivoted to offering sanitizing services to buildings that still need to stay open. While they haven’t quite made up for the temporarilly lost customers, they did find a new market in order to keep employees working. After the outbreak passes, they hope to recover their old customers and of course, keep these new ones.

Likewise, a number of local gyms have begun to offer at-home, live video classes to keep their membership fit and even better, still subscribing to their services. Using tools like Zoom, the live classes can also offer people some of the same social outlet that they may have enjoyed during in-person classes. Some of these gyms also mostly catered to adults, but they have expanded to offering kid’s classes to help families cope with the problem of spending too much time indoors and inactive. After the pandemic relaxes restrictions on these gyms, some patrons may still enjoy the option of attending video classes, and that could even provide a way for these fitness businesses to grow membership in the future.

Develop new delivery channels

After receiving stay-at-home orders from the government, countless businesses lost their main delivery channels overnight. It appears intuitive that these companies should develop new distribution methods that can keep them in business during the outbreak and possibly, provide extra revenue in the years to come. 

For instance, quite a few smaller retail businesses have thrived by keeping the old-fashioned model of in-person, in-store service. Unable to open their doors, Chicago’s La De Da gift shop provides one example of a company that swiftly took their model online. Before, customers would come into the store, have a conversation with the proprietor, and enjoy having her select the perfect gifts. Now, they can enter answers to the kinds of questions that the owner would ask them to get the same sort of service online.

Other brick-and-mortar stores have quickly established or strengthened their eCommerce sites. While retail business has struggled, eCommerce has exploded as customers need items conveniently delivered to their homes. While some stores have simply created typical online stores, others have done more. For example, one old-fashioned toy store in Connecticut offers customers the option to browse their physical store through FaceTime. Once parents and children have agreed upon a purchase, the parents can order the toy for delivery or curbside pickup.

Again, these expanded distribution methods can help small businesses sustain themselves during this unprecedented crisis. In the future, they can help generate more business by offering a convenient option for local customers and even a way to attract business from further away than the original store’s city limits.

How can you rethink your small business brand identity design during the Coronavirus epidemic?

Obviously, most small businesses have faced unexpected challenges during this outbreak. It’s unlike anything that business owners or their customers have faced before. As with most crisis, savvy businesspeople can also find some opportunities to rethink their branding, connect with customers over their brand purpose, develop partnerships with other businesses, expand into new markets, and create new distribution channels. These changes may stem from necessity today; however, many of them can also serve your business by strengthening it in the future.

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Putting the Persona in Persona-Based Marketing

If you want to understand your audience, identify their pain points and win them over, persona-based marketing is critically important. 

Know Your Customer — it’s the First Commandment of Marketing. It’s also the reason why persona-based marketing is so critically important for modern brands. Without identifying who your customers are, you can’t understand what motivates them, identify their pain points and connect with them.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at why persona-based marketing is a powerful tool for advertisers, marketers and brands.

Putting the persona in persona-based marketing

So how do brands get their feet wet in persona-based marketing? First, it’s necessary to create detailed profiles of your potential buyers. These buyer personas then serve as the core of your targeted marketing strategy; they are idealized representations of the audience most likely to purchase your products and services.

A buyer persona is a comprehensive image of a customer that reflects who they are, what motivates them and their propensity to act through each stage of the sales cycle. Some businesses will only need to develop two or three personas, others may be better served by a dozen or more.

These personas are based on a variety of sources, including:

  • Market research into probable buyers, including surveys and in-person interviews. This research provides a fuller picture of the wants, needs and tendencies of a brand’s likely market.
  • Insights and feedback gleaned from existing customers. The same research process can be applied to a brand’s current client set, and this process often provides unique insights, given that these audiences are already familiar with the products or services on offer. Brands also often work with their in-house sales team to learn more about existing and potential customers.
  • Sourced and analyzed consumer data. Customers often say they want one thing, then go buy another. Our words and intentions don’t always reflect our actions, and objective data can help provide another window into what truly moves buyers. 
  • Broader market, industry and demographic information. This data can provide critical context during the brand persona creation process. Such information allows brands to take a wider angle view, and anticipate looming changes within markets and industries. If you can anticipate these changes, you can also anticipate how customers may be affected.

Buyer persona categorization

Brands developing persona-based marketing strategies should also understand that different classes of buyers require varying approaches. For example, when dealing with individual buyers (someone who makes a one-time retail purchase, for example), you’d create a single persona type with a variety of personas to fit within that type. A persona development agency can help you accomplish this task.

B2B operations, however, are often led by sales teams rather than a single buyer. C suite executives, sales leaders, marketing leaders etc. may all be involved in the procurement/sales process. In such cases, brands create team-based personas. These often include a dedicated persona for each member of the purchasing team — personas that outline the specific prerogatives inherent to each position. For example, a team persona designed for a Chief Financial Officer would focus on pricing issues, ROI and other monetary motivators.

Working with the right persona development agency

Buyer persona development, when done at a high level, requires research expertise, industry knowledge and an advanced grasp of marketing strategy. It’s often a tall order for brands to accomplish this without outside help.

At Bigeye, we’re experts at creating finely targeted buyer personas supported by experience and insight. Contact us today to learn more about what the right  agency can do for you. 

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Find Your Brand’s Voice With Brand Identity

Before you can present a cohesive brand image that allows your company to communicate with a singular brand voice, you must determine and develop your company’s unique brand identity.

Even seasoned business leaders and marketing professionals can get a bit lost when it comes to the complexities of branding methodology and contingent content marketing processes. However, The Balance Small Business, an independent source of business news and information, breaks down the difference between brand identity and brand image quite succinctly. In short, brand identity encompasses all components of a company that define it intrinsically. It is the intent behind the company brand image, which it will attempt to project in the minds of consumers. 

To make the identity/image distinction clearer, it may be helpful to think of your company as a living person. In a person, identity relates to a personal understanding of the self, while image refers to the cultivated face that each individual shows to others.

The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” wisely places identity before image in order to stress that man must live according to his nature. The branding of companies must follow the same general principle, allowing brand identity to determine brand image and dictate brand voice.

In order to arrive at a brand identity that is right for you, you must consider not only what your company stands for but also whom your company is trying to reach.

Know your audience

Before you can develop the brand identity that will allow you to speak to your audience in a unified and compelling voice, you must determine who your audience is with absolute precision and considerable detail.  

Because your brand identity will determine the public image of your company in all respects, you must be sure that it is compatible with your target customer base. For example, any brand name, logo, and/or slogan that is geared toward millennials should be drastically different from those of a brand that is geared toward baby boomers. Remember the golden rule of brand strategy when it comes to audience targeting: companies that try to reach everybody will ultimately reach nobody.

Know your company

With your target audience firmly in mind, you can more adequately address consumer wants and needs while offering unique approaches and value-added embellishments that make you stand out from your closest competitors. A go-to informational resource for all things content marketing related, the independent online media outlet the Content Marketing Institute suggests trying to describe your unique brand identity in three words. Whether they be “innovative,” “passionate,” and “hardworking” or “quirky,” “imaginative,” and “authentic,” choose words that identify the essence of your company and its particular goods and/or services. These overarching characteristics can prove extremely helpful when you apply them to your subsequent approaches to marketing strategy and consumer communications.

The specific elements of brand identity

As previously discussed, brand identity should drive all aspects of company outreach to existing and potential customers. This means that brand identity should be immediately evident in your verbal communications (from company name to ad copy), your visual communications (from company logo to product packaging), and your customer service communications (from staff interactions to courtesy emails).

Think about the ways in which brand identity can expand to all aspects of consumer psychological and emotional response. For example, the emblematic in-store scent of Abercrombie & Fitch and the dulcet vocal tones of Apple’s Siri each play an integral role in defining the unique brand identity of the companies that developed them.

The specific media channels through which a company chooses to propagate its branded messages must also reinforce its essential brand identity. Within the world of social media alone, a tremendous amount of diversity exists when it comes to the underlying philosophies and attitudes of individual sites and the types of users that they tend to attract. Just think about the vast intrinsic and perceived differences that exist between industry leaders such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Tumblr.

For more information

To learn more about the importance of brand identity development when it comes to projecting a cohesive and effective brand image and speaking in a cohesive and effective brand voice, contact a representative of Bigeye today. We’re a brand identity agency that offers both a solid history in proven marketing techniques and a progressive vision that embraces state-of-the-art innovation.

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