We’ve seen more changes in branding within the past 10 years than the previous 10,000 years. Though some elements have remained largely the same, the prevalence of digital media as a collective space means consumers have more options than ever before. For small businesses, capturing market share requires strong branding and strong branding requires tapping into the psychology of branding.
How do you do that?
Share Your Values
What are your brand’s core values? If you weren’t able to provide your specific product or service, would you still exist?
While sharing your brand values doesn’t inherently mean taking sides on hot-ticket issues, it can help to identify your target base and openly empathize. That may mean taking a deep dive into things like demographics. At the same time, it’s important to remain authentic. Assess what matters to you and what matters to your customers, then find the middle ground and expand on it.
Customers today have endless choices when it comes to buying seemingly any product or service. What drives the purchase isn’t always necessarily price nor convenience, but whether or not the customer connects with the brand. Always focus on making authentic connections with your customers above all else. After all, the customer comes before the sale.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Part of the reason branding has changed so much in the past 10 years is the advances in social media. If you had asked someone in 2010 to tell you about TikTok or Instagram, they’d have no response. Even Twitter and Facebook were in fledgling status a decade ago.
Your customers are using social media to reinforce their buying choices. That’s the reason people geotag themselves everywhere but in the restroom. They’re looking to make informed choices about buying; choices they can feel good about. Social media is the perfect space for social proof. Encourage your customers to show off your product or service, as it reinforces both their confidence in your brand and your confidence in yourself.
Plus, when your audience sees that other people like and trust your brand, they’re more compelled to like and trust you themselves. Almost 4 billion people worldwide use social media. It’s the place where your customers are gathering, which means it’s the perfect resource to gather psychological data on your customers to determine how to make the connections you need to make.
The Future is Now
Ten years ago, the concept of self-driving cars was nothing more than a science fiction fantasy, social media was primitive, and the iPad had yet to be invented. Today, seemingly anything is possible.
Consumers are exposed to thousands of brand messages a day and more than 90% of consumers base their buying decisions on emotions. Therefore, constructing effective brand messages starts with understanding the psychology of branding and your audience.
Branding and marketing have changed dramatically over the past ten years, and it figures to continue to change throughout the next decade. What won’t change, however, is the importance of intertwining psychology and marketing.
If you haven’t considered the psychology of branding as part of your approach to digital marketing, there’s never been a better time than right now. To reach your customers, you have to not only go where they are, but get inside their heads. That means developing open lines of communication, taking advantage of all the digital media available to you, and being transparent about your brand mission and what you stand for.