Finding and Speaking to Your Ideal Customer

Finding your ideal customer is crucial to business success. Once you create that buyer persona, the rest pretty much falls into place. It becomes easier to build a strong brand, target your social media efforts and create other types of targeted content.

An easy way to understand the power of a buyer persona is to compare a small table of people at lunch to a stadium with thousands of spectators. Which group do you think is easier to sell to?

Define Your Brand From Your Customer’s Point of View

The biggest mistake you can make is to build your customer base around how you want your company to be perceived.

Instead, ask yourself, what benefits do your company offer to your ideal customer? How can it solve their pain points? Then ask yourself, who does this really speak to?

That’s why the most effective way to gauge your audience in an unbiased manner is by taking a data-driven approach.

Take the NFL, for example. Historically, football has been considered a male sport. It seems to make sense for the NFL to focus on a male audience. Right?

Wrong. In 2010, the NFL learned that women make up close to 40 percent of all football fans. So they re-targeted by creating more modern, sophisticated apparel (read: not just pink jerseys) and women responded. In 2014, Super Bowl XLVIII was the most-watched television event among women.

Creating a Buyer Persona

Now it’s time to put together everything you’ve come up with so far. A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer.

Creating a great buyer persona requires:

  • Data
  • Insight
  • Understanding your customer
  • Understanding your company
  • A little imagination

It takes some work, but in the long-term personas will allow you to tailor your content, services and brand to meet the specific needs, concerns and behaviors of your potential customers.

Once you have an idea of the group you want to target, it’s time to analyze them. Are they more likely to be male or female? Are they younger or older? Are they from the East Coast or West Coast? Do they download apps? How educated are they? Some of these may seem trivial, but they’ve been proven to affect what a customer expects out of his experience.

From there, create a succinct elevator pitch that addresses all of those, and explains how your company can help.

Keep persona in age when building content. This will help you decide whether to spend more time on Instagram or Facebook, whether your emails should be more informational or witty, and whether you need more videos or testimonials on your webpage.

According to Hubspot research, using personas made websites between two and five times more effective to use.

Speak Directly to the Customer

You’ve done the research and compiled a perfect buyer persona, you have an elevator pitch that could sell ice to an Eskimo. Now what?

It’s time to put that work to good use by creating targeted content. By tailoring your content to your specific audience, you are able to concentrate your efforts and optimize your resources.

Skytap, a self-service cloud automation company, launched a tailored content marketing strategy and saw a 210 percent increase in North American traffic and that targeted personas brought in 124 percent more sales leads.

In a marketing world that revolves around social media, email marketing, and user experience, customers expect more than a generalized sales pitch.

Seamless is a great example of the powerful ads that you can create when you know your audience. In 2015 they launched a New York City subway campaign that uses witty one-liners and NYC generalizations to create effective, memorable ads.

They know their audience is the busy millennial, and they speak to that with adages such as “Cooking is so Jersey” and “Avoid Cooking like you Avoid Times Square.”

Who’s your Audience?

Finding the right audience isn’t necessarily easy, but it pays off in the long run. Luckily, experts and business owners have developed a bit of a process to help you along:

  • Define your company from the outside-looking-in.
  • Collect as much data and research as you can find about your audience.
  • Compile the information into a buyer persona that examines demographics, behavioral patterns and translates them into an elevator pitch.

Only then are you ready to sell.

The Brand Psychology Behind Superbowl Ads

The Super Bowl is a huge event that has broken its own viewership record five of the last six years. In 2015, it had an average viewership of 114 million people, or over one-third of the U.S. population. While most people tune in for the game or the half-time show, the rest of us tune in for the commercials.

With an average price tag of $4.5 million per 30-second ad, why are companies spending their entire advertising budget on a single commercial? Brand exposure.

The Super Bowl has a huge audience, and it gives smaller companies the same level of exposure as the Coca-Colas  and Apples of the world. But he fact of the matter is that all of the money in the world can’t buy consumer love.

That takes a strong brand.

An Explanation of Brand Psychology

Without customers, a brand has no value. To understand your customers enough to create a foundation of a brand, you need to get inside their head.

That’s why it’s important to understand the underlying psychology behind a consumer’s choices.

Purchases are usually based off of one or more of the following factors:

  • Brand identification (Apple)
  • Internal state (lonely from not being able to contact friends)
  • External state/social context (all of your friends have iPhones)

This means that a decision to purchase your product or service is dependent on many variables.

Aesthetics and Personality in Brand Psychology

A brand is much more than just how you speak to a customer, it’s just as much about how you present your business.

Something as simple as color can make all of the difference. In fact, color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent. This isn’t to say that you should choose the brightest, most noticeable color there is, because brand appropriateness plays a huge role in what a customer chooses to buy.

A company’s font selection requires just as much thought as its color. No one over the age of eight wants to go into a shop that uses Comic Sans on their storefront, and no one will take a website that uses Curlz as its default font. The smallest details matter.

In 2016, this has never been more true. The gap between company and consumer is more narrow than ever, mostly due to social media. When a customer tweets at a restaurant, they expect a response. These days, a customer wants to get to know the brand as much as your company wants to understand its customer.

They want to know your beliefs, your values, and how you handle complaints. They want to feel comfortable enough with your brand to consider it a friend. You’re on their social media, so they need to like you. That’s how brand loyalty is born.

If you don’t remember anything from this blog post, remember this statistic: 80 percent of your future revenue will come from just 20 percent of your current customers.

How to Build a Better Brand

While there is no set formula to creating a better brand, understanding  brand psychology and how your customer makes decisions is a crucial first step. Keep these points in mind when creating your own brand:

  • Meet your audience’s needs. Every person you reach is a potential customer. Make sure they know that you have the answer to their problem before they have the problem.
  • Don’t forget about the aesthetics. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, we’re a looks-driven society.Spend time figuring out what colors, fonts and themes work for your company.
  • Be likeable. Customers expect more than ever from brands. They want to consider you their friend, so create a personality that resonates with your customer.