This is the third and final installment in our three-part series on Strategic Secret Weapons. We’ve talked about the strength of consumer insights and the advantages inherent in monitoring your competition. But knowing your customer and your competition doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know yourself even better. In this article, we discuss how understanding your brand and where it fits in the marketplace cannot be overlooked.
Part Three – Brand Awareness
Gathering market intelligence is fundamental in how you tell your brand’s story. And doing this effectively requires you know where your brand and product fit contextually, with both your target market and within the competitive set. Here are three tools FUEL uses to help you get to the heart of who you are:
- Conduct a brand self-assessment – To start, you need to really understand your brand, not just your product. Blake Deutch said it best: “Look into a microscope with one eye and a telescope with the other.” Before creative work starts, we spend a lot of time working with clients on brand self-awareness: uncovering, analyzing, and embracing what their brand stands for. Why do people want to do business with them? What about their brand will sustain them in the future?
- Define your unique point of differentiation – We also spend a lot of time working with clients to identify and define their single, unique point of differentiation. That doesn’t mean that the brand or product doesn’t have a dozen wonderful attributes and benefits of course. But we take a disciplined approach to align around an attribute that is THE most important to the target market and THE most distinct from the competition. “If you can’t say why your brand is both different and compelling in a few words, don’t fix your statement—fix your company.” — Marty Neumeier, ZAG
- Identify your brand archetypes – FUEL uses brand archetypes to help narrow focus and strengthen a brand’s story. Each archetype has its own identity, offering a full spectrum of characteristics and traits that a brand can identify with — both positive and negative. When the rational and emotional attributes combine, a deeper understanding of your brand personality – values, attitudes, and behaviors – is revealed, which can lead to establishing more meaningful customer relationships.
So there you have it. Three not-so-secret but often overlooked strategies to reveal your brand’s full potential: know your audience, know your competition, and know yourself. Armed with these three strategic weapons, we help our clients craft killer brand stories! But you’ll have to wait on the next installment to hear more about brand stories….