Speak Your Audience’s Language

It takes time to build your brand. And building one doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to take notice. If it remains unseen, it might as well not exist.

So how do you get people to notice and care about your brand?

You can think of a brand as a personality. What type of personality would your ideal customers want? Who would they be happy to hang around with every day? And what type of experience would that brand offer?

As business owners, we’d love for everyone to buy from our brand. As a result, we try and target everyone. We think, the bigger the audience, the more people will hear about it. And the more people that hear about it, the more sales we’ll get. We end up building a brand that’s for everyone.  

The thing is, our brands shouldn’t cater to everyone. They should cater to our ideal audience and speak in a language they understand.

The prospect of choosing a voice that speaks to only one audience can be intimidating. We assume that choosing one audience leaves excludes opportunity and leaves money on the table. Ironically, by narrowing in on one audience, we’re able to create a bigger impact that brings in more sales.

Take Nike for example. They didn’t start as a lifestyle brand, they started as an athletic shoe company catering exclusively to runners.

By speaking the runner’s language, they were able to grow their brand and gain recognition within the running community. Soon everyone knew about Nike and now they’re one of the most valuable apparel companies in the world.

If Nike had started off trying to sell to everyone, their messaging would have become so generalized that it wouldn’t have felt like it was for anyone. They would have become lost in the sea of ‘me too’ brands.

By narrowing in on runners, they were able to speak in a tone that resonated and spoke directly to their values. A directness that was able to cut through the sea of ‘me too’ messaging. What they left in their wake was a path that others now follow.

By finding their audience, they were able to create a brand that added value to runner’s lives. Runner’s saw this value and gravitated towards it.

The runner’s magnetism for the brand attracted more people, and now the rest is history.

By finding your audience, you’re able to create a brand that speaks directly to their values. Values that attract others and drive sales.

And when you have a brand that people value, it’s hard for others not to take notice.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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