Shownotes: Build a Brand for Your Blog
How to build a brand for your blog or business is the focus of today’s episode. I will be covering 7 key areas that you need to consider before getting your logo designed or any artwork completed.
Hello ladies. Alvern here. Today we are going to be looking at how to build a brand for your blog or business. The areas we’ll be covering would be the business mindset, your audience, we get a little bit into personas, the actual customer experience, design, the marketing plan and then finally we’re gonna close off with the customer journey. All right, so let’s jump right into it.
1. Business Mindset
In terms of business mindset, which is the first area we’re looking at, it’s just the mindset of the business. Obviously, you have your particular mindset of a long-term strategy of how you’re gonna work, but this one is a mindset from the … I prefer to call it the business mindset from the business point of view.
Why, what do you do as a business? Why do you do what you do? What value are you bringing to your customers and what are you going to improve for them and for their lives?
In order to build a brand, you need to know the lifetime impact you’re going to have on them as a customer. What is the character of your business? Probably you think that’s a little bit weird because a business doesn’t have a character, but actually, it would include something like culture. What is that work ethic that you want to build a brand around for your business?
So, when your customers interact with your business or your readers interact with your blog, how would they describe you in one word? Are you fun? Are you professional? Formal? What is the character of the business and then another thing to look at then, would be your customer … Sorry, your narrative statement.
Who you are as a business and how you can communicate with your customers. A narrative statement is, again instead of saying the character of your business in one word. You’re seeing who you are and what you do in probably a Tweet. 140 or 100 characters.
I’ll give you examples of a few of them that I picked out for this particular episode to help you build your brand. One of them, the examples I wanna give here is existing brands on the market and what it is their one-liner says about them. I work my way from the top. I have Apple. I am doing this search live so I went and looked at the Apple website and they’re featuring their iPhone X, which as you know launched only recently and it says here, “Say hello the future.”
What does that say to you when you go to the website and it says, “Say hello to the future.” The likes of Burberry, I went on there and they, instead of having sort of a one-liner phrase, when you go to the homepage, they just have a sort of an iconic photo of the people who they represent or who their typical customer would look like with their clothes on.
It’s a headshot of a model and she has really cropped blonde hair with, I don’t know how to explain it, but a trendy outlook, but that one photo says a lot about Burberry, who they represent and what it is, the experience they want the customer to have from visiting their website on the first impression.
Next up, I have Harley Davidson. They’ve got several different phrases, but on the one that I went and then had a look at, a specific phrase, it says, “This will leave a mark.” Then I went to Issey Miyake, just in case you don’t know what it is, it’s a brand of perfume.
Men and ladies and in this particular one, they were featuring their latest I guess perfume or cologne for men and the catchphrase on there is, “Designed by water.” And then finally up, we have here Michael Kors. Again, just in case you don’t know who Michael Kors is, it’s a really, really popular brand for handbags for ladies among other things and the catchphrase as soon as you enter the site on the landing page it says, “What she’ll love.”
Or you know, a sort of a long way of saying, “What she will love.” All right? That just gives you a feel of what I mean by a narrative statement. Obviously, it needs to say more about what you do as a business, plus what you want your customers to achieve from your business or your blog.
Next up we have the audience, so like I mentioned before for the Burberry one, they had a sort of image of the person or the people who they cater for, so their audience is. What do your customers need? And you may or may not know this, if you go out to buy say a pair of trousers, when you’re shopping, consciously or subconsciously, you look for a functional need as well as an emotional need and I’ll give you a typical example of that.
There’s a popular phrase that people say, something like, “You wouldn’t see me dead in that.” Meaning that consciously or subconsciously maybe, when they’re buying stuff to wear, stuff that will identify them for who they are, they’re always very conscious about what other people would think or if their friends would like it or not and I have a list of six different reasons why people buy things or invest in things or different needs. First up we have comfort, so they buy because of comfort, so people will buy comfortable shoes as opposed to uncomfortable shoes or shoes that they can walk in for at least an hour or whatever it is. So people who don’t like … People who buy comfort normally are people who don’t like … Necessarily like change, but then, on the other hand, those people who don’t like change or like to risk anything, they also like variety as in they don’t like to buy everything in the same colour. All of the people who would like a certain jacket wouldn’t like it in red or in black.
They’d probably prefer it in whatever their favourite colour is. Next up we have significance. How does that product or service that they buy make them feel or what does it do for them as a person? Then we have connection and love. Does it make them feel connected to either a group or identify them as being, belonging to a certain age group? They like to feel connected and loved. Then we have growth.
Will that product or service that they are investing in provide future prospects for them in terms of growth? Finally, we have contribution. Some people buy or invest in things because they want to give back to society or they want to improve the lives of other people, would it be their immediate family, extended family, young people, people in certain conflict areas. They want to be able to give back.
Just be aware of those when you build your brand. All right? I will also include at least one sheet where you can practise doing that and coming up with your narrative statement.
2. Your Audience
All right. Then we have, “Who are they?” In terms of, when you market to your customers, who are they? Of course, people would have shared needs and then they will have …
So, shared needs in terms of all basketballers would need shoes, clothes and everything, but depending on the type of basketballer you are, you may have individual needs, specific high tops or if you are tall, compared to someone who’s shorter, you might have a requirement for a certain length T-shirt, what are those particular person’s, individual needs and that brings me nicely into persona.
As the name suggests, this is not just covering demographics, but also covering a specific type of person, so I was giving the example of a basketballer for example.
Some people like to play basketball in court, some people like to play basketball outside. Another good example of people who travel. It’s probably very popular around here.
So, say for example a lot of college students like to go backpacking around the world or in Asia. Their travel needs will be different from a couple who have kids.
They want to go on a family vacation. If you’re offering something like a travel blog, you would want to really narrow in as to who you’re offering this service to. Is it a single female traveller or is it for couples or backpackers or whatever. The point here is you really need to really focus on and zero in because once you understand the needs of that particular type of person, you will be able to build a brand using that.
If we look here, we have then, what are they looking for? They obviously have, like I mentioned in the last topic the six needs are they looking variety? Are they looking for comfort or what exactly are they looking for?
The best way to approach this is to put up a picture of your perspective travel, would it be a college student or a single female or a couple or a family or an older couple? Put up that picture and then you can sort of start building a story around that. What is their motivation? What is their motivation for travel?
What motivates them in life generally speaking? It could be that they are interested in maintaining a healthy environment or they’re interested in whatever they do, not discriminating, treating everybody equal or they are probably interested in helping those who are less fortunate than them. Whatever that is, it’s the driver behind what they do or what motivates them is the way you can actually build up their persona.
If you have a picture for example of an older couple who is interested in preserving the environment, then their travel needs would be to make sure when they go travel they have a place that is environmentally friendly. That supplies maybe organic food or as naturally built accommodation as possible, but you get the picture. I’m talking about you need to know what’s driving your prospective buyers or readers.
You then have your pain points. It could be that they, okay, the reason why they go hiking is that they are trying to keep fit or they’re trying to stay active, so you would work that sort of language into your blogs and into your, what we call narrative statement. Another thing that you wanna do is look at their personal information.
Their jobs or maybe if they are retired. They will be into golfing, really, really drill down at a granular level what it is they are looking to do in their lives? What’s their background?
For example, they worked in the corporate world and now they are escaping from that and want to become a digital nomad for example. Once, you understand their personal information you can build a better picture of them. That’s persona.
4. Brand Experience
Next up we have experience. Experience is not necessary the experience of the travel, like how much they have experience of the travel, how much experience they have travelling but more or less what do you want that reader, that buyer, that customer to experience when they interact with your brand?
From the time they see you for the first time. A specific example is it a blog or a business, but let’s just say a blog for example and they go to your blog and read.
The combination of the way that the information is presented, whether it would be the colour of it or the language should keep them a certain … It should make them feel a certain a way. It’s all about that experience they have interacting with your brand.
They’ve got experience and then what does the customer benefit? Based on the experience you might be saying, “Here is the information and at the end of that combined with a call to action, what did they … Did they leave more inspired?” Richer? I don’t know, I’m trying to find a nicer way to actually get that thought out of my head.
Enriched. Do they feel more enriched from reading your blog or interacting with your business? Would it be on the phone or maybe they picked up a brochure? Sometimes you see a brochure and the presentation isn’t that great, but some brochures are really, really … And do they feel … Do they get a sense of luxury?
What experience do you want them to get at the end of the day? What is the emotional satisfaction you want them to gain? Yeah, basically what value you want them to gain from your interacting with your business or blog?
Up next we have design. A part of that obviously is the one I talked about before the experience. In order to get a good experience, you need to have obviously firstly a consistent brand, which includes obviously the design of everything from the brochures to the blogs, the videos, to any kind of content that they interact with and one of the really great ways to build or design that is coming up with consistent things like colour palette, for example, consistent fonts and font sizes, consistent tone, so when you speak to people on your blog or podcast or business, is it …
Some people like the approach of being bossy or calling their customers names or being formal or being conversational or being fun or exciting, so it really depends on you and you have to keep that consistently all the time.
Obviously, for the first few months, you might be testing and seeing what is that tone you want to portray in all of your messaging. By all means, test that out, but once you’ve come to the one way of messaging to your clients, or your customers or readers, just be consistent with that 24/7.
Choose your fonts, get your colour palette. Make sure you include some place to find some really great colour palettes and fonts and then develop that tone. So it’s all of that culture. For the likes of Zappos for example, they’ve got a customer-centric culture. If that’s what you wanna go for, you might wanna take read Tony Hsieh’s book and see what he did to develop that culture.
6. Marketing Plan
But yeah, you sort of get what I’m saying here and then next up we have then your marketing plan to build a brand. Once you’ve decided you know exactly what your business mindset is, you know what you wanna portray, you wanna approach your customers, you know how you wanna make them feel, what experience you want them to have.
You know exactly who they are, what their background is, how they arrived at who they are today and where they’ll be going? What their needs are they’re trying to fulfil and you’ve combined that with the design, you then want to know okay so where do these people hang out and develop a marketing plan around that and you can decide any marketing plan, how you want to attract these customers.
What methods you’re gonna use? For example you can use social media or paid ads, email marketing, blogging, podcasts or videos and once you decide, like you don’t have to choose one over the other, but you can start with one way of doing it first and then move on to the next one, but make sure that the ones that you choose are the ones that would fit the personals or the demographics of your customers.
Say, for example, I give you one very good example. Instagram. Instagram, many of the users of Instagram tend to 18 to 24 year old.
Sometimes at a stretch to up to 34 years old. 34 years old and if it is, whether your marketing is for people who are older than that, like for older couples, you wouldn’t want to take your marketing plan onto somewhere like Instagram. You probably would go somewhere like Facebook instead or YouTube.
Depending on what their personas fit into, but then you might actually use different platforms for different people, so if it is, for example, you have an 18 to 24-year-old service and you also have an older age range, say 55 to 65-year-old persona age range, because they go on a different package or service or place, then you wanna market to those people where they are.
You might actually have to have on the onset, start with one set of personas and then move on to the next one on a different platform.
7. Customer Journey
Then finally we have the customer journey. One of the key ways of finding out what the customers are searching for or where they are at any point in time, before they get to find out about you, you …
Customers go through a journey when they search for example in the search engine like Google, where they want to go somewhere, for example. I was giving the example of a travel. Say for example they say, “Oh, the next year we should go to Paris.”
And in order to get there, they want to know more about what it’s like being in Paris so they do all of their research and then once they’ve done their own research, they actually purchase the solution or the product, could be a travel product for example or a weekend away or whatever it is and then they experience it and once they’ve experienced it then they want to buy it actually.
They probably have that the wrong way around. They want to go certain places, do a bit of research, they want to get involved in it. See pictures of other people’s experience etcetera and then they will invest in that, once they’ve narrowed down their choices and once you know that sort of customer journey, you make sure you have collateral or maybe …
Yeah, collateral, whether it would be, well collateral would be too much of a leaflet flyer kind of thing, like content at every step of the journey, so you wanna make sure you have content for when people decide, “Okay, we should go to Paris in 12 months time.”
And they start saving for that and you educate them at that step and then, when they come back and they wanna do some more research, you give them the information they needed then and there, when they’re ready to find out even more from other people’s experiences, you provide content for that and then in the final stage when they’re actually gonna be buying the product or service, you provide necessary content around that.
Once you understand the customer journey, you will be able to provide all of the necessary content, marketing elements that would actually meet their needs. Right. Building a brand for your blog, why would you decide to do it? Well, simply because once you have a consistent brand, whenever people interact with you, once or twice or three times, they get to recognise your brand and get to …
From the experience that they’ve had, they know very well, once your brand is consistent, that they will get the same level or higher experience, every time that they interact with your brand. That means that they can trust you. Trust you, trust your company and then they become loyal, because …
And that’s really, really important for when you come to evaluate the lifetime value of a particular customer and then you have what we call the attachment rate, where they may buy one product and then they will buy two or three different products because they trust and know your brand.
They like the experience, it matches their particular needs because you’ve taken the time to do the necessary research to provide them with the value-add to help them transform or feel enriched even after they interact with your brand every single time.
All right, hopefully, that wasn’t too boring, but yeah, and hopefully it was helpful and hopefully over time you’d gain more and more from my particular brand here on Success Unscrambled.
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Okay, ladies, that’s all for now. Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode of Success Unscrambled with building a brand for your blog and so enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of the week. Bye for now.
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