Imagine going to a networking event where new entrepreneurs can showcase their startups. You’re excited to see someone tell their story with immense enthusiasm, hoping to find something that might be of benefit to your own business as well.
After a few presentations the audience is becoming a little bit restive, but there’s one more person to speak.
This particular innovator has invented a new type of cloud storage tool and starts off with an endless speech about all the technical benefits of his product. His enthusiasm is palpable, but unfortunately, no one seems to understand even half of what he is saying. Once he’s done and the audience is allowed to ask questions, most people just sit still. The businessman waits eagerly for questions, and the first person to raise his hand only asks: “What did you say?”
The look on the face of the entrepreneur who was giving the presentation speaks louder than words; he simply cannot understand why no one seems to engage with his story.
And here we are confronted with one of the most basic requirements of a good brand story: your clients truly need to be able to engage with your product or service. To make this possible, you need to figuratively take your clients by the hand and help them understand what you are doing in the first place.
Brand engagement is about connecting with your audience
When you think about starting a company, or invented something spectacular that you want to put on the market, you need to get your story straight. The thing is: just because you understand something, does not necessarily mean others will too! You will need to find a plausible way that makes it possible to connect your story with your clients’ minds. A highly subjective sales pitch might sound very logical to you, but others might be baffled by the sheer amount of incomprehensible information.
Connecting with your audience means that you should take into account all the differences between people in general. Some know a lot about technology, others specialize in one very specific craft, and other people might be much more in tune with their artistic side. In order to connect to all these individuals, you need to create a story that somehow reaches every single one of them.
Ask yourself the questions other might ask you
There is a big chance that there might be someone in the audience who is not familiar with cloud storage. Maybe an elderly person, or simply someone who is not into technology. This person might actually ask the entrepreneur what cloud storage is. Now, if this entrepreneur acts from a subjective point of view, he might provide this person with a rather condescending answer like: “In what age are you living? How can you not know what cloud storage is in the 21st century?”
It goes without saying, that such an answer will not increase brand engagement. Brand engagement is about engaging with an audience, not about assuming they know and feel what you know and feel.
To prepare yourself for everything, start with asking yourself the most basic questions about your brand. Some examples:
- What am I offering exactly? What does my service or product entail?
- Does everyone know about the characteristics and specifications of my product or service?
- If not; what would be the most interesting way to explain this to people?
Once you are able to answer these questions about what you do, it’s time to start thinking about why your customers need your product or service. This is where brand engagement comes into view.
Your main aim is to fulfill your customers’ needs
Why do people ‘engage’ with something or someone? Generally because it will offer them some kind of benefit. People engage with other people because they feel good being in their company. They engage in activities that are fun and maybe healthy too. They engage with products or services, because these will provide them the necessary tools do make their lives somehow easier.
This is where you need to zoom in: by linking your business to your customers’ needs.
You should realize that clients are rather impatient people, who don’t want to read a whole manual or encyclopedia just to be able to understand what your product or service does. They only want to know how they will directly benefit from engaging with your brand and using your service or product.
So selling your brand means confronting your clients with the direct benefits of what it is you offer. Ask yourself:
What practical use does my product or service have?
- How does my brand and product or service make the lives of my consumers easier and better?
- What is the difference between my brand and other competitors on the market?
- Why should consumers place their trust in my brand?
- And last but definitely not least: why should people spend their hard-earned cash on my product or service?
Your fancy invention or fantastic product might seem like an earth-shattering miracle to you. But for consumers, you are just another competitor in an already existing market. To engage with your audience, you will need to come up with fail-safe benefits that will make your crowd believe in you and feel like all of their problems will be solved in the blink of an eye.
Brand benefits are your solution to unmet needs
Needs are always creeping up in various stages of our lives. They are primary motivators, which push us to solve the problems we encounter during our existence. Needs can be either primal or nurturing, but they always force us to find solutions until they are met. Your brand is a possible solution to these needs of your consumers. If you want your product to be the first thing that comes to mind when clients are confronted with a specific need, you will need to clearly articulate your brand’s benefits.
Two types of brand benefits
Brand benefits are basically the positive values your customers will experience when engaging with your brand. There are roughly two types of benefits you can offer: functional benefits and emotional benefits. Functional benefits mainly aim to achieve a functional result. For example: if your customers are currently using a certain product but are left unsatisfied with the result, you could offer them a product that does achieve this result. This can be everything ranging from a bottle of laundry detergent that makes clothes twice as soft and cushy, to the previously mentioned cloud storage offering clients more storage for a smaller price and faster synchronization.
Emotional benefits rather target a specific feeling. The laundry detergent you offer might smell better than other products on the market, which makes customers more inclined to buy your product because it reminds them of something nice. The faster cloud storage leaves your clients with more time on their hands, since they don’t have to wait so long until all their files are uploaded. Almost everyone on this planet hates waiting, so by offering faster loading times you are conveniently taking a negative feeling and transforming it into a positive one with your product.
Give them a reason to believe you!
Now imagine the guy who is trying to sell his cloud storage on that stage. And now imagine him telling a different story. By confronting his audience with the nasty feeling that accompanies waiting for your files to upload, slowing down your smartphone or laptop and making it unable for you to do other things. Then, once he has convinced the audience that his product is faster, he also happily states that his product is much cheaper than others on the market. Chances are pretty big that at least some people in the audience will be interested in his product, as opposed to the previous scenario where he ranted on about all the technological specifics.
People will believe you and your brand, if you provide them with clear and direct benefits. And this doesn’t just apply to your sales pitch, but to your brand as a whole too. All your methods of communication should be directly aimed at providing positive benefits for your clients. A brand is a composition of coherent factors that all tell the same story: your logo, your website, your marketing material and your personal story.
Creating a brand that engages your customers
If you have a business idea or a new product, start by asking yourself the necessary questions. Once you have answered these, write down your answers in the form of a story that will attract your clients to listen to you. You can then visualize this story by designing a logo that matches the overall tone of voice and message you want to convey and combine all these ingredients into a successful and engaging brand.
If you need some help or inspiration with the business name and design part, you can always browse around on Brandroot. Our business name marketplace has a multitude of domain names and pre-designed logos, matching every possible startup or existing business. All domains are handpicked and unique, providing you with an excellent basis to start your business.