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Better Branding

-Brian Lischer





Research has shown that 95% of the decisions we make aren’t based on facts.


It's true. Almost every decision we make every day is driven by something else entirely:


Emotion.


Everything from hunger to greed to good old-fashioned FOMO.


These emotionally driven decisions include the decisions that customers make about your brand.


Decisions like whether they buy from you, how much they’ll pay, and whether they’ll come back for more.


People don’t buy BMWs because they have 500 horsepower, for example.


They buy them because they want to feel the exhilaration of driving really fast. 


This is why it’s so important to talk about your brand in ways that speak to your customers’ emotions.


And that's where your brand benefits come in.


Today, I’ll show you an easy way to define your brand benefits.


The type of benefits that speak to customer emotions—and influence purchasing decisions.


First, let’s look at why most brands are so bad at talking about the benefits they offer.


Features vs. Benefits: What's the Difference?


There’s one mistake I see clients make, again and again:


They think they’re talking about the benefits of their brand.


When they’re actually talking about the features of their products or services.


Cloud-based software, transparent pricing, overnight shipping, automated tools…


Don’t get me wrong, features like these are an important part of your business.

But at the end of the day, features are facts.


And as we’ve seen, customers don’t make decisions based on facts.


We make them based on emotions.


If your messaging speaks only to features, you're not communicating the true value customers can expect from your brand.


How to Define Your Brand Benefits


Here’s an easy, three-step process for defining a powerful set of brand benefits:


1. Talk to your customers

Like most things branding, brand benefits aren’t something you should just make up out of thin air.

It’s important to talk to the people your brand is benefitting.

Whenever possible you should talk to your customers, one-on-one.

Ask them what sorts of needs or challenges they have and how your brand helps them solve those challenges.

More importantly, ask them about how your brand makes them feel.


2. Create a long list of brand benefits options

Based on your conversations with customers, identify 10 to 20 benefits that stand out.

Make sure you don’t get too focused on features over emotions.

For every functional benefit like speed, savings, or customization…

You should have an emotional benefit like trust, confidence or peace of mind.


3. Narrow your list to 5 brand benefits

Good branding is all about focus, which is why it’s important to narrow your list to no more than 5 benefits.

You may have to make some tough decisions, but prioritize the benefits that are at the core of what your brand offers.


4. Use your brand benefits to inspire your brand messaging

The final step is to use your brand benefits as inspiration whenever and wherever you talk about your brand.

From your website to your sales presentations to your social media feeds, your brand benefits should be a through-line connecting all your brand's touchpoints.

This will help ensure not only that you’re framing your products or services in emotional terms for your customers, but that you’re doing so in a consistent way.

And consistency is the cornerstone of the most important emotion when it comes to your brand:

Trust.


This Week’s Action Steps


Call 5 of your customers and ask them the following questions:


  • How would you describe the value you get from our brand?

  • How do you feel when you use our brand?

  • If you had to pick 3 words to describe our brand, what would they be?

Record the conversation, if you can. (Always ask permission first.)


Use a tool like Otter or Rev to transcribe the recording.


Go through the transcript and make a list of any benefits your customers mentioned during the conversation.


This will give you a solid, data-driven list of benefits to use in the exercise above.

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