Why Customers Don’t Bat An Eye At Your Brand (And How To Fix It)Feb 24, 2022
If you’re reading this, you’re likely a smart, savvy business owner, and you have great value to offer clients. But it can be difficult to gain traction with your business without knowing the ins and outs of marketing. And the more customers that bounce from your website, the more frustrating it gets.
A common problem that comes up when you’re trying to get the word out to customers and generate leads is something you can easily fix if you just shift your mindset.
You probably know how to use this skill in everyday life already. But most people don’t think to apply it to marketing:
THE PROBLEM: LACK OF EMPATHY
It’s easy to go wrong with marketing. In the overwhelming sea of content that swamps consumers, you start feeling like you need to shout about you, you, you and why you’re the best. It seems like you have to boast, holler, and push to find customers.
But this approach is dangerous to your business.
It’s like when you want to be friends with someone. You wouldn’t start talking nonstop about how you are the most amazing friend on the planet, without letting the other person speak. You would be a good listener and do all the good things that friends do - like trying to make the other person feel happy.
The concept is the same in marketing.
When all you talk about is how you are the best, you lose out on making your customer feel the best.
This turns all of the focus onto you, and makes customers feel ignored. It’s pushy, it's in your face, and it completely discounts the customer’s feelings.
And if your customer has that negative experience, they want nothing to do with your brand.
A lack of empathy scares your customer away instantly. And they won’t be coming back.
This is where you need a shift in your marketing mindset:
Your brand needs to focus on what will create the best possible experience for the customer, and that requires a deep understanding of what your customer truly feels and wants. This is what makes customers want to be best friends with your brand.
In other words, what you need in your marketing is empathy.
WHAT EMPATHY IS AND WHY IT WORKS
Empathy is seeing your customers purely as the human beings that they are.
According to Don Peppers, an expert on the customer experience, “empathy is the ultimate form of customer insight.”
Empathy is when you truly understand what makes another human being tick.
It’s knowing what somebody experiences physically, and moreso on a deep emotional level. It’s feeling their spirit.
Empathy digs deep beneath the surface level and strikes the core of the customer. You can see what bothers them, their most troublesome problems, what they want and need so badly.
When a customer, a human, knows that you empathize with them, they feel connected to you and your brand.
Yes, when you truly empathize with your customers, you will connect with them in a way that powerfully resonates and betters your business.
The key to brilliant marketing is to make a customer feel that their deepest problems are understood, and then to inspire them with the tools to get them to the result they're seeking.
How can that be achieved?
This is where the biggest tool we as marketers have to employ empathy comes in: your brand story.
THE NUMBER 1 TOOL YOU CAN USE TO EMPLOY EMPATHY: YOUR BRAND STORY
There is nothing better than a story to engage people and make concepts much easier to understand.
Don Miller, renowned expert marketer, endorses the concept of the brand story: “Marketing has changed. Businesses that invite their customers into a heroic story grow. Businesses that don’t are forgotten.”
Your brand story is the bridge between your brand and the customer - it’s the line of communication that helps your customer understand the value you have to offer to them.
The big key is adding empathy to the mix.
How do you do that??
How do you make a customer feel listened to when it’s YOU who is telling the story? And when they're looking at your website, not actually talking to you?
It starts with letting go of the notion that your brand is the hero of the story.
Time for another mind-shift:
Your customer is the hero of the story.
And every hero has a problem that they have to overcome.
You need empathy to understand what your hero is going through, their basic and soulful desires, in order to help them solve their problem.
You must understand their problem inside and out and let your customer KNOW that you understand it. (it’s not about the logo!)
The secret is to position yourself as the trusted guide who helps the hero (your customer) overcome their problem.
Your brand is there for the sole reason to help the customer succeed.
Once you develop an engaging brand story with customers as the central hero of the story, customers will start looking to your brand to help them solve their problems.
It is important to remember that the customer will only trust the guide when they know that the guide truly understands them - and that the guide truly wants to help them.
So if you can show your hero of the story that you really care, and can help them find the solution, a powerful, lasting bond between your brand and your customers will be created.
So where do you start to build an empathy-based brand story?
There are important steps that you need to follow:
4 STEPS TO BUILDING A BRAND STORY WITH EMPATHY:
Confusion is no basis for a good story. If you and your team are confused, your customers will be too, and they won’t stick around. The first step is to get clear about your brand identity and your customers.
What are your core values, why does your brand exist? Think about what your customers are going through and how you help them.
You can get clear by asking these questions:
Who are you?
What do you stand for?
Who do you serve, what are their wants and needs?
What value do you offer that that's different than anyone else?
This process will emerge your Power Positioning. This is what sets you apart and causes you to stand out in the noise of the marketplace.
There is only one of you, and it’s your approach, your style, that your ideal client will recognize. On the spot -- as the only one to solve their problem.
Your brand messaging hones in on why you, and your product or service, is the best choice for them. They resonate with you.
Go ahead now and write down answers to the questions above and make sure your whole team is on board.
Everyone in your business should be able to talk about the answers to these questions confidently and passionately.
Once you get clear on those questions, you are able to begin building your brand story. It is important to first break down the elements of a story and follow a clear structure to create a narrative that instantly makes sense to customers.
2) Story Elements
Your brand as the trusted guide - how will the guide help the hero achieve their goal?
Your customer as the hero - how does the hero feel, how do they act? - Empathy!
Again, use empathy. What does your customer need and want so badly to change?
What challenge do they face?
This is the solution. How will your brand help the customer solve the problem and get a happy ending?
The Call to Action
What are the stakes if the hero doesn’t act to solve the problem? How will you ask them to carry out the plan you have to help them achieve their goal? What’s the next step you want them to take?
The hero enacts the plan, reaches the goal, and all is well.
3) Putting it all together
All of the elements need to create a seamless story: There is a hero, the hero has a problem, doesn’t know what to do, meets a guide who has a plan, the hero executes the plan, and all is resolved for the hero.
This brand story is the driving force that makes your customer feel understood and inspired. The story needs to be simple enough that it can be explained quickly without confusion to customers. The basic framework of the story should make sense in bite-sized sentences, but can be adapted to a whole blog post worth of content.
4) Building a Content Library from your Brand Story
By taking your brand story and building a content library based on it, you and anyone on your team will be able to build cohesive, consistent content.
A content library is a document of key messaging, marketing content, that expresses your brand story in different lengths and different ways. It’s flexible and expands on the brand story and further illuminates your distinction - your Power Positioning.
This way, anyone who is a part of your business will have the resources to effectively communicate your brand story to customers on any platform in any context. This will keep your story and message consistent so that customers are never confused.
Your brand will be clearly recognizable, impactful, and keep customers continuously engaged.
An empathetic brand story captivates customers and rapidly grows your business.
Need help with navigating your brand story, content library, and all things marketing?
By building a brand story with empathy, customers will feel listened to and deeply connect with your brand.
Customers will finally pay attention to your brand and you will notice increased conversions.
Empathy is a simple change in mindset, but developing a whole brand story and content library is a process that requires a lot of time and work. If you’re a busy entrepreneur and need an extra boost to help your marketing campaign to drive leads to your business, consider hiring a brand strategist.
At Soul Story Creative we are here to listen to your business needs and help you stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Our mission is to give you the resources you need to make impactful connections with customers that better your brand and boost your profits.
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