Branding is not limited to the representation of your company or products. It is also what communicates your mission and values to consumers. Although some purchases are made solely out of necessity, many buyers prioritize putting the items in their cart that speak most to who they are. Within your demographic of ideal target audiences, individuals feel empowered to choose the products that most align with their beliefs. Developing a brand means evaluating your company’s intentions and strategizing product design to mirror those values accurately.
Everything from your website, social media, and even product packaging should be part of your message to consumers. Agencies like East End Yovth work closely with clients to develop a streamlined marketing plan that communicates a company’s values. The key to inspiring your audience and influencing how consumers feel about your brand when using your products is consistency and the power of storytelling.
What is branding?
When consumers shop online or enter a store, they are confronted by thousands of companies promoting various product lines. Grocery stores alone carry hundreds of different brands, each with their line of competing products. Consumers have to decide between several shelves filled with the one item they’re looking for. The primary difference between the plentiful options is simply in the branding.
Through colors, imagery, text, and promotions, brands can establish reliability with their target audiences through connection and persuasion. For example, although two oatmeal boxes may be identical on the inside, a consumer may prefer one over the other because of the brand’s apparent support of family values. A picture of a happy child eating a nutritious breakfast while mom stands by smiling could be the deciding factor in adding it to their cart. Establishing a target audience can be as simple as selecting your ideal customer, but convincing them that your product is also ideal for them, is another challenge.
The influence of imagery
Consumers frequently search for reassurance of their buying habits. One of the ways they accomplish this is by purchasing products that look and feel like them. Images are a powerful way of connecting company values to the story that consumers tell themselves about their purchases. There is a reason that many family-oriented products use pictures that show smiling kids, relaxed parents, or friendly grandparents.
In advertising, the goal is to persuade the consumer to imagine themselves using the product or purchasing it for someone they know. In the moments before an item is placed into a cart, a buyer often anticipates how the product will fulfill their needs. Therefore, a brand’s imagery should indicate how a consumer is intended to feel about the product. Without explicitly saying what the intention is, images can influence the story a consumer tells.
Storytelling and brand
Everything we do tells a story about who we are, what we value, and how we perceive the rest of the world. From the clothes on our backs to the products we purchase, we are continually telling others a story. Brands have the opportunity to tap into this everyday art and connect with consumers through both the stories they already tell and the ones they aspire to tell in the future. A few questions you might ask in developing the story associated with your brand are:
- Is my product intended to meet their known needs, or persuade them to seek something new?
- What is the narrative my target audience is likely telling themselves before they buy my product?
- What is the narrative I want my target audience to tell themselves after buying and using my product?
- Am I trying to convince my target audience of something new or reassure what they already believe?
Weight loss products are perhaps the easiest stories to break down. Most brands start with the narrative that their consumers feel inadequate or aspire to feel and look healthier. Therefore, their branding attempts to persuade buyers that using their product will help them reach their goal of losing weight. They might do this by using images of fitness celebrities or transformation photos on the label.
Inspiring and selling
Selling products to consumers can be as involved as analyzing their buying habits, or as simple as connecting with their narrative. Through imagery and the power of storytelling, brands can inspire and influence their target audiences to believe that the items in their cart will improve the quality of their life. Start by listening to the narrative that consumers are already telling themselves and then begin building the story you want them to tell after check out.