Branding Values: The Secret
Your target audience may take in people of various cultures, economic classes, and locations. It’s a daunting task for a brand manager to bring so many different types of people together into a community. But if we have learned one thing from Apple, it’s that a sense of community creates loyal customers of all sorts. So how do you create a brand image that resonates with all sorts of people? It’s all about developing branding values that will convey your company’s values.
You may wonder, though, what that means. Is it about charity work and showing that your brand gets behind the underprivileged? Not necessarily. While charity work does bring together all sorts of people (have you taken the ALS ice bucket challenge yet?), it’s not the only value that people come together over. So, how can you decide what values will bring together the community that you want?
The proven way is to listen and then respond appropriately. You can spam people with all sorts of content that they don’t want—and get nowhere. Or, you can simply ask the customers what they would like from you. It might sound too simple, but it’s really something everyone wants: someone to listen to them and respond in an empathetic way.
Engage your consumers on social media sites. Ask them to comment, to speak their mind. Respond appropriately. Eventually your consumers will start to shape their own community. This is, after all, how it works. Just go back in time and ask the British empire about the community they started in the new world. It didn’t go quite as planned, because it developed its own sense of values such as ‘no taxation without representation.’ Your community will do the same thing if you loosen the grip a little and allow it to form.
You can’t force consumers into the mold that you want them to fit. You should have a strong sense of branding values and be willing to appropriately bend those to the will of the people.