It seems that we’re all being forced into boxes. A or B personality? Left or right brain? Introvert or extrovert? Intellectual, emotional or spiritual?
And as you work to build your brand strategy, you can feel similar conflict. On one hand, you’re being asked to conduct extensive research, draw scientific conclusions and make decisions based on mathematical calculations. On the other hand, you’re being asked to make emotional connections with your audience members and to follow your intuition when choosing a direction for your brand.
So what is a brand-builder to do? Should you rely on your left brain (logical) or right brain (creative) to build your brand strategy?
The answer is both, and today I’m helping you to learn the value of each one, as well as talking about how to use an ambidextrous brain to create a versatile, comprehensive brand strategy.
Left Brain or Right Brain? A Brand-Strategy-Building Sampler
Building an effective brand strategy requires good balance: balance between fact and opinion, balance between corporate values and market needs, balance between brain and heart…and much, much more.
Here are few examples, to help you focus your efforts along the correct channels:
- Naming your ideal customer’s pain: Your logical brain will be needed as you conduct the research necessary to find the biggest, hairiest problem your target audience members are suffering from. What are they complaining about the most? Which problem is most negatively affecting their lives, and how can you quantify that effect? Then, empathy will be required as you step into their shoes to learn about how it really feels to be them, suffering under the weight of the problem you’re planning to solve.
- Finding the gap: Plenty of research, and real proof of concept, will be needed when setting out to determine what other brands are missing. You’ll need to keep accurate records and prove, with statistical percentages, how they’re missing the mark and by how much. After identifying that gaping hole in service, it’s time to tap into your creative brain, to find a way to fill that gap like no one else has attempted (or made work). Remember that being creative is less about inventing something new and more about doing something in a way it hasn’t yet been done.
- Making connections: Through research, you can determine what your ideal customers want. If you pay attention, and listen actively, you can make informed decisions about how they’re hurting and what they need to relieve the pain. However, it can’t end there. You must find out, through people-reaching and relationship-building, what they want on an emotional level. Only through making them laugh can you know if that’s what they’ve been waiting for. Only when you make them feel comfortable, or excite them, or cause them to feel love for themselves, can you know the feeling of pure and total satisfaction. Talk to your ideal customers. Find out what they’re craving. Create a way to give them what you believe they want, and then rely on your intuition to determine if you’ve filled that all-important emotional hunger.
- Moving forward: There will be times when the competition is doing something that’s working well, and yet, your gut tells you it’s not right. Do your research, give it lots of consideration, and then learn to recognise when your first-hand experiences with your ideal customers are telling you that it’s not the right move. Oftentimes, when brand builders like you are up to their necks in their customers’ lives, they get a real feel for what’s coming, and they can use this intuition to predict what will work a month or a year from now…which is far more valuable than knowing what worked yesterday.
- Knowing your data sources: As you wade through the data that should ultimately determine how you build your brand strategy, take notice to where it’s coming from. Quite often, our ideal customers aren’t making themselves available for polls and surveys—it’s just not in their DNA to speak out. If you determine that data is, indeed, coming from your target audience members, then rely upon it. If something tells you that your ideal customers aren’t speaking up, then get in there and get your own answers.
In conclusion, I always recommend that brand builders keep their heads in the game. You’ve got to know the numbers in order to succeed. You’ve got to look toward hard evidence in order to make solid choices that will benefit your brand and make investors feel secure in your decision-making process. You’ve also got to follow your heart, because under some circumstances, this is where your competition will falter…and there you’ll be, with your ambidextrous brand strategy, killin’ it in all corners.
Need help building your brand strategy? Click here to learn more about the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, where cerebral, creative, motivated entrepreneurs and business owners go to build credible, visible and profitable brands.