Halloween has come and gone, and that means no more scary stuff, right?
Not if you're a consumer.
Today's consumer is filled with fear: Fear of embarrassment, fear of being excluded, fear of disease, fear of pain, fear of aging, fear of weight gain, fear of loss and so much more.
For your ideal customer, every day can be Halloween—if they're harboring a fear that negatively affects their life.
What does this mean for your brand? It means that you have a brilliant opportunity to build a brand…if you identify your ideal customer's fear and do something to liberate them from the pain, the anxiety or the pure terror that comes along with it.
This is problem-solving, branding style—with a bit more insight than the average branding strategy offers.
Come along with me, to discover how you can build a brand by helping your ideal customers conquer their greatest fears.
Build a Brand by Alleviating Your Customer's Fears
A lot of brand-building experts talk about quelling customers' fears in order to get the YES at the time of sale. Surely there are plenty of things holding consumers back from buying into brands; however, this is about a different kind of fear. It's about the fear your ideal customer is living with every day; fear that is not only upsetting his or her life, but keeping them from living a full, productive and happy existence.
For these types of consumers, fear is their problem. And the alleviation of that fear is your solution.
Here are a few things you can do to build a brand upon the elimination of fear:
- Take a Leadership Role. Your ideal customer is paralysed with fear—physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. That fear is holding them back from doing something they want to do, or from simply living a normal life. They cannot lead themselves to a solution; many of them have already tried. They feel utterly helpless, and that's why they need you to take the reins. In order to build a brand by relieving fears, you must be trustworthy, motivational and positively assertive—because your customers are not going to move through their fear entirely of their own will.
- Set a Great Example. People want to know that shedding their fear is possible. They also want a glimpse into what life will be like after that fear is no longer plaguing them. Be the case study they need; or, publish case studies about other people who have travelled a path similar to their own. In many cases, your ideal customer is you before you alleviated your own fear. Make this your story, so they can see what's possible and feel closer to you and the promise of what you can do for them.
- Build Relationships. Without feeling trust, a person will rarely make the decision to work through fear. They're already fearful of their current situation, so if they're not confident in the abilities of the person leading them to the other side of that fear, little or no change can happen. Take it slow. Build rapport and establish credibility. Prove your expert status and give advice freely, then watch the trust begin to grow.
- Focus on the Other Side. Most of your ideal customer's attention is focussed on his or her fear. Few will look forward to freedom from that fear…and that's a big part of the reason they're still suffering. It's your job to clearly demonstrate benefits to them. That means after you name their problem (fear), it's important that you move on quickly to help them envision what life will be like after that fear is gone. Otherwise, you're only causing them to dwell in their current situation, and therefore reinforce and extend it.
- Understand their Thought Processes. Chances are that you've been in your audience members' shoes. You've experienced this fear. You know how debilitating it can be. And in hindsight, you understand just how irrational your fears, and all the poor decisions that resulted from it, were. Instead of preaching to your audience about that irrationality, show empathy. Understand that they're not ready to hear about how silly they're being right now. Their family and friends have already told them that. Now it's up to you to build relationships, by being that soft place they can go to express themselves and work through it, without having to change who they are or how they think before they're ready.
You know how wonderful life can be, after you learn to work through fear. Your customers have not yet experienced that liberation. Appreciate this and always work to put yourself in their shoes, being empathetic to their place in the journey, no matter how far they are.
Need help with your own fears? Particularly those regarding branding and marketing? You're not alone. This is uncharted territory for many of you; and for the rest, you've made mistakes in the past that continue to taint your confidence as a brand builder. The Brand Builders Bootcamp is a brilliant event for learning about the right steps to take, in the right order…so you can build a brand right the first time. Connect with a current Brand Builders Club member to attend as their guest, or email [email protected] to schedule a call to talk about becoming a member of the club.