How to Make People Care About Your Brand

People don’t choose to buy from your brand on a whim. There’s always a reason behind their decisions, and uncovering that reason is key to gaining a brand following and growing your business.

According to the American Marketing Association, the average consumer sees up to 10,000 brand messages a day. But out of those 10,000 opportunities, the consumer will only buy from a select few brands. So how do you ensure yours stands out in the sea of brand messages? In his book “Youtility,” marketing consultant Jay Baer says, “You can’t survive by shouting the loudest and relying solely on anachronistic interruption marketing. You can’t proclaim you’re featuring the ‘biggest sale ever!’ every day.”

Promoting your brand anywhere and everywhere just doesn’t work. You need to focus on building relationships with key consumers who will be interested in what your brand has to offer. Here are three ways to make your target consumers care about your brand.

1. Focus on your audience

You could have the greatest product in the world, but if no one cares about it, you won’t sell anything. Before you even thinking of marketing or selling, you need to first think of your customers. Who is it that you’re trying to reach and what do they want?

Do some research and delve into demographics like age, sex and occupation. Then, go deeper. Uncover your audience’s pain points and their needs. Paint a picture of what your target consumer is like. Instead of thinking about marketing to a mass of people, think about how you can market to that one person.

Once you have an idea of what your target consumer is like, figure out where your product or service fits in. What problems can you solve for the consumer? When you can find the crossover between what your customers want and what your brand provides, you’ve struck gold.

In a speech at Content Marketing World 2013, Jonathan Lister, VP of sales solutions at LinkedIn, said, “As marketers, we should be changing the mantra from always be closing to always be helping.”

Consumers today are savvier than ever, and they’re skeptical of brands that are overly promotional. Instead, they favor brands that focus on being helpful and offering value. When marketing your brand, try not to oversell or use too much promotional language. Instead, frame your marketing in a way that shows how your product or service helps the consumer and how it will improve their lives for the better.

2. Don’t be afraid to be controversial

When you’re trying to get people to like and care about your brand, saying something controversial is probably the last thing you think you should do. And while it’s true that you shouldn’t be offensive or stir up trouble, sharing an opinion can actually make more people identify with your brand and like you.

That’s because trying to get everyone to like you doesn’t work. But that’s okay, because not everyone is the right customer for your brand. And if you never share an opinion or choose a side, you may not make anyone dislike you, but you probably won’t get anyone to like you, either.

Sharing your opinion reveals your brand’s values and allows your audience either to agree or disagree with you. In this way, you find your true audience, the ones who will advocate for and believe in your brand.

In his book, “Pour Your Heart Into It,” former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz writes, “Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.”

Don’t hold back on sharing your opinions and potentially being controversial. You may lose a few people who disagree with you, but the ones who agree with you will end up liking you more.

3. Be human

A brand is impersonal. It’s an abstract entity, a logo, a tagline. So how can you expect your audience to care about it?

To get people to like your brand, you need to be more personal – more human. People like people, and they want to know that there is a human person behind the brand they’re following, not just a corporation.

In your content and other marketing, be conversational and engaging. Write as though as you are talking to a friend. You also need to engage with your consumers and grow your following. Start conversations online and respond to any comments. If your customers have any questions or problems, be proactive with your customer service. If you want people to care about your brand, you need to care about them back.

In his book, “The Thank You Economy,” entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says, “A strategy of caring usually out-shines tactics, but when they’re used with the right intent, tactics can help a brand achieve greatness.”

Although it’s quickly becoming cliche, authenticity is an important part of gaining a brand following. A study by Bonfire Marketing revealed 91% of consumers want the brands they follow to be authentic in their posts.

To be authentic, you need to first define your brand values. What does your brand stand for and what are those values? Then, in all of your marketing efforts, make sure your brand voice is aligned with those values.

Authenticity will inspire trust, and if your audience trusts your brand, they will buy from your brand.

INC