Branding With Empathy

How to begin.

The idea of branding is nothing new but over the past eighteen years of working in the design and marketing world, I have realized we often forget to bring in the empathy part of the equation. Companies, large and small, will experience greater success when they take the time to understand their current and potential clients before branding and marketing. Empathy provides the context for a customer’s experience, which is where the brand can really connect. So where to begin? Everyone comes to the table with some history with clients. That is why you started a business right? You found an audience who requested a product or service you offer. Whether you are a large or small company, it’s helpful to sit down and take account of all the data you have and how to utilize it for brand development. The first stage is RESOURCE COLLECTION:

  • If you have a website with GOOGLE ANALYTICS make sure to pull reports and scan them over. There is information about gender, age, location, how they interact with your site, what devices they use to interact with your content, etc. This information is valuable on understanding some basics about your audience.
  • If you have a Facebook business page go into INSIGHT and click on PEOPLE. You will discover more information about age, gender, location, etc.
  • You can look further into your FOLLOWERS on most social platforms. This collect as much of an understanding as possible. Create a spreadsheet if needed to keep track of the data you are collecting.
  • Look into your email list. Have you taken the time to segment out your list based on what prompted the conversation? If not, now is a good time to go in and look at your lists to organize for a clear understanding of your audience.
  • Don’t forget to take into account what you have observed and interactions you have had with clients offline. Whether your interactions have happened at trade shows, networking events, etc. Make sure to add any extra insight you received offline. It’s just as important as online info. The only difference is that online info comes with data insight. But intuition is part of this whole process which is why empathy is involved.

What now?

So you now come to the table with a better understanding of who your current clients are. Now ask yourself, is this the demographic I want to bring in or do I want to expand my service or product to a larger audience. If you would like to expand you will need to also add into your spreadsheet who you want to reach out to. You will also need to write some best guesses on where this audience is at online. This part can be tested later once you start to do some light marketing to make sure that your assumptions are correct. If not, you will have to tweak your assessments to fit what the data mentions.

At this point, I will point out that this does take time and work but if these steps are overlooked you could find yourself wasting money and time into a brand that doesn’t make sense for your audience.

Define your brand (story) to align with your audience’s expectations.

With all this data you can now look at how your audience prefers to engage. Determine which social platforms they prefer, which websites they rely on, how they want to take in content. Now look at your product or service and see where that can fit in. The next two important factors are determining your comfort level on engagement towards share your brand. And how can you create a brand that invites your audience to become part of the story? When you discover these last two points you are now equipped with the knowledge you need to develop your brand.

But there is more!

So the work doesn’t stop there. The next steps involve light marketing efforts with images and messaging to see what your audience responds to. This will help to ensure you are on the path your audience is expecting. There are so many possibilities for branding and I look forward to sharing those ideas on how to determine what fits your needs during my workshop on September 25th at RAIN Eugene. Discover more on this link:

Join me for my “Branding With Empathy Workshop” on September 25 at RAIN Eugene