7 steps to developing your brand preference
Building a potent brand is first and foremost about making sure that it is known to consumers in your market. But brand awareness on its own is not enough! Sometimes you end up in the public eye for the wrong reasons. In reality, your aim is to be both popular and appreciated by consumers. That’s why working on brand preference is an important part of your marketing strategy. Here are 7 steps to help develop it!
What is brand preference?
Brand preference is part of your overall brand vision, a vision that is built on 4 pillars.
Coming right after popularity, preference is crucial for your brand.
It is even a fundamental lever since it will unlock an important aspect: that of emotion.
Transform popularity into emotion. This is the fundamental challenge for marketing teams. Because among all your competitors, it is your brand that the customer will choose. Not by process of elimination or lack of choice, but because your brand corresponds to their values and expectations.
Brand preference is the emotion that precedes the action, the intent.
How do you generate brand preference among your consumers?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, just as you can’t touch the heart of your prospects or your customers with a snap of your fingers. Differentiating yourself from your competitors takes time. These 7 steps will help save you time.
Step #1 - Work on your brand identity
In marketing, there is no identity without branding. But what exactly is “branding”?
Branding is everything you can implement to make your brand recognizable. This includes the color of your logo, the tone of your advertising campaigns, or your customer service voicemail.
But that’s not all!
You must primarily define the way in which you want to be perceived by your consumers, and more generally by your market. What image do you want your brand and your products to reflect? Which values do you want to be associated with? Ideally, how should the public talk about you?
All of these questions are crucial to helping you to work on your brand identity. And despite what we might assume, it is completely feasible to measure your performance in these brand-related areas!
A strong identity gives your brand substance and bolsters its story. Without this work, you won’t be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors, or outshine them.
Step #2 - Work on your brand's and product's storytelling
Once your brand identity is well defined, you can move on to the next step. The one that consists in putting together your brand’s story. This is known as storytelling.
Storytelling fits perfectly into this process of working on your brand preference. The proof: According to the Tenfold agency, 65 to 70% of the information conveyed through storytelling is remembered. But for raw information or statistics, the rate does not exceed 10%.
Telling the story of a knight coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress is storytelling. Tracing the origin of your brand is also storytelling.
A story conveys values and messages; it plays on the emotions of the listener, and teaches them something. It is its very essence.
How can you make a customer appreciate you if you don’t open your doors to them? If you don’t tell them your story? To get through to the consumer, you must explain why your brand or your product is made for him, and why it meets his expectations.
Step #3 - Convey your values and get your consumers to adhere to them
No brand identity without values. You must capitalize on this, to the extent of making it your story arc in all your marketing operations.
For some consumers, buying is more than an act; it’s a commitment. A commitment to values and promises…that must be kept.
Modern marketing focuses on brand values. Consumers no longer want old-fashioned advertising where the product is the focus.
Instead, put the consumer at the center of your strategy; show them through all your messages that you share the same values and that a relationship of trust can be built between you.
Step #4 - Regularly interact and engage with your community
To build a relationship between your brand and your consumers, you need to interact.
You already interact with your target audience through your products and communication activities. But as you well know, social networks have transformed the brand/consumer relationship.
You can develop your storytelling among the friends of your current or potential customers while they can interact with your content.
Yes, but you still need to produce content that generates excitement and engagement. Without engagement on social networks, your brand will struggle to be noticed and, by extension, to be appreciated.
To create a close relationship on social networks:
👉 make engagement your spearhead
👉 adopt a tone that’s in keeping with your brand image
👉 get your users involved
👉 develop interactions by responding to as many requests as possible.
Step #5 - Respond to needs throughout the buying journey
You’ve likely already seen this line on a LinkedIn post or in a book on customer relations: “A satisfied customer tells 2 people. A dissatisfied customer tells 10 people.”
Just because you’ve won a customer’s heart doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still care about them.
Any customer who has already acted can become a brand advocate. They’ll chat about their buying experience with their friends, tell their co-workers about the advantages (and/or disadvantages) of your product, share their opinion and recommend your brand to their family, etc.
Once the buying hurdle has been overcome, another battle begins:
the loyalty battle. You must work on all aspects that affect this after-sales period.
After-sales service is a very striking example.
How many bad experiences has an average consumer had because a brand’s call center did not offer a solution that met their expectations?
Make sure, therefore, that you have imagined all the possible scenarios and put in place the maximum number of initiatives targeted at existing consumers to ensure that each of your loyal customers becomes one of your brand advocates.
But don’t forget that the buying journey is not limited to the after-sales experience. All the steps your customer goes through from pinpointing their needs to their decision to buy are important.
It is imperative to work on the quality of all the touchpoints between your brand and your consumers, such as:
👉 your website (ergonomics, availability and updating of information, online payments, etc.)
👉 your physical stores (reception, advice, services, product display, POS, etc.)
👉 your social network accounts (answers to comments, organization, editorial line, etc.)
👉 your promotional activities (targeting of ads, quality of offers, frequency of interactions, etc.)
Step #6 - Listen to your customers and analyze their behaviors
To be appreciated by a consumer, you must first understand their needs and expectations. “Understanding” means committing to a preferential relationship.
This understanding produces a dual advantage:
👉 it enables you to identify your customers’ expectations and enhance your personas.
👉 it gives you areas in which you can position your marketing and communication strategy.
Online reviews, remarks made to your customer service, feedback from customers in store: any information that is external to your brand should be taken into consideration.
But your consumers are certainly not telling you everything. It is interesting to complement your monitoring process with as-and-when measurements on a specific item as regards your brand preference work. You can also use it to validate new concepts regarding the evolution of your products or confirm hypotheses from the analysis of your recurring measurements.
Step #7 - Measure the impact of your actions on your brand preference
If there’s one thing you can’t skip, it’s measuring your performance.
By following the previous steps, you have defined objectives and implemented a number of actions. To this end, you have committed resources and the related budgets.
In a context where each marketing action must generate a ROI, it is imperative to set up some form of performance follow-up. You will then be able to evaluate the impact of all your brand preference-related decisions and be able to justify your investment with confidence.
Based on the objectives you have defined, you will be able to deduce the key indicators to measure and track over time, such as:
👉 Positive or negative perception
👉 Image-related aspects (usefulness, trust, innovation, proximity, etc.)
👉 Positive or negative consideration
Don’t make the mistake of measuring your performance in one-shots. The more regular your measurement frequency, the more data you will have to optimize your investment in real time.
You’ll be able to improve the ROI of your actions, while retaining the ability to react quickly to a drop in performance, or take advantage of growth opportunities.
These measures will also provide you with all the concrete arguments to prove the quality of your teams’ work and the proper use of your budgets.
With Happydemics, you can improve your brand preference through our measurement and recommendation tool, developed especially for marketing teams. Your performance indicators are bolstered in real time by consumer opinion. You benefit from the freshest, most transparent and qualitative data to steer your strategies and communicate the results of your decisions
Measure your performance with regard to the most common brand preference indicators: perception, image, feelings…But also with regard to much more specific image-related aspects, depending on your challenges and the type of market you are in: trust, expertise, innovation, consumption habits, shared values, etc.
Develop your brand preference and all the other stages of the marketing funnel (popularity, intent, loyalty) as a team, using the most comprehensive tool on the market.
Book your 30-min demo to learn all about our tool and boost your brand preference!