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Rapid brand prototyping | Step 4: verify assumptions

This is sort of a 2‑step process link­ing the brand with its audi­ence segments(s) and so we can fig­ure out the human con­nec­tion between the two.

Part 1: Since we’ve already done a SWOT analy­sis, we have a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the brand and the audi­ences we assume it can best serve (get­ting the great­est amount of shared val­ue in the inter­ac­tion). Now it’s time to ask the audi­ence what they think. And I’m not just talk­ing about demo­graph­ics. How do they want to be talked to? Is it social media, tra­di­tion­al media? Is it in plain Eng­lish, or do they like aca­d­e­m­ic talk? And where do they hang out? What oth­er brands besides our ours res­onate with this group? Stuff like that.

Then we take each seg­ment and turn them into a per­son. For exam­ple, “Sal­ly is 24 years old, is inde­pen­dent and lib­er­al. She has a dog named Char­lie she puts in her bike bas­ket for her rides to the fruit stand every few days. She makes enough to pay the bills and will skimp on going out to restau­rants in order to spend more on…” You get the pic­ture.

Part 2: This is also the time in the process to iden­ti­fy brand hypocrisy. We look at what the brand does that’s con­sis­tent with its val­ues and also things that aren’t. And we’re not talk­ing scan­dalous hypocrisy either. We’re talk­ing about things that make the brand make less sense to peo­ple. We need to root out what­ev­er we do that does­n’t direct­ly reflect the val­ues of the brand.

So step 1 is under­stand­ing the audi­ence in a more per­son­al way. Step 2 is look­ing at the things we do and mak­ing sure they fit the brand’s core val­ues.

Send me ques­tions and com­ments via Twit­ter: @stalder_cj

This is part of a 5‑post series out­lin­ing a rapid-brand-pro­to­typ­ing mod­el that orga­ni­za­tions can use to under­stand how to get pow­er from who they are and what they do. These steps are a guide, but they’re not a replace­ment for expe­ri­ence and apti­tude. Trans­la­tion: not just any­one with “Brand Expert” on their busi­ness card can pull this off.