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.
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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.