Nobody wants to be in a “they’re not that into you!” scenario without knowing it. However, sometimes it does feel like you need to become some type of skilled telepath — think Professor X — to know where your brand stands in your audience’s mind.
What do they want from me?
Is what I’m doing working?
Did they like working with me?
Do they even get me?
Overthinking on these types of questions can actually creating a failing spiral and become paralyzing. And we all know analysis paralysis serves nobody.
That serves nobody yes, but also there are other ways to proactively and productively get these answers. And not just answer these questions, but also influence them.
All of these questions have something in common — the sale. What should we sell them? How do we get them to the sale? How do we repeat the sale? How do we turn them into ambassadors to bring in more sale?
Essentially the metrics to focus on fall into two categories: pre-sale and post-sale.
Pre-sale — brand perception:
Brand perception comes down to what they think, feel, and believe about you — which might feel arbitrary and up to interpretation at times but is still in your control to influence.
Brand strategy and brand design are at your disposition to shape up a persona they are inclined to fall in love with and to craft up a story they’re bound to be moved by.
That’s your (super) power of persuasion — move over Professor Charles Francis Xavier.
In the pre-sale phase (with the goal to lead them to it), you are able to convince them of your unique value, of your brand promise, and of your trustworthiness, and your competence.
Collaborate with people they already trust and buy from. Share your work along with your results, but also your shared values. Ask them what they specifically want and create offers based on that to show that they’re at the center of your promise…
Post-sale — brand reputation:
Brand reputation is a result of the sum of their interactions with your brand. What opinions they have formed about you by experiencing your brand directly or indirectly?
Although brand reputation might also feel like it’s out of your hands, you do have ways to ensure you do create an optimal experience.
Aside from the little attentive gestures like welcome or goodbye gifts, you do have strategic tools to influence their opinions of working with you.
Personally, I believe delivering on your brand promise is at the top of the list. It might seem obvious but before worrying about which gift box to select focus your energy on doing what you said you would do when they bought from you.
Another way to improve your experience, consequently your reputation, is managing expectations. Be transparent. Lead with service. Don’t botch the off-boarding, so that they leave even happier than when they started. Set them up so that every time they use your product they’re reminded of your level of service…
If you ever feel overwhelmed by the idea of mind-reading your audience, simplify things. Put your focus on optimizing your brand perception and your brand reputation.
Ask them what they want. Create a valuable offer based on that. Deliver on your promise. Ensure the good feelings linger much longer after you’re done with the project.
You’ll know it’s working by increased visibility and sales (healthy brand perception), by increased referrals and repeats (healthy brand reputation).