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Showing posts from tagged with: buyer personas

Who’s the Hero in Your Brand Story?

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Strategy | 0 comments

brand storyStorytelling is one of the biggest marketing words of the year, just behind influencer in popularity. It’s important to craft stories that reach your buyers, and every story needs a hero. Who do you think that hero is? Is it your brand, swooping in to save the day and solve all of their pain points? There’s certainly an argument to be made for the “brand as hero” mindset. The case is even stronger for those companies with a noble edge, such as TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker, or Patagonia. These brands appeal to buyers with their promise to give back, either in a one-for-one model that provides necessities to the less fortunate, or in Patagonia’s case, with contributions to protect the environment. If you think of your brand as the hero in your brand story, then you’re not alone. But ask yourself: Who actually makes the journey?

Considering the Buyer’s Journey

If you answered the question above with “The buyer!” then you’re already starting to get it. Every buyer goes through a certain process before making the decision to purchase. Some have a longer journey than others, but they all go through the same stages.
  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
Just like an epic novel, these “characters” must move through the phases of the journey before they get the reward: your product or service. So, what does that make your brand, if you’re not the hero in your own story?

Brand’s Role in the Brand Story

Every hero has a mentor, right? Luke Skywalker’s Yoda, Harry Potter’s Dumbledore, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’s Gandalf…even Scout’s Atticus Finch, if you prefer to step away from the fantasy genre for a moment. What do these mentors all have in common? The mentor in these stories educates the hero. Your brand should provide the answers your buyers need to make their decisions, from the very first step of the journey until well after the decision has been made. Now that you’re aware of the buyer’s role as the hero and your brand’s role as the mentor, let’s consider the buyer’s journey again. How can your brand help them on their epic quest to solve their pain points?

Benefits of Reversing the Roles

When the buyer can see themselves as the hero in your brand story, you make an instant connection. Your job is to show them that you care more about their needs than you do about your own sales. You provide them with the content needed to move from the awareness stage to the consideration stage. And as they consider your brand as the answer to their needs, you provide them with the offers they need to make the decision, whether it’s a free trial, a one-time discount, or simply a tutorial. As you continue to mentor them through their journey, they will develop trust that eventually becomes fierce loyalty. Your brand story hero then becomes your brand advocate, and then they might just become the first-most-popular marketing word of the year: an influencer. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you tell your brand’s story, give us a call. We’d love to help you embrace your role as mentor so you can see your hero through to the decision phase of the journey every time.

Embracing Your Brand Archetype

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Strategy | 0 comments

brand archetype One of the points that I can’t stress enough, as a branding and marketing professional, is to know your customer. Your buyer personas are a direct reflection of your brand, so you must know them inside and out before you begin crafting your message. When creating your buyer personas, you may find that many of your customers fit into particular archetypes.

What are the Archetypes?

We discuss these archetypes in my book, Your Marketing Road Map, as they apply to your customers. These are as follows:
  • The Innocent
  • The Orphan
  • The Hero
  • The Caregiver
  • The Explorer
  • The Rebel
  • The Lover
  • The Creator
  • The Jester
  • The Sage
  • The Magician
  • The Ruler
Of course, not everyone will fit neatly into one category. That’s the beauty of human nature, right? Still, if you do know your buyers’ archetypes, you can even better understand what drives them to make purchases. You’ll have one more tool that helps you reach them on a deep and personal level.

All the Characters in Play

If you’re only focusing on the archetype of your customers, then you’ve forgotten one major character in your story. Have you considered your brand’s role in everything? Your brand could also identify with one or more of the archetypes. Knowing how you fit could help you discover more big connection opportunities with your buyers. Consider some of the biggest brands you know and which of the archetypes they embody. First, there’s Apple, which is certainly in the Creator category, with a bit of the Rebel thrown in for good measure. They did recently eliminate the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, much to the dismay of the buying public. It’s not the first time they’ve gone against popular opinion in the name of creativity and advancement, either. What about Johnson & Johnson, with their ads featuring adorable babies and kids, with parents that nurture through the use of their products? Of course this brand archetype would be a Caregiver, and also maybe the Innocent. The Ruler archetype would embody some of the most luxurious and powerful brands, including such powerhouses as BMW and Rolex. The Jester is a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously and delights in making its customers laugh, such as Taco Bell, The Onion, and the rebranded Old Spice. There’s also the Lover, a brand that indulges customers’ pleasures, such as Victoria’s Secret or Dove Chocolate. Now that you understand how particular brands identify with one or more of Jung’s archetypes, it’s time to determine where your brand fits.

Identifying Your Brand Archetype

If you do decide to investigate your brand archetype, remember that no single buyer or brand will identify with only one. We are all multi-layered, with some of those layers standing out among the rest. If you don’t fit in one single category, that’s perfect. Just make sure you’re not trying to fit all of them. To determine your primary archetype, turn first to your brand’s mission and vision. This should tell you everything you need to know. Do you strive to offer products and experiences that no one else has ever provided before? Then you’re probably a Creator. Do you want to assure buyers that buying from you makes them tough or brave? If so, you’re the Hero. Does your brand exude adventure and excitement? Then you’re most certainly the Explorer. Once you’ve determined your primary brand archetype, you’ll probably have a secondary classification. This classification is often discovered in the voice or tone you use to present your message. Maybe you’re a Hero that goes against politically correct speech to make a point. Then you might also be a Rebel. If you’re a Lover that also focuses on purity, then you might also be an Innocent. Remember, you may fit more than two or three categories, and that’s okay. Simply determine which of the archetypes most closely fit your brand. Then embrace them. Convey those characteristics through your marketing and advertising so that you can begin building relationships with buyers who are seeking a brand just like yours. You’ll be able to share a fuller, richer brand story. To learn more about archetypes and how they apply to your customers, be sure to check out my book, Your Marketing Road Map.