How relevant is your brand?

In this article we explore the notion of brand relevancy and how customer understanding is the first part of that journey. We discuss ‘enriched customer personas’ and how drawing on the psychologies and behavioural sciences can help us to understand the reasons why customers behave as they do.

What’s the most important attribute of your brand? While brand recognition is important, the factor that most contributes to its success is brand relevance. While your brand might be recognised by thousands (or millions) of people, if your target audience doesn’t feel your brand is relevant to them, you’re in trouble.  

According to a recent study by Merkle, 59% of consumers say relevancy is the top reason that a piece of marketing catches their eye. As consumers become more sophisticated, it’s no longer good enough to rely on a simple creative concept. We need to create relevant experiences for each consumer at every touchpoint. 

This integrated customer experience is only possible through a deeper psychological understanding of your target audience. While the concept of personas is nothing new, we take this a step further with our clients and favour what we call enriched personas. 

The case against ‘standard’ personas is straightforward:

  • They describe a person and not an audience 
  • They are often fictional 
  • They are created at the outset of a product or brand development and are not revisited frequently enough 
  • They usually have little bearing to how actual customers and prospects behave 
  • They fail to address WHY customers behave or interact in a certain way 

By carefully overlaying traditional research with cutting-edge behavioural psychology and data analysis, we can create a unique audience understanding through a three-stage process:

  1. AI analysis of millions of digital data-points: The Starting Point. It shows us how and where our customers behave online. It can looks at conversation sentiment in relation to our brand as well the emotional needs of our audience.
    1. Online behaviour patterns
    2. What our digital customers look like
    3. Where to find them and when 
    4. Segmented communities – nuances and niches 
    5. Influencers 
    6. Discussion topics
  2. Psychology engineering: Brings together the world of 24 academic fields including psychology, linguistics, mathematics and beyond:
    1. Innate and unconscious human behaviour patterns 
    2. Why our customers behave as they do (on and offline) 
    3. Why they hang out in these places
    4. How they make decisions
    5. How do we trigger them into action (nudge psychology) 
    6. The language that resonates with them (email titles, etc)
  3. Filling the gaps that we don’t know: From traditional focus groups, accompanied shopper trips – through to innovative eye-tracking studies:
    1. Conscious behaviour 
    2. Observing how and why customers behave as they do 
    3. Why customers believe they act in a certain way 
    4. How they respond to creative messaging, price points, routes to market etc 

By adopting a process such as this, we’re able to establish not only the WHAT, WHERE and WHEN, but also the HOW and the WHY, which are often missing from the mix. It takes a combination of all these factors to establish a deeper understanding of our consumers. 

Everyone wants an eye-catching ad, email campaign or social media presence, but what we should really be focusing on is relevance. How does your brand adapt to new platforms, new approaches, and (crucially) the new realities we especially face now in this post-Covid world, while ensuring relevancy for your target audience?

If this has prompted any questions, or you’d like to discuss further, feel free to get in touch

James Watson
[email protected]
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