Humans are very interesting to me. When you think about what motivates people to choose and do the things they do. Branding a walk in your customer's shoes is an important way to look at customer behavior to inform the strategy you selected.
Have you studied your customers to the point of knowing exactly what they want - before they do? You probably already know what TO DO to learn more about your customers but are you taking action and doing it?
Put yourself in the customer's shoes. Try the “IF I” process. If I were _______ and _______ I would possibly be doing ______. Be a better “undercover brand agent”. Tag along through and take a tour through how the customer is experiencing your service, your product, your website, your packaging. Take a walk but try on their shoes first. This exercise will allow you to notice details and sink into the mindset and try to get closer to thinking as they do.
Track and note data such as what went well? What was off or missing from the experience? Why are they struggling? Why are they succeeding? What makes them happy? What makes them curious? What makes them tick?
It's your chance to look at how people interact with your company, employees, virtual teams or processes. It’s your time to look at what could be better and solve those problems.
Learning to improve your critical thinking skills is important to help you decern what is important and how to apply it to the brand experience and your marketing.
If you want to really understand your audience and how to create something of value for them it becomes your job to know more than their age and gender demographics. Knowing surface details isn't enough. The people you serve don't think of themselves as an avatar, a client, a buyer, and maybe you shouldn't either. They are real people with likes, dislikes, opinions, and preferences. They are NOT like you.
There is one other important factor I want to mention. It’s your intuition or some call it a gut feeling or trust your gut. When analyzing and applying the information to your brand choices you will want to consider something else that pops up from time to time - intuition.
These days many people are afraid to make decisions for fear of breaking the rules or not getting things perfect the first time.
I say, sometimes the rules are meant to be challenged. Trust your gut.
Jonathan Fields said, "intuition is data". I believe this to be true. One shouldn't completely rely on data alone. Collecting and analyzing data can be useful but also consider that sometimes you know the right choice from the place of your intuition. Your intuitive data might be telling you something different from what it appears on paper. Trust your gut too.
Do you collect data from customers? How do you apply intuition in your business? Leave a comment below and tell me if you find this helpful?
This blog post is part of a series on business branding written for entrepreneurs by Andrea Robinson on LinkedIn Pulse. The links below will help you navigate other content you might be interested in reading: