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Learn how to tailor your brand message to the specific needs of your audience at each of the four customer journey stages.

When you think about someone who has no experience with your brand, the way you communicate with them is going to be vastly different than with someone who experiences your brand on a consistent basis.

The person who has never read a blog post isn’t going to know your brand personality. Compare that to the person who reads every email newsletter, comments on every post and watches every video. Their knowledge and understanding of your teachings will be on a different level. Not better or worse, just different.

The best way to reach each person, regardless of their experience with your brand is to tailor your brand message to their level. Thankfully, those levels coincide with your brand’s customer journey.

If this is the first time you’re hearing the words ‘customer journey’, no worries, I got you. Your brand’s customer journey is the experience your brand provides from the first point of contact to transformation to end result, and beyond.

To keep things simple, I’ve narrowed down the journey into four steps: Attraction, Message Buy-In, Purchase and Retention.

So, how do you decide what brand message to share at each stage in an effective way?

First, you need to understand who your ideal client is. Not just the demographic basics but really understand what they’re looking for and how you can help them. By understanding their needs and desires, you’ll be able to communicate your value more effectively.

Not sure on your ideal client? Check out these blog posts and get access to my free brand resource library that includes a free ideal client workbook..

Then, it’s time to get clear on your overarching brand message. A brand message is a combination of what you value and how you’re different. That’s a pretty ambiguous idea so think about it this way: your brand message is the common thread that weaves your entire brand together. It’s the belief that you have, the ‘thing’ that you’re trying to change or that you have a solution for. It’s the result that you’re giving your ideal client.

Once you understand your overarching message, it’s time to apply it to each stage of the customer journey.

And, in true Witt and Company fashion, I’ve got an example. We’re circling back to last week’s faux case study on creating a consistent visual brand, and using Yarrow Creative as the example company.

Yarrow Creative is a custom stock brand photography business and their overarching brand message is: Creative business owners deserve to have beautiful, well styled photos that are custom to their brand in an easy-to-use format.

Tailoring Your Brand Message to Stage One: Awareness Building

The attraction stage includes all the possible first-interactions someone may have with your brand. 

Message Goal: Using the ideal client’s language, pique the interest and drive curiosity about a potential problem.

We first must think about the ideal client and what their frame of mind is at this stage. They probably fall into one of two camps – they don’t know that they need help or they do know they need help and they’re looking for a solution.

Think base-level information about your service or product that would drive curiosity and pique the person’s interest. The content should drive back to the main brand message but be at a level that’s easy to understand. Use their language – and if you aren’t sure what that is, ASK. Or, do some research. Someone in the awareness stage of your customer journey does not understand the same things as you. Even if you’re one step ahead of them in whatever process, you still know more and use different language. So, the key in the awareness stage is to understand the language that they’re using and talk to them from that level. It’s not talking down to them. It’s being empathetic and understanding that to best serve that person, you need to meet them where they’re at.

Picture yourself at a networking event. When you meet someone new, you immediately try to find common ground. That’s exactly what you’re doing at this stage. You’re finding the common ground you share with this new person. And if you do it right or well, they’ll move onto stage two.

Yarrow Creative Content + Message Examples:

  • What beautiful stock photography can do for your business
  • Before and after of a styled stock photo

 

Tailoring Your Brand Message in Stage Two: Message Buy-In

The buy-in stage happens when someone gives you something important, often an email address, because they’ve bought into what you’re saying and want to hear/read/watch more.

Message Goal: Clearly articulate your expertise by communicating your understanding of the problem.

In the second stage of the customer journey, the person wants to know more. They are now aware of your brand and they’re liking what you have to say. On some level, they agree with the idea that there is a problem and that it can be solved.

More than likely, they’re in the DIY phase and they want to see how to get from A to B without hiring help. Take your overarching brand message and break it down into actionable steps that the reader/viewer/listener can perform on their own time. By giving them quick wins, you’re empowering your audience AND showcasing your expertise. Which, builds a stronger relationship with them and helps them trust you even more.

Remember, people buy from brands they know, like and trust. The goal is to build that trust so that when they’re ready to make a purchase, you’re at the top of their list.

Yarrow Creative Content + Message Examples:

  • Five ways to style your own stock photography
  • Top ten items to purchase when you want to DIY your stock photos

 

Tailoring Your Brand Message in Stage Three: Making a Purchase

Purchasing stage happens when they take the next step and exchange money for what you’re providing. 

Message Goal: Showcase how you specifically can solve their problem with a unique-to-you solution.

Now that you’ve built trust with your audience, it’s time to showcase what you can really do by highlighting your unique solution.

When thinking about your brand message at this stage, I take the perspective of providing as much value as you can. I don’t believe you can give too much away for free. Just because you give them the steps doesn’t mean they’re going to execute on them. And, the thought process is usually, “Oh, if I’m getting this much value for free, I can only imagine how amazing it would be to work with her.”

Again, come back to your ideal client and what they’re specifically wanting. Showcase how to get them there and give examples. What does success look like for them? The more clarity you have around the end result, the easier it’ll be to speak to. Remember, the goal of this stage is to make it so dang clear that you know how to get them from A to B.

Messaging and content at this stage should show off your expertise in a client-focused way – before and afters, portfolio content and testimonials work great.

Yarrow Creative Content + Message Examples:

  • Client case study: Customizing brand photos for ABC Studio
  • An inside look at our customized stock photo process

 

Tailoring Your Brand Message in Stage Four: Retaining Clients

 Retention stage focuses on delighting your customers so that you can retain their business.

Message Goal: Keep clients in your sphere of influence by providing value and transitioning them into a brand advocate.

Contrary to popular belief, the work isn’t over when you sign on a client. I’d argue that this is the most important step – provide amazing customer service and value so that they stay in your circle long after you’ve completed the project. And, even better, they become brand advocates of yours.

Messaging in this phase will be more internal-focused but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Think about your client onboarding process. Are you speaking to your brand message, aligning with your brand values and making the entire process seamless?

After a client project is finished, your message can focus on those next steps. While you’ve more than likely gotten them great results, what’s the next step for them? What’s Point C and how can you help them get there?

Yarrow Creative Content + Message Examples:

  • How to use your stock photos on Instagram
  • How to pick the right stock photos for your website

The customer journey will play a huge role in content creation and brand messaging. The more customized you can tailor your message, the stronger it will be the right person. This isn’t something that will necessarily happen overnight so give yourself time to build up your brand message content. The more action you take, the more understanding you’ll have of what’s working and where.

Happy branding!

All my best,

 

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How to Tailor Your Brand Message for Each Stage of the Customer Journey

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