Loyal Sparks readers know the power of a strong brand: a passionate customer base willing to pay price premiums and stick with you through thick and thin.
But how do you get there? By moving customers through five stages:
2. Acceptance & understanding
3. Ready to defend
4. Utilize & internalize
5. Passionate advocacy
Brand awareness begins with a strong visual identity (logo, color palette, typographic treatments, and more) that’s communicated clearly and consistently to your customer base. For small businesses, brand awareness is often built through word of mouth rather than through exhaustive marketing campaigns.
Once customers are aware of your brand, they engage with it in some fashion, moving into acceptance and understanding. If their brand experience meets your brand promise, they are ready to defend their choice to others.
The more they utilize your brand (think of how many coffees you’ve had at Starbucks or how many times you’ve found the perfect gift at your favorite boutique), the more customers internalize your brand’s qualities and values. From there, they become passionate advocates (what we call “brand evangelists”), ready to actively encourage others to try your brand.
Brand-building is a marathon, not a sprint! It takes ongoing management and commitment. It can take 18-24 months to turn an ailing brand around, because your customers need multiple experiences of your brand to internalize the changes. The more consistently you deliver on your brand promise, the more quickly people will believe in you and become a passionate advocate for your brand.