In life it’s all about perspective—and when it comes to marketing, this rings especially true.
Central to marketing is the idea that a brand is built on audience perceptions and consumer expectations. The way a brand is presented and communicated shapes how the audience perceives it, and thus determines consumer behaviors and interactions with your brand and products or services.
Consumer insights provide the avenue for a successful marketing approach, and tactfully targeting your audience can help you to channel consumer perspectives and reel in the ROI—hook, line, and sinker.
How you frame your brand in the eyes of your audience is key to ensuring a successful marketing plan. Manipulating the way the information is relayed and your branding is framed influences consumer decision-making and judgments. To successfully reach consumers and elicit the calls-to-action you desire, the right use of words, images, and other media is the framework for delivering your message within a context that is relevant to your target audience—converting prospective consumers into profit.
The way a statement or question is “framed” influences how it is answered, so applying this principle to your messaging (slogans, ads, promotions, surveys, etc.) and branded content, can further entice your audiences.
Our brains prefer recognizable things, and studies have shown that increasing exposure of branded messaging eventually leads to a more positive perception of the brand. Content marketing is important for building that frame of reference, and consistent messaging reinforces your branded—this is where evergreen content is key.
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The Vantage Point
Among the various factors that influence a business’ strategic marketing plan, your target audiences—and their psychological, emotional, demographic, behavioral, and perceptual characteristics—dictate the extent of consumer engagement and interaction with your brand. These and other factors like needs, desires, habits, compulsions, convenience, and other social and environmental variables are key players in how marketing tactics influence consumers. And though you can’t necessarily change such individual consumer characteristics, you can shift the vantage point.
Appealing your marketing efforts to the preferences and trends that your audience is most receptive to—like the type of communication channel or platform, mode of distribution, type of content, language, style, tone, design, etc.—improves effectiveness of these strategies. Understanding your target audiences helps to define the best marketing approach and strategically shape the consumer vantage point in favor of your brand, ensuring that through the lenses of your audience, the view is rose-tinted.
A popular business is one that is perfectly positioned so that from any audience’s angle, your brand is reflected in a positive light. Creating positive associations provides a queue to the consumer mind, whether consciously or subconsciously, that prompts positive feelings and correlates to proactive behaviors.
A marketing tactic is only as effective as the connection it creates—so appealing to the emotions of consumers creates ties to your brand and tendencies toward your product. Emotions are a primary determinant and driver of our opinions, decision-making, and perceived value, thus influencing consumer behaviors. We can all attest to the power of a little retail therapy.
Nostalgia is a prime example of the strong emotional responses that instigates memorable thoughts and drives us to make familiar choices. This is why we may tend to buy a specific detergent brand, for example, because the scent creates a notion that innately makes us feel good. And because these types of positive associations keep us coming back for more, it builds brand loyalty.
The Power of Pigment
Paralleling the influence of positive associations, research shows that a primary determinant of consumer behavior is the visual aspects of a product. A properly framed product and appealing design creates an alluring brand.
Aesthetics play a significant role in consumer response: color, shape, size, contrast, proportions, texture, etc. Various pigments are both positively and negatively associated with certain emotions and moods. Technically, colors of shorter wavelengths like blue tend to elicit a calm emotion, while those of longer wavelengths like red, yellow, and orange are associated with being more alert—but as you turn the color wheel, the relative perceptions can become askew.
Color can increase brand recognition by up to 80%, in large part because colors play a role in shaping a brand’s perceived personality or “brand identity.” More notably, research shows that consumer perception of colors themselves are not necessarily the strongest indicator of likability or purchasing intent, but rather it is the perceived appropriateness of the color with its brand identity. Think about an interior decorating business that primarily uses white in its design—portraying a simple, clean feeling rather than the emotional calmness that it is psychologically correlated to.
Using certain color schemes in your branding can help spark desirable consumer behaviors. The consumer response to color builds a bridge from brand to brain, and applying the right mood board can provoke purchasing. When designing your marketing approaches, it is important to recognize the spectrum of elements that influence consumer perceptions and behaviors, and ensure your target audience considers yours a frame-worthy brand.
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