Global Atlantic Financial Group Leaders Insights Winter 2022 | Page 8



WHEN PEOPLE imagine my job as a brand expert , they usually picture a marketing whiz sitting in a closed-off boardroom brainstorming and crafting a perfect brand . That couldn ’ t be further from the truth . The reality is , branding doesn ’ t come from your company . Branding comes from your customers .
Your brand lives in your customers ’ needs and desires , as well as their perceptions of you and their connection to you . Branding is not an inside-out activity ; it ’ s an outside-in activity .
Real branding comes down to getting inside your customers ’ heads and then working inward from there . What do your customers think ? How do they behave ? What do they need ? Where do they go to get it ? Where do they shop ? How much are they going to spend ? What ’ s important to them ? How does it make them feel ? And how does it advance the goals that they have for their lives ?
This is where branding starts . DON ’ T KNOW WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS THINK ? ASK THEM !
Most companies don ’ t have a sixfigure budget for market research . So how do you learn about your customers ?
Lo and behold , you learn who your customers are by actually finding and having a conversation with them . There are many different ways to talk to your customers . Conversations can take place through informal market research , or through formal research methods . Each approach offers a number of opportunities to dive into your customers ’ inner lives .
The different methods available for informal market research prove that budget is not a barrier . On the superlow-budget end of the spectrum , you can just hang around in a Starbucks and ask people to try your product or service — then solicit their opinions . Be sure to ask open-ended questions , such as “ What do you like about this brand ?”— or —“ How do you see this fitting into your life ?”—