May 19, 2022
By: Gareth Mankoo
If you have a great brand and need to take it to its intended consumers, then buying behavior is one of the key subjects that should mark your curriculum. There are several books out there that help you understand how buyers behave online and what drives this behavior.
It’s a little bit of psychology, a few statistics, great data interpretation, and largely, common sense. Every brand-builder has a visual description of their target market in mind before they even begin creating a brand.
A brand was initially used on cattle to help identify their owners. Its purpose isn’t too different now.
Even though we do not brandish flaming metal on the sides of our products, we create an identity for them that reflects who they belong to, what they are meant for, and what consumers could derive value from them.
This identification is what defines their intention, the message they want to convey, or even a movement that they want to inspire.
A brand can have several components. The key ones are as follows:
Your business name can be anything from the initials of its founders to a witty tongue-in-cheek pun. You have to keep your consumer’s personality at the center of your naming strategy and make sure that it is more appealing to them. It also helps to be unique and memorable.
Finding a unique name is difficult, but it isn’t as impossible as it seems:
Your logo design is the visual wizardry that will be the face of your brand. Designing your logo requires thorough thinking and rationale. Incidentally, you are already at the right address to get this done easily.
At LOGO.com, you get a memorable and unique logo design completely free of charge. And when you decide to secure your branding collateral (business cards, social posts, email signatures, etc.), consider that taken care of too.
With our Brand Plan, you get all the necessary branding materials for $8/month when you purchase the annual plan.
Your brand colors have a lot to do with how you want to engage with your consumers. Colors have moods and inspire actions in ways we cannot fathom.
Pick colors that represent your message and your product category, while also ensuring that your brand communication stands out from the competition.
Color psychology is an interesting field of study and can help you identify the color best suited for your brand’s communication.
Picking images that are in your brand space is easy, but having them represent your brand correctly is critical. The images you choose to represent your brand can potentially form a first impression of your brand.
Nike does this well by featuring images that display sophistication and boldness, which are accurate characteristics of their brand identity.
Here’s an analogy for you. If you run a dental clinic, would you like to show an image of a kid in surgery getting their teeth extracted, or would you simply show them flashing their toothy smiles while enjoying some ice cream?
As a brand, you can be serious and more business-like, or friendly and fun. A professional accounting brand would like to keep it serious, while a bubblegum-flavored sherbet brand would have some clever quips and playful words.
For instance, Budweiser’s tone in this ad is authoritative and uplifting, because that’s what they want to entice their consumers.
This example demonstrates how a brand’s tone of voice makes the brand more relatable to its consumers.
Your brand’s values go a long way in attracting the desired buying behavior from your consumers. Define your values and ensure that they are reflected in the points prior to this. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHAS) has a beautiful visual example of their brand values.
This is a reliable blueprint for you to develop your own version of your brand values. Ensure that they truly encapsulate everything your brand stands for.
It’s in the name, really.
A consumer is an individual or group who is interested in a product or service and is willing to pay a fee to consume what it offers. In the general sense, consumers are those who like to use their purchases for personal benefit or the benefit of their ecosystem, with no intention of making a profit out of the product or service.
Since they’re putting their money into something they need, consumers always seek the best value out of their purchases. Brands are built to attract consumers while staying true to their identity and beliefs in the most sincere possible way.
They meet each other on store shelves, in advertisements on giant hoardings, in clever placements within movies, but more and more, over the internet. The point of interaction could be a web banner or a YouTube pre-roll ad.
So, now that you know how brands and consumers come face-to-face, how do you get the magic to happen between the two? How do you predict and influence how a consumer behaves when they see what you have to offer?
The study of what causes individuals to take a certain action when they encounter a brand is called consumer behavior or buying behavior.
Several factors can influence buying behavior. These range from psychological factors that can be triggered by creating relativity that influences their perception, social factors that are derived from what is the right thing to purchase, or even personal factors that are decided by the current life stage of the user and how the purchased item fits into their life.
There are several algorithms and textbooks on what can trigger buying behavior to sway your consumers in your direction. However, we’ve somehow managed to crunch all this knowledge down into six fundamental methods.
It does well to always remember that you’re selling to human beings. Human beings do several things based on how their emotions sway them. Your product should have an emotional angle to every story you tell. And this works. It’s why Coca-Cola ads sell happiness, not fizzy sugar water.
Emotional responses can cause a movement, let alone trigger an action. This is not a sales ad, but a sound testimony of how emotional tugs work.
Keep your imagery close to what is relatable to your consumer. Place your product packaging, your logo, and your ads next to those of your competitors and see how you stand out. If you sell baby food, you want to show a happy baby and not a bowl full of goo.
Be sensible and sensitive in the way your brand communicates. Be empathetic, not condescending. Be friendly, not advising. Your consumer needs to know that you’re in their corner. The right mix of communication messaging and imagery can make for an irresistible product.
Good writing can make people notice you and remember what you said to them.
Attention spans are shrinking. It’s not uncommon for buyers to ask, “Why did I buy this?” In the age of impulse purchases, you have a few seconds to create a memorable moment with your consumer. Some brands go a long way to make themselves memorable.
Here’s a classic:
Be engaging in the way you sell to them. Be memorable enough for them to come back to the shelf or website where they last purchased your product.
Create an experience for your customers that takes them somewhere different. Use words like “Imagine if…” or show them a visual of a fox swimming in a river of chocolate.
You do not want them to see what everyone else is showing. You want to alter their perspective of what’s real and what can be, so that the mere curiosity of it will have them reach out for whatever you’re selling.
As a brand with a good story, you have the power to teleport your audience to a world you want them to experience.
Once you have created something that is memorable, not seen before, and stirs an emotional response or memory in your consumer's mind, you are in a good place. However, getting here is a laborious process.
Some parameters can help you measure how effective your branding is attracting customers.
Knowing how consumers perceive your brand is extremely crucial. This short video is a great stepping stone into simplifying the process:
Remember, 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase brands again and recommend them to others after enjoying a positive experience.
A scarcely addressed parameter to define buying behavior is its salience. Brand salience can be defined as the probability of consumers thinking about your brand before all competitors when the need arises.
For instance, if I say donuts and you think of Dunkin’ Donuts, then they’ve got their salience established well.
Salience builds up after you have introduced and advertised your product well. Brands with good salience become ‘obvious choices’ for consumers, and that’s a pretty sweet spot to be in.
Those who use or endorse your brand can become major contributors to influencing positive buying behavior towards your brand. Influencer marketing is one of the biggest buzzwords with the democratization of content on social media.
Here is a critical take on how powerful brand influence can be:
Brands use social media influencers to demonstrate their products or simply pose with them to sway consumer decisions at the point of purchase.
Among the hardest things to achieve in marketing is brand affinity. It simply means creating a personality for your brand that your consumers feel matches their values. As a result, they are loyal to brands with great affinity.
If you are operating in a cluttered space, like manufacturing biscuits, your customers are bombarded with options. With a good affinity score, you can ensure that your customers know where your product is stashed in the supermarket and will blindly pick your brand before any other.
How do you measure all of these? You can send out a survey with your products or include it as part of your packaging and give consumers a little perk or discount voucher if they submit it.
You could also conduct a small focus study with a diverse group of volunteers who are willing to try your product.
Several social listening tools can be used to understand what people are saying about your brand on the internet. You can do this manually too by using searches of keywords, hashtags, and mentions related to your brand.
Once again, never forget, even for a nanosecond, that you are selling to human beings. The consumer isn’t an alien. They’re just like you. They are you. They make choices driven by what stirs them in the first few seconds that they encounter your brand.
All you have to do is make it worth it.