The Psychology of a Brand

Regardless of the size of your business – whether you’re a solo operation or you have dozens of staff – it’s always important to think about the branding behind your business. When it comes to how you position your brand and your business, you obviously need to know some branding basics; but you also need to know some basics behind the psychology of how your market will perceive the message you’re putting out there. In this article, we’re going to discuss the similarities between psychology and branding and how your company can persuade potential clients with feelings or subconscious thoughts that can propel your brand to success.

The groundwork for laying a successful brand starts with satisfying your target market’s needs. Do they really just need you to sign some paperwork, or is there something deeper? This is where Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs comes into play.

According to Maslow’s pyramid, a person’s most basic needs are physiological (food, water, shelter, etc) and safety. This is followed by psychological needs such as a sense of belonging and accomplishment. The top of the pyramid is self-actualization, otherwise known as “achieving your full potential.” 

Practically, it works like this: You cannot satisfy additional needs higher up on the pyramid until those basic needs have been met. In other words, if you haven’t eaten in a week, you’re not worried about anything else until you find food. 

How does your business solve those basic needs? For lawyers, a person struggling with child custody can be stuck on the safety level of the hierarchy. They can’t feel safe and secure about their family until a detailed plan is worked out with their ex. For an accountant, people can’t possibly feel secure with the lingering thought that the IRS is going to come after them for not paying their taxes properly. 

So how does your marketing influence this?

When you put your marketing hat on, you need to know what level your target market is at and tailor your message to meet the needs they’re currently focused on. While it might be easy to focus on those most basic needs of safety and security, in order to become successful, companies should brand their service or product to meet different levels of needs. 

Start by focusing on fulfilling your market’s emotional needs rather than their survival needs because it will be easier for your target market to understand and see your firm as the place to satisfy whatever emotional needs they may have.

What emotions does your area of expertise typically evoke? What emotions are your clients experiencing on a regular basis? Focusing your marketing on those emotions is essential to building a strong brand for your target market.

Branding, however, is more than just fonts, shapes, and colors. It’s the first domino in the line and is the basis for maintaining relationships between your community and a firm that has its own personality. Having a fancy logo doesn’t provide any inherent value in and of itself. Instead, it is part of your branding that sends a message you in turn have to live up to. 

In other words, what makes you memorable? Who are you really as a company? Establishing this in your marketing message creates that identity that feeds its way into your community and creates a lasting first impression. 

That message builds trust in your firm before someone ever meets you and lays the groundwork for a long-lasting relationship with them, which ultimately creates word-of-mouth and, ultimately, referrals. What you actually do as a firm needs to match what you are saying. If you want to brand your business as the premier firm that guides people through bankruptcy, you better live up to those standards. The quickest way to get fired and receive nasty reviews is to promise one thing, but deliver something completely different. 

When what you say is the same as what you do, you create brand recognition. You can take this a step further by humanizing yourself more by interacting with clients more as an equal peer rather than the “holier-than-thou” persona that’s landed attorneys the negative reputation they’ve received over the years. For example, a family law attorney who has gone through their own divorce can empathize with their clients on a much more intimate level. This sort of storybranding can make your marketing even more powerful.

Simply having a catchy tagline or a special offer isn’t enough. You need to bring an element of psychology into your brand to tell a story that resonates with your target market. If you’d like to have a deeper talk about your brand, reach out to us today!

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!

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