The ABC's of Branding: The Funnel



In order to achieve effective branding, it's crucial to understand the thought process customers experience before deciding to engage with your brand. The customer cognitive process serves as a framework to guide both the timing and message of your promotions, advertising and content creation. The sales funnel is a marketing tool used to narrow down your prospect base into potential customers, and to guide them through to a purchase.

The 4 types of customers you'll likely come across:

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Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

1. Analytical Customers

This customer type relies on research, and has most likely researched your company before following you on any social media platforms. From researching your brand history to customer reviews, this is the type of customer who wants to know statistics, features, and the technicalities that make your offering great. You'll need to be ready to answer questions and to support your answers with proof.

2. Amiable Customers

These customers are relationship-oriented and value building rapport with a brand first. You'll want to reach them by being personable and friendly. The more approachable your brand is, the easier it is for these customers to feel connected with you. Being friendly rather than formal will resonate with these customers, as they are ready to do business with you if they feel like they're buying from a friend.

3. Expressive Customers

These are the impulsive buyers who are driven by their emotions. If your brand exudes a lifestyle they aspire to pursue, these customers are more likely to choose your brand over others. Often placing value on social standing, these customers want to feel special, exclusive or part of an elite community. Emotions play an important role for these buyers, and if your service can make them feel good, you've earned their loyalty.

4. Driver Customers

This type of customer wants to know first and foremost what you can do for them. How can you make their life easier? How does your product help them reach their goals and ambitions? With these types of customers you'll want to communicate to them that they're the priority. As individuals who are a bit more self-centric, offering them unique deals, offers or trials will resonate with them. With driver-style customers, you'll need to be quick on your feet, flexible and straight to the point.

Note that there is no concrete answer for how many customer types exist, some lists span to even seven or eight types of customers. Before understanding your sales funnel, you'll need to know the different types of customers before understanding how they experience the funnel differently. As the sales funnel works independently with the buyer journey model, you’ll also need to note the difference between these frameworks.

Some definitions to get you started

The Sales funnel is a cone shaped model used to describe the narrowing down process of a consumer interaction with a brand from visitor to customer.

The basic process involves: Stranger > Prospect > Lead > Customer > Promoter

The Buyer's Journey includes all the stages a customer experiences from discovering a brand to deciding whether or not to buy from them.

The model involves three stages: Awareness > Consideration > Decision

If you'd like more visual depictions of the Buyer's Journey and the Sales Funnel, HubSpot discusses these concepts more in depth.

After identifying the types of customers you attract, and where they are in both the buyer's journey and sales funnel, consider what message will be appropriate to reach them. You'll need to understand what types of calls to action to use for each stage of the buyer journey and determine what a conversion looks like for customers who are not quite ready to buy. Make sure to include a call to action for every stage of the journey to continue your prospects through to the end of the funnel.

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Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Examples of Messages and Conversions

1. Awareness Stage

Your message

 You'll want to explain more about your brand and highlight what need you’ll satisfy. This is more of an introduction so let your personality shine through!

What a conversion might look like

 this could be a follow on social media, signing up for a newsletter or any other type of initial engagement

2. Consideration

Your Message

Use information to get your leads off the fence about your brand. Try product statistics, performance data and testimonials to build trust and credibility.

What a conversion might look like

 this may include filling out a form on your website, emailing your company for more information or attending a company event - something that shows they’re interested for more.

3. Decision

Your Message

Identify the perks of a subscription with your brand. Using free trials, coupons, and time sensitive discounts are common ways to prompt your customers into action.

What a conversion might look like

Ultimately, the conversion here is a sale. Whether as a long term or short term customer, the lead has agreed to enlist for a product or service with your brand.

It's important to understand both the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey when releasing content and creating promotional material. While a bit more abstract, these concepts are still crucial in the branding process in order to know how to resonate with your target customers at each stage of their decision. Being present throughout the decision-making process not only keeps you at the top of their mind, but also positions your brand to be customer oriented, which strengthens brand loyalty. One of the keys to branding is knowing who your customers are, knowing their thought process and being able to respond to what they're thinking. Branding is not only about honing what your brand stands for, but effectively ensuring your customers agree, understand and buy into your brand.


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