Guest blog: Talking loud and clear

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Adrian Taylor, creative director at Truro-based design agency Aawen, has some words of advice to help Cornish businesses ensure that their messages are being heard loud and clear.

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He has put together five top tips for business to ensure successful communications, which will help their messages to be clear and consistent, building brand and sales.

Sell what your customers want to buy, rather than what you want to sell.

It sounds obvious, but many businesses miss this point and assume that just because they have a great idea and something they love, then surely everyone else in the world will want and love it as well.

Get data and use it

A simple customer survey can help formulate a winning strategy. What do they like, what would they pay, how often would they purchase, who are your “typical” customers. Once you have useful data, analyse it, work out a way to use it and incorporate it in all your marketing and watch your success rate grow.

Talk to your customers in their language

Too often business owners try to form their communications around their own taste and language rather than focusing on their customers. When you target a specific audience use words, images, design, typography and media that they understand – it’s no good if you and your designer love the leaflet/website/packaging/display if the target customers just don’t like it or don’t understand it.

Keep your brand clear and consistent

Once you have created a brand identity that appeals to your target market, use it as often as you can and do not play around with it. You may see your branded materials every day and be tempted to tweak it or try it in a different colour, or a different position, but your audience will not see it as much as you and they need to become familiar with your brand/message for it to work. Remember it is not about what you like, it should be about what your audience likes and what works for them.

Position your brand to match your service/product

If you are selling a high value, quality service or product, then ensure your design and branding themes match this. If you are selling a low-cost high-volume service or product, then make sure your marketing materials reflect this. Again, it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised at how often businesses want their literature to be “Harrods” when their market and service or product are “Costco” (and of course vice-versa).

In essence all these tips have a similar theme – remove you and your ego from the equation and concentrate on understanding those people who will want to buy from you – after all if you look after their needs and their tastes, they will buy from you and make your business more successful.

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