Building Brand Awareness With Your Target CustomerLaryssa
In episode #133 of the Joy Joya Jewelry Marketing Podcast, I share my own personal recording of a talk I recently presented to the Women’s Jewelry Association of Boston. The title of the talk is “How to Build Brand Awareness and Attract Your Target Customer”. I explain why brand awareness is so important, how to start cultivating brand awareness, and how to use the information you do have about your customers to make important decisions about your branding and marketing strategies. View the transcript below.
Hi, I’m your host Laryssa Wirstiuk. Through this podcast, I aim to empower and inspire jewelry entrepreneurs and innovators so they can thrive by doing what they love. I’m passionate about digital marketing for jewelry brands, and I’m excited to share my passion with you.
This is Episode 133. And today I’m going to share my own personal recording of a talk I recently presented to the women’s jewelry association of Boston. The title of this talk is “How to build brand awareness and attract your target customer”. I explained why brand awareness is so important for jewelry brands, how you can start cultivating that brand awareness and how to use the information that you do have about your customers to make important decisions about your branding and marketing strategies.
If you’re listening to just the audio version of this podcast, I really recommend searching for the
Joy Joya Jewelry marketing channel on YouTube to see an actual video of me talking alongside the visual presentation so that you can get the full effect. And I really recommend subscribing to the channel in general because there’s a ton of video content there. But before we get to today’s episode, I want to share some marketing related news and insights from the past week that caught my attention.
So first, I want to talk about a brand new feature from Instagram. Instagram is reportedly introducing a new section under the shop tab that will help customers shop the latest product drops. This is exclusively available in the US for now on Android and iOS Instagram apps. This new drops feature will show users the latest products and information about upcoming launches, and shoppers can sign up to be notified of upcoming products that interest them. Customers can view more details about the upcoming drops by visiting the brands page inside the drops section under the shop tab. From there they can view details like price, availability and other details they may need before making a purchase. And a brand’s live shopping can be scheduled to align with its product drops.
I think this is kind of cool and exciting and it’s kind of like an omen about how people like to shop and what’s to come in the future of omni-channel shopping.
So next I want to mention an article that was recently published in National Jeweler by Duvall O’Steen and Jen, Colin Williams and full disclosure, I am actually mentioned in this article, but I think it’s a great article. Overall, whether I’m in it or not, it’s all about tips for building your email subscriber database. So as you may know from me constantly talking about this on the podcast, email is the single most reliable channel for nurturing leads and the second most effective tool for sales conversion according to the latest research. So I definitely want to share some tips.
In terms of website data capture for email marketing, you want to build easy and efficient opt in tools for customers to sign up for your email marketing. So things like pop up boxes on the homepage are great things to include, and Kathleen Cutler luxury sales expert and founder of the high end sales society, who was also a former guest on this podcast gave a really good tip she suggests inviting customers into your inner world and never stopped promoting the benefits of being a brand follower. Some things that I shared, and also things I’ve mentioned on this podcast great content is really essential for email. You want to create content that’s so interesting and exciting that your subscribers will want to share it and pass it along. Always include a link at the bottom of your emails to share or forward the email to a friend. And you may even want to consider implementing a refer a friend program for your jewelry brand.
You also want to think about promotions and lead magnets which can help you build your email list. So things like hosting cross promotional activities and events, like giveaways with other brands and businesses. To do this, you want to find businesses that aren’t your direct competitors, but that share your target customer base. And then from there, you can join forces to give away something compelling.
You can also create lead magnets so lead magnet refers to anything that prompts your target customer to give you their information usually in exchange for something for example, like a downloadable style guide or free ring sizer or polishing cloth.
And finally, an article in JCK says that jewelry brands can learn a thing or two from Victoria’s Secret about marketing. This kind of piqued my interest, so I want to share it with you. So marketing to women especially has significantly changed in the past decade and I think Victoria’s Secret is a good example of that. They’ve done a complete 180 rebooting the company installing a new CEO and a new board of nearly all women directors. They’re trading supermodels for new ambassadors who collectively represent modern inclusivity and diversity, for example, soccer star Megan Rapinoe and Actress Priyanka Chopra.
So this vs reboot is a really valuable case study for all brands, including fine jewelry brands that are steeped in old school marketing methods. Industries can no longer expect women to fond over photoshopped imagery of womanhood, the idea of perfection is being challenged, and I’m here for it. I love it. So instead, transparencies, sustainability and philanthropy are all major factors and consumers purchasing decisions. And jewelry brands today need to focus on those things in order to build authentic real relationships with our target customers.
What do you think about that? If you want to get the links to the articles I share in this segment of the podcast, you can sign up for my email newsletter by visiting Joyjoya.com/signup, and you’ll get a digest with the links whenever a new episode drops. Okay, let’s get to the presentation.
What is brand awareness? This is like a pretty big, abstract topic. So I want to try to define it for you specifically how it relates to jewelry brands. So I think it’s important to kind of understand the difference between brand recognition and brand awareness.
With brand recognition. This is when a consumer can maybe identify a particular product or service just by viewing this the services logo, tagline packaging or advertising campaign.
Brand awareness kind of takes this one step further.
With brand awareness, a consumer can correctly recall the business name, recognize the logo, understand the general feeling or vibe of the business, no information about the brand’s products or services and any other details about the business.
So in this case, the consumer is like very intimately familiar with you feels comfortable telling a friend maybe about your products. It’s kind of like a household name at this point. As you can imagine, this is not very easy to achieve. Because there’s so much competition in this space, and you’re up against so many other designers that might have similar products to you or similar stories. So we’re going to talk about how you can really differentiate yourself and get the right people the right customers. Not necessarily everyone but the customer customers who are appropriate for your brand to really become aware of you and get to know you over time.
And as a side note, um, if you have questions, I will be taking questions at the end. But I think it will probably be more organized if we do it all at once. So if you have questions, write them down so you don’t forget what they are. And then I’ll answer all your questions at the end. So make sure you you keep a log of those questions.
Why does brand awareness matter? Why do you have to generate brand awareness for your jewelry business? Well, brand awareness can really help elicit certain feelings or emotions in your target customer. Why is that important? Well, especially with jewelry, which is so much an emotional purchase. It’s not like going to the grocery store and buying like lettuce or some other vegetable that you need for your dinner. Instead, it’s a purchase that someone makes as a gift or as a treat, or some kind of reward or just because they want to add something to their wardrobe. It’s not a necessity. It’s connected to emotion. And it should ultimately help that customer tell a story about his or her place in life or interest or style, aesthetic preferences, etc. So that brand awareness can help you make that emotional connection with the customer that’s going to get them to ultimately make a purchase.
Brand awareness can also help boost customer recognition and loyalty. So the more familiar people are with something, the more they will trust it and gravitate toward it. Again, jewelry. Yes, there’s low price jewelry, but a lot of like fine jewelry is not necessarily an impulse buy. I don’t know which category. All the attendees are today in terms of jewelry pricing, but typically it’s not an impulse buy and the more trust you can earn with your target customer, the better, the more ready they will be to spend with you to give you their credit card or however payment they’re making with you.
It can help you build credibility, which ultimately leads to consumer confidence. It allows for shared values. So again, it helps you create a long term relationship with a customer you don’t just want him or her to make one purchase. You want them to purchase with you again, and again. So having those shared values them really believing in you, in your business, whatever you embody whatever you support, those are the things that are going to help create and maintain a long term relationship.
And it also helps differentiate yourself from competitors. As you probably know, even just being on Instagram, looking at what I like to call jewelry, Instagram, with all the different hashtags related to jewelry. If you spend any amount of time doing that, you will just see how saturated the space is. So any way that you can stand out from your competitors is super helpful.
It’s also important to consistently build your brand and strengthen its associations in the minds of your target audience. And the more familiar your target audience is with your brand, things will start to become a lot easier for you, you’ll be able to promote your brand across multiple channels. So not maybe not just on Instagram, but maybe through email marketing or other ways. You can successfully introduce new products or new services really to your jewelry brand and have those target customers be really receptive and ready to hear about those things. And you’ll build a strong reputation as I said, and you’ll just be able to find new customers and retain the ones that you have.
So a lot of times, again, I’m sure all of you here today are at different stages in your jewelry business, maybe some of you have been at this for a few years, or even decades, and maybe some of you are brand new to it. If you’re new, or even if you’ve you’re establishing you’re kind of like starting to take marketing or branding a little more seriously than you may have in the past, you may be thinking that the first step in your marketing journey is to focus on making sales. Of course, that’s what we all want. Because if you’re not making sales, you have an expensive hobby, but brand awareness actually has to preclude that sale stage. Because nobody is just gonna magically buy something from you, if they don’t know about you. If they don’t trust you, if they don’t feel confident that you’re going to deliver a good product. So it’s kind of like dating, you can’t just go on a first date, and then ask the person to marry you or commit to a lifelong relationship with you. I mean, maybe there are people that have done that, that’s not really the norm.
The same thing with branding, there’s kind of like a courtship process, which can vary in timeline, it could be a few months to a few years, depending on your product and your target customer. But that courtship brand awareness period has to happen. It’s inevitable before you can get to that stage where you’re starting to make sales and aggressively focus on pushing sales to these customers who are already aware of you. So this is kind of like a growing pain. It’s not a super glamorous or exciting one, because everyone wants to be making money. But this is something that needs to happen first and foremost.
You should also know that brand reputation directly impacts sales rates and organizational success. So building brand awareness and loyalty is a critical component of increasing revenue. Again, not an exciting one, but an important and necessary one.
So what are some ways that you can build this brand awareness? Let’s get to the, to the exciting part
of this, make sure that you have a clear visual brand identity. And you might think, yeah, of course, like people look at my brand, they look at my pictures, and they know me. But is there consistency in that identity? Do you have a clear color palette that’s been established? And that is used in multiple channels that in which you’re communicating with your customer?
For example, are you using the same color palette on your website? As you are in your emails as you are on your social media? Is your logo consistent in every single way that you touch customers? Is the language that you’re using consistent? Like do you speak to customers one way on this platform and kind of have a different tone on this platform.
You would be surprised how many inconsistencies I see all the time.
So it’s really important to make sure those things are tightened up because you don’t want customers to be confused when they interact with you here versus here versus there. So really kind of doing an audit of all your touch points, all the places that you interact with customers.
Especially with jewelry, I don’t have to tell you this, you know, this photos, videos, they sell jewelry, if you’re not interacting with customers in person and you are focused more on the ecommerce channel. Of course, you need to make sure your photos are eye-catching and not only that, but that they are relevant to your brand. So if you have like a soft, romantic style that needs to be communicated in your pictures if you are more edgy and loud, that needs to be communicated in your pictures.
So really understand what you stand for or representing your values. And then really embodying those things through your photos or graphics, posting regularly to social media, or even sending regular email campaigns and making sure there’s a distinct voice, whatever that is, whatever makes sense to your brand, you may not nail it on your first try when you’re starting out. But making sure that you’re always focused on really like developing it and honing it over time, interacting with your followers.
So playing an active role in your marketing, not just sitting back posting something and like hoping people see it. But really being more like having a personality as a brand. Being more human. I think that consumers really crave that nowadays, leveraging your email list. So making the most out of your emails, instead of sending an email marketing campaign that’s just about like your latest sale, make use of that real estate, take advantage of that space, share something you’re excited about link to a blog post that’s written in your voice, maybe share some of your latest Instagram posts or something behind the scenes, really make the most out of those emails that you send. And as I mentioned, consistency is the most important key to this puzzle.
If you’re a one person show, you be a solopreneur, which I think probably a lot of you are you don’t have a team, I think it can be easy to lose track of all the ways that you are connecting and interacting with customers. And then there’s kind of all these like siloes parts that aren’t really speaking to each other or working together. So making sure that all those things are consistent over all the ways that you interact with customers is important.
The ways that you create this brand awareness will always be in flux. So I want to encourage you and kind of reassure you that again, if you’ve been in business for a few years, maybe you had a brand identity then and you’re wondering now today and 2021, is this still relevant to my customers? Do I have different customers than I did when I started? Have my customer needs changed and evolved over time? This is something These are questions you should be asking yourself pretty regularly.
Your brand is a very fluid thing. I think sometimes people like to think of brands, okay, one and done like I did the work of setting this up, we’re good to go forever, until I don’t want to do my business anymore. That’s totally not true. And I will share some examples of that in just a moment. But you have to kind of be open to embracing the fact that it will change and evolve over time. In in a way, I think that should be reassuring to you and even encouraging because you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re getting it 100% right the first time.
If you’re the type of person who’s really limited by your perfectionist tendencies, like you struggle to make decisions because you want things to be perfect. I’m giving you permission to let go of that because it will probably change and evolve over time anyway. So it’s better to put something out there and be consistent with it. And have your customers respond to it, then to be paralyzed by your desire to like make it perfect or get it right. Whether so yes, this is what I just said.
Even the most established and well known jewelry brands are always thinking about how to keep their branding fresh and relevant. And let me give you some real world examples. Here, here.
So Pandora is one example of a brand I know that this is much more corporate than most of you but I think the example is still relevant anyway. We most of us know Pandora as this brand that was very famous for its charm collectible charm bracelets, I guess it was like the early 2000s when this was the most popular. And they have definitely realized that okay, this isn’t so this style, this product isn’t so trendy anymore. They were so dependent on trends and it being like the cool girl thing. However, they want to still be in business, obviously. So they had to really evolve their brand identity.
In 2019 very recently, they introduced things like new store design, new collaboration, celebrity endorsements, and even new products. They adopted pink as their new company color and introduce a new company purpose we give a voice to people’s loves passion people in place with an updated logo and monogram. They wanted to really strengthen their core proposition with a complete renewal of their entire customer experience trying to reach new customers. They don’t want to be dependent forever on these people who were charmed by their charm bracelets instead, they want to keep growing they want to keep evolving. That’s what it takes to be a successful business. So you really have to be open to constantly experimenting, and changing over time.
And Tiffany is definitely another example of this. Again, this is a bigger company. But I think it’s even more prevalent and relevant here with Tiffany, another example of a brand that has evolved over time. So they realized, okay, they’re super legacy brand, there’s definitely a generation or generations of people who will see that blue box and swoon and know that when they open it, there’s going to be an amazing, like, heirloom quality gift inside. But I’m sure there are a lot of people who are members of Generation Z, and even younger than that, that do not feel the same way, that blue box doesn’t have the same meaning for them.
So you can’t just sit on your laurels and hope that okay, what we’ve been doing for forever, is gonna keep working, you have to keep being one step ahead of the game, and thinking about how you can present yourself to keep attracting that next wave of customers, even if things are going well for you right now. Those people aren’t going to be around forever, they might want something else in the future, how can I keep reinventing my brand to present it in a new way for it to still be appealing to the people that I want to reach?
So you need to figure out your needs for brand awareness and who your target customer is, you need to know where your customers spend their time, what types of content they like, what gets them excited about connecting with brands, and I do this with a lot of my clients, we create really detailed customer implementable customer personas that have this information. Based on either data, If this is a business that has been around for a while and has some sales data or data about their website, visitors. Or if it’s a newer business, we kind of have to make some educated guesses about who the customer is. But once we really understand who the customer is, we can figure out how to gauge our methods of building brand awareness.
So if you’re doing a customer persona, say you’re not hiring me or working with me, and you’re wondering how you can do this, and I recommend everyone on this call, do this, at some point set up, put a date in your calendar, I’m going to make customer personas. And even if you have done this before, I think it’s important to refresh them every six months or so. So it might be time for an update.
So what should be included? You really want to humanize this person, give them a real name, choose a photo that you think is representative of who this customer is. So you can really picture them in your mind. You want to put basic demographic information like the age, income, where they are in the world. Are they married? Are they single? Are they in a partner domestic partnership? What’s their education? What do they do for work? then describe the day in the life of this person. Like, are they going into the office? Are they taking care of kids? Are they making breakfast? Do they go out to happy hour? Are they going to the gym or enjoying other types of recreation? I want to know what they do during the day.
And then especially if you’re an e commerce based business, or you do a lot of your customer acquisition digitally, you’ll really want to get in the head of their online behavior. So what do I mean by that? Not everyone is a social media scroller like I scroll Instagram mindlessly a lot when I need to de stress. But not everyone is like that. Some people don’t spend a lot of time on social media. And instead maybe they go on forums related to a specific hobby that they have, or I don’t know, maybe they do a lot of online gaming. Or maybe they just like messaging with their friends through WhatsApp or through iMessage.
So really understanding realistically, where’s this person spending their time, if your customer is not someone who really spends a lot of time on Instagram, or maybe this customer does spend a lot of time on Instagram, but not really for shopping or style reasons, then maybe it’s not worth investing time into Instagram, even though you might want to have a presence there. Maybe the investment needs to go somewhere else.
So it’s really important to understand how the customer is spending time digitally. What is the person’s influences? Do they look to celebrities? Do they like to read magazines? Do they look to their friends and family for ideas? Like how do they start to understand what they want to buy and who helps them make those decisions? Do they are they very independent in them or do they have help from outside sources? And then of course, and this is the part that is the most practical and most important to implement. What are the frustrations they have when purchasing jewelry?
For example, do they really need to see something on themselves be able to try it on? Do they get frustrated when they don’t see good product photos? What really like takes them off when it comes to shopping for jewelry? What are some challenges that they have? Like maybe this person has trouble choosing a necklace length? Or maybe they have a smaller, bigger wrist and they really have trouble getting the right bracelet size? Like what is this person dealing with when shopping for jewelry that’s kind of troubling to them and makes them a little bit nervous about it. And then what are some common objections that your person may have? If your target customer is like, kind of practical, doesn’t really indulge frequently, but occasionally likes to treat themselves to something special. Maybe the objection is price. They don’t necessarily not want to spend the money, but they might be a little nervous about it. Because they’re not just spending money easily like they they’re not careless with their purchases. So you have to be ready to anticipate any objections that your customer may have.
And finally, brand affinities. So what I mean by that is like what other brands does this person shop? What email lists are they on and waiting for the next sale to happen? When they see a store of this brand, they get really excited, they have to stop and shop or if they see a store when they’re traveling? Like they have to go into the store? What do they wear daily? What do they have in their home? What do they use for cooking, they don’t have to be fashion or jewelry brands, these are just brands that your target customer really trusts and loves.
So how do you get the research for this? And how do you get the information that you need. As I mentioned, if you’ve been in business for a while you probably have sales data, whether it’s anecdotal, or you’ve been documenting it. So you must know something about your customers approximate age, if you ship things to people, you know where they live, you know, like the average order value, there’s information that you can get just from sales data. If you’ve had your website for a while, and hopefully you’ve had some kind of analytics connected to it like Google Analytics, you can get demographic information from that based on people who visit your website. So that’s another source of data.
If you’ve been posting regularly on social media, you can use Instagram’s native insights or Facebook’s insights to kind of get an idea for demographic ranges for people that view your posts. You can just do some casual observation. Some of this might be based on your own intuition and experience. You can survey past customers and reach out to them with some like targeted focused questions. You can look at your competitors on Instagram and kind of see like who is liking their posts, who is following them. Do some like observational research like that.
And keep a log when customers do give you feedback, like what are the things that they are maybe keeping them from making a purchase, or what are some hopefully not many complaints or maybe hesitations that people have had. These aren’t necessarily pleasant things to remember. But they can only serve to help you better understand the customer and make better decisions moving forward.
So I have an example here of a customer persona, not a complete one. But I just want to show you based on this person’s online activity, how you would take like a clear action item from that so that these aren’t just like character studies, like we’re writing a fiction book or something because that’s not what we want to do. We actually want to be able to take something away and implement an action item.
So Anna is between the ages of 30 and 35. You can see she seems very beautiful and stylish. She’s an urban dweller. She’s single and makes about $65,000 a year. So I’m just focusing here on her online behavior. Scrolling Instagram is part of her morning and nighttime routines. She spends about 20 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes before bed scrolling through a feed watching stories checking out the Explore page. She follows fashion beauty and lifestyle accounts. She likes checking her favorite accounts for any updates or information and loves watching and engaging with stories. She DMS accounts if she has any questions or wants to share feedback, it’s really specific.
You know, I would encourage you to get that specific. And if you have to make multiple profiles to kind of cover every type of person Then you interacts with you, I encourage that too. So this might be like one type of customer.
So what do we take away from this? How do we create brand awareness with Anna? How can we get our jewelry brand in front of Anna? You would want to consistently update your Instagram feed with new posts, and especially stories, you would also add interactive elements to your stories like maybe a poll or asking a question. And you always want to make sure that you are checking your DMS to see if anyone’s asking you questions and respond to followers, comments and questions. So be really interactive and accessible as a brand. And this might be different for your brand. This might be different based on your customer. But I just wanted to give you an example of how this would be actually put into action.
So how do you actually measure the impact of brand awareness like once you’re able to start creating it, once you kind of are putting yourself out there, making sure your image is super consistent, you’ve identified your target customer, you know what that target customer wants to see how to get in front of them? how to make them trust you? how to make them remember you? how do you actually know that what you’re doing is working?
So this can get a little bit technical, it’s a little can be a little bit abstract and difficult to measure, honestly, because you don’t know necessarily what takes someone from awareness to purchase unless you have like a very sophisticated marketing funnel in place. And in some ways, you have to kind of just trust that brand awareness is worth doing, and that it will lead you to customers. Because oftentimes, and the same thing is true with influencer marketing too. But that’s kind of a whole other can of worms, it can be difficult to really measure the impact of these things that you’re doing. Because you can’t necessarily get into the customer’s heads and understand what they think about you unless you’re doing like surveys or market research.
So there are some specialized metrics you can use, you may want to focus on key performance indicators or KPIs like new followers, or like an increase in likes or comments, or maybe growth in your email subscribers, or maybe an improvement in how many people open your emails, you may want to look at things like increased website traffic. So measuring brand awareness is not about necessarily measuring sales, which I think discourages people to do it because there’s not necessarily a clear dollar amount associated with it. You have to look at these kind of abstract metrics just to see that the needle is moving on interest in your brand, that people seem more receptive, responsive, interactive with you, and trust that those things will eventually lead you to people who will become loyal followers, and eventually, customers.
So these are some key takeaways from today that I would love, ultimately, for you to have gotten from this presentation. So as I mentioned, brand awareness is just a first step in a marketing funnel, which is awareness, then consideration. And finally purchase. So a person needs to be aware first, before they can consider or think about purchasing your jewelry. And purchasing would be the last step.
It’s important to consistently build your brand and strengthen its associations in the minds of your target audience. The more familiar people are, the more they will trust you and gravitate toward you. Knowing your customer inside and out is a really important part in understanding how to communicate with that customer. And even if you’ve been in business for a long time, and Listen, I’ve heard this so many times, I know my customer like I can picture the customer in my head, I don’t need to write this down. That’s when things start to get a little bit dicey. You do want to write it down and specifically use the categories that I’ve mentioned. Because you might be mistaken.
And once you start to actually explore it and maybe try to back it up with any sort of data that you can find, you will probably be able to add to it and evolve it and you could probably segment what you have in your head into different customers. And in addition, hopefully as your business grows and you bring on collaborators whether you need to hire a graphic designer, someone to read you your logo, someone to help you with your website, hire a photographer for product or lifestyle photography. It’s in your best interest to be able to share that information with those people to help them help you because It’s not doing anyone any good when it’s in your head so documenting this information will just it will basically be the foundation for your business. I would say that is the most important thing to know and understand from this presentation.
What did you think? You can always email me Laryssa that’s, L-A-R-Y-S-S-A at Joyjoya.com as a reminder, as always, my book jewelry marketing joy is available. If you go to Joyjoya.com slash book you can learn more about it. You can always email or DM me with information and I can ship you a copy myself.