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Coming from an advertising background, I love nothing more than sexy branding. By sexy  branding I don’t mean underwear models on giant billboards or TV ads seeping with innuendo – although done well, these can both be effective! Sexy branding for me is cohesive branding. Sexy brands have confidence; they know who they are and don’t try to pretend to be something they are not. By this definition, any business can have sexy branding. In an already overcrowded market, a brand’s self-awareness and individuality will set it apart.

So tell me, is your brand sexy? Ask yourself the hard questions, answer them honestly:

1. Who is your target market?

So often we ask this of the brands that we work with and they say something like ’People of all ages, male or female’. Now of course, this may apply to some brands, but not many. Try using other demographic markers, such as economic position, personality traits and common interests to gage who your ideal customer might be. It will make reaching them and converting them so much easier. Global domination will come after you’ve established a strong base to work with, so don’t rush it!

2. Now that you know who your market is, where can they find you, and you find them?

Be honest here, and do your research! Do your demographic spend hours online reading blogs and interacting through social media? Or do they use the internet for email and banking and spend their leisure time watching television? Knowing where to talk to your market at a time when they are ready to listen is key to effective communication.

3. Does your brand personality truly reflect your brand?

Test your marketing on your target market. Are they seeing your branding and getting a snapshot of what they can expect from an interaction with the business? There are many simple ways to project an image to potential customers – make sure yours is being accurately portrayed and received.

4. Are your customers showing brand loyalty?

How much of your business is referral business? A business with strong repeat or referral business will thrive. Delving into social media with a clearly defined strategy may be a great option for you. Also, reward customers for referrals and repeat business so they know that you appreciate it.

5. Is your brand a leader or a follower?

There are success stories in both leading and following in different industries, but which are you? Are you happy being where you are? If not, what would it take for you to make a change? A great start to being a leading brand is an information-rich and authoritative website. Build one, inject it with content that you are confident the market needs and wants to know about, in a format in which they can ingest, share it, and you’ll be LOLing!

6. When moving your brand online, have you decided the manner in which you will talk with your target market?

Online social forums are more about light-hearted discussion and entertainment, rather than a hard sell. Simple things like the language you use are a constant reflection of your brand – so be aware.

7. Are you being creative with your communication or is your message lost in a sea of advertising?

Advertising is everywhere. We are constantly inundated with messages, so many in fact that we simply cannot see and react to them all. How different is the way in which you talk to your market?  There are so many innovative and impressive ways to break-through the marketing clutter; it may just be a matter of thinking outside the box!

So, get to know who you are and show it to the people that matter, through strong, cohesive marketing and the world will be your bivalve mollusc (Thanks Wiki, the sexiest dictionary I know!).

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