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The four most critical components of your 2015 go to market persona

The biggest failure brands fall victim to with their go to market strategy is weakness in their persona. It doesn’t matter if you are big company or an individual sales rep, weakness in your persona accelerates failure.

I see it everywhere. I call it the wet noodle syndrome. Soggy, limp, and unattractive. In order for someone to pay attention to you, requires a strong, affirmative voice.

So how do you ensure your brand’s persona is strong and people will listen? It’s easy – just ensure you have these four elements in place.

1. Authority

Whether you’re a sales person, a national brand, or a single shingle shop you can have authority. It starts with a strong opinion, even if that upsets some people. Don’t be wishy washy with your voice. No one wants to buy or work with someone who isn’t quite sure what they stand for because it’s a sign of weakness. We are attracted to strength, so take a stand for something. Be opinionated and don’t be afraid of upsetting someone because if you aren’t rubbing a few people the wrong way, you’re a wet noodle.

2. Authenticity

Trust trumps price and people trust brands that are vulnerable. Your 2015 persona should include a strong dose of authenticity. When you’re authentic people don’t question the origins of your intentions. It’s a game changer and accelerator.

“When a brand’s rhetoric gets out of sync with customers’ actual experiences, the brand’s integrity and future persuasiveness suffers.”

Avoid using slogans and copy that you yourself do not believe. Being inauthentic is clear as day in a relationship. Even if people do not know why they feel uncomfortable, they know something doesn’t feel right. To me, the most important part of an authentic brand voice is that you have declared beliefs and you genuinely want to make a difference.

3. Empathy

Whether you’re building a world class personal brand or a B2B service brand the ability to understand and mirror someone’s feelings is a critical component. You should work diligently to ooze empathy from the pores of your brand. If your customers sniff a lack of empathy or you demonstrate that you’re clueless to their pain they will run as far away from you as they can.

It starts with how you communicate to them in your marketing or sales collateral. It’s how you talk to them in email. Years ago, I learned the red and blue test. Take a recent email you sent to a prospect or any marketing message. Underline everything in red that’s about you and everything in blue that is about them. Empathy is blue.

4. Conviction

Don’t expect anyone knows what you want them to do. Your voice requires conviction, people respect conviction. It’s really important that your messaging has clear call to actions. Advertising should clearly tell the consumer what you want them to do and email follow ups should be explicit in what action you want your customer to take.

Conviction includes saying ‘no’. When you say ‘no’ to customers it shows you are not a wet noodle and you stand for something. Just make sure you say, ‘No, I can’t do that. But I can do this’.

When you market from a place of authority, authenticity, empathy, and conviction you’re doing so from a place of strength. And as I said above, people are attracted to strength.