The Merchant23 Blog

5 Things You Can Do NOW to Build a Better Brand

Oct 7, 2019 5:00:00 AM / by Cyrus Azari

businessman hand working with new modern computer and business strategy gear to success as concept

These are 5 concepts crucial in creating brands. These are accessible, and can be implemented NOW if necessary.

1) Understand Your Key Demographics

When taking your brand into market it is important to know the composition of the target market. A good way to achieve this is by using Metropolitan Statistical Areas - MSA for short. This gives you an overview of any area in the US in terms of population density, GDP of the area, and geography.

You can also go to Google and search “xyz state income” and see the breakdown of income per county, the average income per person, the median household income, and per capita income of the population.

These are key market indicators to understand how well your product might do in stores in these areas. You wouldn’t want to send a high end Napa Cabernet into a store where the median income is $30,000 - there simple isn’t a customer base there as you will be priced out of the market.

Right now look at where your wine is being sold and see if its a good match with the demographics of the area.

2) Brand Personality

Dos Equis ran a campaign called “The Most Interesting Man On Earth.” It was wildly successful. At a time where imports were falling off the market with the rise of craft beers, Dos Equis was a rising star. From 2007 to 2016 the import brand grew 34%!

It did this because its campaign was remarkable. Instead of having your typical beer commercial with partying, scantily clad females, or shenanigans, Dos Equis did something daring. They created a person that was so interesting and narratively compelling that people would seek out the ads on YouTube to watch for entertainment. Not only that, but it spawned a slew of memes. That means people are using their free time and creating content for the Dos Equis brand, organically.

When your brand is doing this: “When I drink Dos Equis, I quote [the ads] from memory,” says Martin Bateman, 24, a ship’s officer who lives in St. John’s, Nfld” you're winning. That's powerful. That is carrying personality with your branding when you can emotional appeal to your customers on that level.

Dos Equis made their beer so cool that when I order it, I feel like I’m the most interesting man in the world. That's the power of giving your brand personality.

Although not adult beverage related, here is an example of how a company built around quality and craftsmanship was able to sell a $30 ax for $300. How could you apply this model to your brand?

Best Made Company is selling an ax for $300 dollars here. (this is my favorite example, you may have seen it in other posts…) while Home Depot is selling functionally the exact same thing here.

Why would anyone buy from Best Made Company? It's because of the personality of the brand. From their “About Us” web page:

Our customers are makers, adventurers, tinkerers, and curiosity seekers who only want one thing: quality.

Best Made has positioned itself as the best product. Of course, it's worth $300 for an ax from Best Made. Home Depot is selling an ax, Best Made is selling an ultra-premium ax to an adventurer like me.

Take a deep look at how your competition positions their products. Pricing is a factor, but it doesn’t stop Best Made from selling an ax at 10 times the price of Home Depot because of how they position and distinguish themselves with their branding.

3) Who?

You can’t appeal to everyone at once. Which is great, because it allows you to concentrate. We (and anyone who knows anything about selling) say this over and over again - make sure you know exactly who benefits from your product or service.

Branding is all about customers having emotional and memorable moments with your product or service. Knowing who is predominantly going to use your product makes this much more likely. If you cast a wide net and try to appeal to many people at once by making services and products more “generic,” then generic your brand will become. Think about Harley Davidson and how riders of their motorcycles have the “Harley life,” or how Bacardi has its #PartywithBacardi hashtag, which appeals to the young adult crowd.

Let's take an example from Dom Pérignon. Click this link and watch the video.

Notable quotes from the video:

“This is the place where it happens, whatever it is.”

“Behold, all of these live wires, high voltage souls, high wattage minds, eager to be connected, eager to meet, eager to collide, and inspire one another.”

Dom Pérignon is expensive champagne. This ad has a clear audience - the elite, the people that can afford to buy such expensive champagne. It does the exact same thing Best Made is doing. You have a high voltage soul, a high wattage mind. When you’re drinking Dom Pérignon it's because you’re high-class mover and shaker of the world, or at least they make me feel that way. 

The ad is targeted at elites and executes its beautifully. This is the power of leveraging a brand towards a target audience.

Showcase how your product impacts the end user’s life and experience. Show the user how your product fits the context of their lives and how it will give them a radical experience and make their quality of life better.

4) Execution of your Branding

So you know your target geographic area, how you’re going to present product, and who you are presenting it to. Now what? Well, this is the fun part. What's the aesthetic of your brand going to be? What colors?

Create a style guide, formulate how you are going to target your customers. What emotions are you going to invoke with the images and colors you put in your ads?

How is your staff to treat your customers? How friendly are you? What's the “voice” of your brand?

Everything, everything, your business does is a reflection on your branding and ultimately you. Make a guide and stick with it, and make sure everyone is on board. You must be consistent here.

5) Right Areas for Promotion and Tone

Promotion means going on social media, or running ads on various media outlets (TV, Radio, Facebooks, emailing your list, cold or current subscribers etc.) billboards, price-per-click models, content marketing (as you see before you) or guerrilla marketing - anything of the sort is promotion.

Make sure you promote in the right areas. If your target customer tends to watch TV all day you might want to take out TV ads - whereas if your customer likes to go on social media, put your money towards that. Go to where your customers are most likely to see your promotions!

Budweiser understands who buys into their products. "A market research study, found that the brand’s core customers are the traditional middle-class, patriotic, union worker." You might remember when they relabeled their beer to “America” instead of Budweiser. While many took the social media to mock the campaign, considering that year they were worth $23.4 billion, I would say that they promoted correctly.

Budweiser also has many sports team sponsorships - 28 of the 32 NFL teams. It’s another play at their target persona - the middle class patriotic union worker, who watches a lot of football. They even release cans with any given team’s logo on it to further solidify their image as the NFL backer. All of these actions fit into the larger narrative of appealing towards those middle class workers.

Don’t sound like a robot, or too salesy, or salty. Talk to the way your customer likes to be talked too. Be authentic with your message and words. Get real with your customers, and find the most effective tone that they like. 

So sit down and really think about who your target buyer persona is. Budweiser has captivated the middle class blue collar market, Dom Pérignon appeals to elites. Where is your target buyer persona in the makeup of society? 


If you're having trouble, try to think about previous industries you might have been involved in or hobbies you are currently participating in. Research how big that addressable market might be, and start creating campaigns and branding/marketing geared towards those personas. 


Find cross branding opportunities. Co-sponsor events where your buyer persona is going to be. Think Budweiser and the footballs fans. What can you do that similar to appeal towards your target customers? 


Finally, make sure that with all these interactions and messages that your maintain consistency in voice. Make sure you have branded templates for the media you interact with so that the visual composition of your business is always the same.


Its a tough industry out there! We have an eBook about the winery direct strategy. Its very complimentary to a winery direct strategy! 



Topics: Buyer Persona Branding

Written by Cyrus Azari

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