Building a brand into a movement is like climbing a mountain. Whether you are at the base of the trail, halfway up the mountain, or nearing the summit, every business brand should keep in mind two key goals (it’s like remembering food and water on each leg of the hike!).

These goals will keep you focused and fueled for the road ahead.

As you journey toward the summit, imagine all the people you meet along the way. Some of them will be drawn to your experience, and some will not. Either is fine.

(Because your leadership in this world should empower others to say yes or no to your invitation)

Since your brand is fed from your own passions and inspiration, I know that the right people will want to join you. I believe in this for you.

And as people join, whether they are a small handful or a crowd, you should seek ways to make the trek meaningful for them too. This is a part of keeping them engaged, and handing them ownership of the experience. Once they feel like a true part of the tribe, they will reach out to others and convince them to fall into step on the climb.

So your two goals?

Deepen your brand’s personal meaning to your followers.

Expand your brand’s reach.

 

1.Deepening your brand’s personal meaning to your followers

Think for a moment about how most of us make purchases: we rationalize them. We want something first, and then we must create logical reasons for why we need that particular product or service. Emotion comes first, and logical analysis is secondary.

Let’s take a piece of clothing as an example.

Your mind asks, “How much does this cost?”

“How many times am I going to wear it?”

“Do I really need it?”

But your gut reaction? You try it on and you feel good. You feel like the best version of you. Suddenly the rationalization goes out the window. You find yourself buying that shirt, and for no other reason than that it makes you feel fit, confident, and lovely.

What happened?

You made a passion-filled decision. And that is what you want to get in your business brand. A passion-filled movement. You want to tap into your tribe’s motivations and passions, so that when you invite them into this experience with you, they gladly join in.

To deepen the meaning of your brand to your market, you need to help them grow beyond settling for “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). The truth is that most of us are hardwired to fulfill our own needs first. That’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, after all. We personally need to have our needs met before we can think of others. We need to feel safe. Then we can move our focus outwards.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself, to determine if you are creating a space for your customers to feel safe (and thus for them to move beyond WIIFM):

  • Are you tapping into a primal need and supporting it?
  • What problem are you solving for them?
  • How are you making them feel cared for and safe?

You only move people beyond the WIIFM attitude when they feel safe and trusting, like they are a part of a movement (rather than being sold to). If you can lead your market to a tribal mindset, your brand followers will take it upon themselves to evangelize your movement. They will care about the brand and movement itself, rather than constantly focusing on “What’s in it for me?”

 

2.Expanding Your Brand’s Reach

Once you have made a tribe out of what once was a mere “share of the market,” you know that you are meeting people at a heart-level. You are making their lives better. You are moving others toward feeling their own greatness.

If it sounds dramatic, it’s because it is…

Have you ever heard an Apple fanatic talk about the way the Apple Watch has changed his life? Or listened to a marathon runner rave about her newest Fitbit? What about your friends who have to have their Starbucks in the morning? Any old coffee won’t do…

These people are locked in, and they love it. They are spreading the reach of the brand.

Once you’ve deepened your brand’s meaning in your customers’’ lives, they will help you expand your reach. This tribe of yours will begin to evangelize the movement for you!

Your brand will begin reaching more people, touching more lives. The unique gifts that your brand offers to the world will spread farther, beyond where you could take it on your own.

The deeper a brand’s roots sink into people’s hearts and passions, the more the brand grows. It’s easy to build your marketing around the functionality of your products, but you should aim for more than that.

Aim to become a source of positive meaning in your customers’ lives.