Your consumer is your first priority. What do you know about them? What don’t you know? What motivates them? What keeps them up at night? The answers to these questions all come from understanding your consumer—their motivations, their lifestyle, their values, their concerns—everything in fact, that could effect their purchasing decisions. Once you understand your consumer you can create a brand message that they will respond to. By being clear about how your brand can affect and improve their business or their life, you can get meeting planners, event managers and other potential customers to sit up and pay attention to your message. But only if your message is about them.
2. Hearts. Then Minds. People make decisions based on their emotions. Then they justify those decisions with the facts—price, location, dimension, etc. For example, when you think of buying a home the first thing that comes to mind is the kind of house you imagine yourself living in—Mediterranean-style perhaps, with a big yard so the kids can play outside, or maybe with a kitchen that opens up to the family room for entertaining. Next, you may think about the neighborhood in which you want to live—on the beach, close to work, downtown, in a good school district. These are all emotion-based considerations. They are based on the kind of person you want to be—how you perceive yourself and how you want others to perceive you. Your home simply becomes a mirror of who you want to be. Once you make these emotional decisions, then the rational ones—price, square footage, property taxes—become very important. But they don’t matter at all until you envision the kind of house you want to live in.