Finding Your Suzie: What Oprah Can Teach Us About Branding

Being ‘on brand.’ You hear it all the time but what does it actually mean?  Think of your branding as it’s own persona. It has it’s favourite colours, fonts, tastes, imagery, it even has its favourite words. One of the most frequent questions we get asked from clients is “How can I make sure that I am staying on brand when we finish the Branding Essentials package?”

Make your brand your new BFF

The answer is get to know it! You need to know your brand inside and out. You need to understand not only WHAT your brand is but WHY you do what you do and then you’ll gain confidence. Confidence gives you direction, and you can better discern collaborations that will work for you and which will not. You need to know your niche market intimately. I’m talking what she ate for breakfast and where she buys her groceries from kind of intimate.

It seems like a lot of hard work but ultimately this SAVES you time. This is a relationship and like any relationship, you need to put in the effort to know the other person. Ýou’re building trust with your audience and you want them to know that you understand who they are and what they want.

You want to post, blog, email, send newsletters and do every customer interaction confidently knowing that the receiver will love it. Say goodbye to ‘Does this caption sound too unprofessional’ or ‘this cat meme is hilarious but is it on-brand?’

When you know your brand as well as your BFF, you’ll be ending their sentences and know exactly what she would and wouldn’t like.

It’s all in the details

Don’t just take it from me! The Almighty Oprah used this time-tested technique. Oprah knew her target market so well that she even named her ideal customer Suzie. Before each and every show, Oprah would ask herself ‘Would Suzie watch this?’ In this way, you are able to make deep connections with your audience and make them feel like your product or service has been hand crafted just for them.

Once you identify this ideal customer, you give yourself the power to reach her. By knowing exactly what drives her, makes her laugh, you are identifying areas you can connect with her and also how your business can interact and add value to her life.


Dream Client Mood Board  – Actionable Step

To keep your ideal client front of mind in a visual way, create a mood board on your wall, with all of the important things in her life. Search through magazines and Pinterest – add images of other brands and things that she loves. Not only does this help you to create a look and feel that you should be fitting into, it also should give you ideas on other branding projects you could collaborate with.

Every move you make, design or otherwise, you need to ask yourself – What would she think? Would this appeal to her?


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