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When a new idea pops into your head, or the vision of another product or different direction sets in your mind, it’s easy to follow the “shiny object” and forget the other things that are happening.
How do we know if we’re chasing the right things? How can we determine if the idea we’ve just had lines up with our brand’s mission, values, and purpose?
It’s time to get practical.
In this episode we’re going to be talking about The Brand Consistency Test, a straight-forward formula of specific questions designed to help you make a decision faster and with greater confidence.
Using this test will help you clarify if what you’re doing is beneficial to your target audience, your overall brand goals, and the direction your brand is headed.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- Know whether what you’re doing is working to advance your mission.
- Ask yourself whether a brand decision goes against your values.
- Bring your target audience closer to their version of success.
- People will give you money if what you offer satisfies a desire they have.
- If you’re not passionate about something or invested in it, your audience is going to notice.
- Whatever you do, do it intentionally so it funnels to something that brings in a profit, so you can continue to do what you’re doing.
- Know what you’re doing if you want to shift away from your brand style or aesthetic.
- As a brand, you need to function in a way that sustains you financially.
- Everything you do needs to help improve the perception your target audience has about your brand.
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- 04:22 Cory: We want to help people get clarity about their brands. If there’s anything that we can help you do, we want to help you get clarity. So many people are running around like a chicken with its head cut off, not sure of their direction, not sure of where they’re going, not sure of what they’re doing, and they don’t have clarity. That’s what this show is about. Recently, we’ve been doing more of the high level stuff to get people thinking. Today’s show is going to get extremely practical.
- 05:10 We’re going to be talking about the brand consistency test. This is a test that I created based on research, input, reading, listening, watching, getting feedback from people, and studying large brands and what they’re doing. This test I’ve created will help you get direction for your brand in a very tangible way so you can connect with your target audience effectively.
What Is a Litmus Test?
- 05:53 Cory: Let’s start with this idea of a litmus test. Do you know what a litmus test is, Kyle?
- 05:57 Kyle: You know, I really didn’t when you first mentioned it. I had heard the term, but I had no idea what it was.
- 06:08 Cory: A litmus test is used in science to determine the acidity of a chemical. I didn’t know this, either. In this show, we don’t know how to do math or sports, but I also don’t really know science. I actually thought a litmus test was which side of a scale something lands on. That idea is pulled from this scientific use. There’s this chart that shows where a substance falls between being basic and acidic. The question is whether something you’re doing is helpful. Is this idea a good one? Is it going to help me achieve my goals?
- 06:57 And so on. As we apply the idea of a litmus test to brand consistency, it will help you get a little bit of clarity and to ask very specific questions. Honestly, I just want to get into the questions. We’re going to go through the questions and then explain why we’re asking that particular question.
- 07:38 Kyle: What I love about this episode is that it feels like we’re pulling everything together from all of the previous episodes. In the beginning, we talked about basic pillars for establishing your brand. More recently, as Cory said, we’ve gone through some higher level thought processes to dive deeper into those pillars and understand them, to make sure you’re going down the right path. Along the way, we’ve had a lot of questions from a lot of people.
- 08:19 I know Cory, especially, has received a lot of questions about how to establish mission, brand values, and all these different things. It’s come to this point, which I really like. This test and these questions are very much part of an overarching theme we’ve had throughout the show. They pull all of it together. This is one of those episodes I’m really excited about. It’s going to take everything we’ve talked about and turn it into something you can see on paper. For someone like me, that’s amazing.
- 09:14 Cory: This test, the brand consistency test, is made up of ten questions. You use the test by giving each question a score between 1 and 10. At the very end, you add up the score. There are certain levels for whatever your score is, and we’ll get to that at the very end. For example, if the first question was, “Is Kyle Adams the best cohost of all time?” You would put 10 for definitely. If the second question was, “Does Cory use too many soundbites?” Then you’d say 1, not at all.
- 09:56 A score of 1 is not at all, a score of 10 is definitely. If you think something is kind of true, it’s a 5. If it’s a little bit closer to definitely, maybe an 8 or 9. That’s how you do the scoring. It’s like a game.
- 10:33 As we ask these questions, we’re basically asking it about a thing, something you’re either working on, an idea you have, a new direction for your brand, a project, or a new product. You use the test to evaluate whether something is consistent with your brand goals and direction and whether it’s beneficial to your target audience. You can put almost anything through this test.
This test is meant to be practical, with simple questions that can help provide some clarity.
1. Does It Advance My Mission?
- 11:09 Cory: Question number one is: does it advance my mission? This is your brand mission (Related: e002 Values, Mission, and Purpose). You want to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. What’s the end goal?
- 11:38 In this question, if you’re evaluating posting daily on Instagram, you would say, “Does posting daily on Instagram advance my mission?” To answer that question, you need to have a precursor understanding of your brand. You need to know what your mission is. You need to have some clarity there. You can go to BehindtheBrand.com and sign up for 9 Key Questions for Building a Successful Brand Foundation, which I recently turned into an email course.
- 12:14 It was originally a PDF, but I changed it into a nine day email course that you can sign up for. At the very end, you can download the PDF if you want to. All of that is designed to help you get clarity on what your mission is and what you’re doing. That’s question number one, does it advance my mission?
- 12:39 Kyle: I feel like that one is fairly straightforward. It’s very much explained, not only in that episode, but also in Cory’s email course. Your mission is something you’re working towards. I like how Cory worded this: does it advance your mission? It’s not, “Is it in line with my mission?” The word he uses, advance, is key. Does this create progress, does it keep me where I’m at, or does it potentially detract from my mission?
- 13:26 Cory: You want to make sure you have forward motion. If you’re not going forward, what direction are you going?
- 13:33 Kyle: Backwards.
As you’re building your brand, you need to know whether what you’re doing is working to advance your mission.
2. Does It Reflect My Brand Values?
- 13:49 Cory: Again, go back to episode 2 of Invisible Details. You need to know what your brand values are. Brand values are different from your personal values, but they can essentially be what you will and won’t do. As you build your brand, you need to have certain sets of values figured out. When you need to make a decision, you can go back to your values and see if it aligns. Does this reflect your values? Let’s continue on with posting daily to Instagram as what we’re evaluating.
- 14:33 Does posting daily to Instagram reflect my brand values? If one of your brand values is, “I will not use any form of social media,” then no, it doesn’t reflect your brand values. That’s a big no, a score of 1. If one of your values is, “Our brand will continue to expand into different social media areas to reach our target audience wherever they are,” then yes, that would reflect your brand values.
- 15:03 Kyle: I like to think about the term “reflect.” When I hear that term, I think of looking in a mirror. If you’ve established your values and you’ve said, “We will or won’t do these things,” if you look in a mirror with this concept or idea and you try to explain that to yourself, pretending you’re the brand, does that reflect something you would want someone to say to you, do for you, or help you with? Does it actually reflect the values you’ve established? Again, Cory didn’t say, “Is it in line with,” but he said, “Does it reflect?”
- 15:58 Take a good, hard look in the mirror and say, “Does this reflect what I want to do?” We’ve said this before, but you can get to a point where it feels easy to compromise your values or your mission because you could get ahead or do something different. This is a good time to reflect on that.
Ask yourself whether this decision goes against your values and what you’ve wanted to do from the beginning?
3. Will It Bring My Target Audience Closer to Their Version of Success?
- 16:49 Cory: Check out BehindtheBrand.com/3, and next week, we’re going to be going into target audience again in episode 50, The “Aha” Moment In Understanding Your Target Audience. With all of these emails I’ve been receiving from subscribers to the newsletter, I’ve been realizing that people really struggle with target audience. Of the percentage of emails that I get, struggles with target audience is number one.
- 17:25 People are having a hard time figuring out how they’re supposed to reach their target audience and how they’re supposed to define their target audience. We’re going to be getting into that next week in episode 50, but ultimately, if your brand is not designed to bring your target audience closer to their version of success, you need to rethink what you’re doing. That is a very big statement. I get that. But that’s the truth.
- 18:06 That’s what you need to evaluate. That’s one of the biggest questions of this whole test. Again, if we’re evaluating posting daily on Instagram, will posting daily on Instagram bring my target audience closer to their version of success? That might be a tough one to try and figure out. My target audience’s version of success is to have deep clarity of their brand so they can connect deeply with their own target audiences through story and authenticity.
- 18:41 That’s a glimpse of their version of success. If by posting daily to Instagram, by creating a new lead magnet or resource, by updating my blog my frequently, if that’s going to get them closer to what they see success as for them and their brands, that’s what I’m looking for. That’s how I can filter my content, output, and products. I figure out whether it’s going to bring them closer to their version of success.
- 19:17 Kyle: As Cory mentioned, we’ll get into this in the next episode a little bit more, but I’ve noticed something a lot with target audience that’s important to mention here. I think that the struggle with target audience, a lot of the time, is that we do something because we enjoy it. I’ll use myself as an example here. I design icons. I like designing icons. If it were up to me, I would just make icons. That’s something I love doing.
- 19:57 When you start getting into target audience, that’s when you’re asking, “Who am I hoping to affect through what I’m doing?” That could be through teaching or products you’re making. Who are you trying to affect with this skill or knowledge? It becomes much more outward. It’s not an internal thing anymore. It’s external.
- 20:47 That’s where target audience starts to become hazy for people. It’s no longer about you. It’s about the person you’re trying to affect on the other end of what you’re doing.
- 21:03 Cory: Let’s use another example, because I know that people are going to be asking. Let’s use the example of Dropbox. Dropbox is a service for your computer or your mobile device where you can store files. It gets uploaded into the cloud, and you can access it from any device. You can share things. I can have something set up on Dropbox from my computer, and I can also access it from my phone. It’s a storage service. A lot of people use it. If you don’t know what Dropbox is, go to Dropbox.com. It’s awesome.
- 21:38 Dropbox recently came out with a product called Paper. It’s this Cloud-based writing tool that you can use for collaborative writing. We’re testing it out right now. Kyle and I usually use Google Docs, because we can have a single document open and I can see what he’s writing and he can see what I’m writing. We can collaborate on this thing. They came out with this thing called Paper, and it’s this collaborative writing/sharing web tool.
- 22:17 Their target audience includes me. I’m Dropbox’s target audience. I want things to be quick. I want things to be efficient. I want things to sync automatically. In regards to the service that they’re bringing, that’s my version of success, for things to be painless and for me to not have to think about it. I want that ease of use. As they’re developing this product, if they ask, “Will Paper bring our target audience closer to their version of success?” I would say yes. It’s helping me accomplish a kind of success, because I want to be an efficient person.
- 23:04 I want to have access to all of my things with all of my devices. If that includes a collaborative writing tool, then absolutely. If Dropbox was like, “Hey, we created this new tablet that reminds you to drink water,” that’s a little bit tougher. In regards to their relationship with me and their service, that’s not what I’m looking for.
- 23:38 Kyle: This is how a lot of brands have different audiences. This is part of the diversity of brands. People say, “They have the same product,” or, “They sell the same thing. Why do people choose one over the other?” It’s because they appeal to certain aspects of what people want. Google Docs lets you change the color of things. You can make the text sizes anything you want to, and you have all of this control over it, kind of like you can with something like Microsoft Word or Apple Pages. It’s more in depth.
- 24:29 For something like we do, where we type a bunch of notes, we need headers, some things bolded or italicized, some varied alignment, simple. For those kinds of tasks, it works great. People who want this amazing control over everything in their document may not like paper. That’s fine. Those are different audiences.
Your brand will be successful when it brings its target audience closer to their version of success.
How do I use this thing I know how to do, that I’m passionate about, to tell a story—while making money?
Look at your audience to understand whether they want simplicity or need complexity.
Nice-to-Haves & Audience Success
- 25:23 Cory: I also want to bring this up. Eric in the chat says, “What success can a nice-to-have product give?” Some people are resonating with that. We’re going to be doing an episode specifically for nice-to-haves soon called How to Monetize Something That Isn’t Practical. That’s going to be all about nice-to-haves, so stay tuned for that. Also, I’m working on some educational material on how to brand, market, and sell your nice-to-have. I don’t know if I announced this, but I’m not writing a book called Nice To Have anymore.
- 26:04 I’m actually going to be transitioning all of that information and education into a mini course or something video-tangible. It’s not going to be hundreds of dollars. It’s going to be very affordable for people struggling with this issue. Everything that is based in transaction, in commerce or bartering, is based on desire. If you’re in business, the only reason someone is giving you money is what you offer satisfies a certain kind of desire they have. A lot of people say that business runs on solving problems. If you want ot have a successful business, you need to solve problems.
- 27:08 Someone is going to have a problem, so it’s easy to sell to them. You’ve created a solution to their problem. They have a desire to have the solution to that problem more than they have a desire for the money that they are exchanging for that thing. When it comes to nice-to-haves, I really don’t like that term, although it pertains to this question.
- 28:06 For instance, using Eric as an example, CafeWatercolor.com. Eric Lin is in the Community, and he’s one of my favorite artists of all time. He’s a great guy. My wife bought me one of his paintings for my birthday this year. It was literally one of the most overwhelming experiences I’ve ever had opening a package. You could say, “It’s a painting. It doesn’t solve a problem, except the problem of a blank wall.”
- 28:47 When I looked at that website and my wife was asking me what I wanted for my birthday, I joked around and said, “Look at these paintings, they’re so good!” But then there’s international shipping plus the few hundred dollars for the painting. It was this thing that I wanted, that I had a desire for. My wife bought that painting for me for my birthday, and the kind of success that brought to me was not only to own a painting by Eric Lin, which I really wanted, but it also helped me make the kind of atmosphere I wanted in one of the rooms of my house.
- 29:34 That’s not necessarily a deep, deep problem that you’re solving. It’s something I had a desire for, and now my desire has been satiated, because I have this thing. To me and my wife, it was worth more than the money we paid for this. On either side of a transaction, you have people who value the other thing more than the thing that they have. That’s how you can bring success with nice-to-haves, if you are giving someone something that satiates a desire. Ben even said in the chat, “It also satisfied your wife’s desire to give you a meaningful gift.” Absolutely.
- 30:24 There is huge value to “nice-to-haves,” and it does bring a certain kind of success. It’s not necessarily bringing me hundreds of thousands of dollars because now I have a solution to this problem that I had, but for me personally, in my heart and my household, it gave me something.
- 30:52 Kyle: Here’s another quick example; there is a show on YouTube called Good Mythical Morning. These two guys named Rhett and Link were there when YouTube began. They were making commercials, skits, and all these kinds of things. Their main thing was making commercials for small businesses. At one point, they decided that they would start this daily show called Good Mythical Morning. It was a way for them to start doing daily shows. It’s basically them sitting behind a desk, talking about random things.
- 31:48 They talk about stuff going on online or random, funny things, like whether you can make a Snickers bar taste good in a sandwich. It’s weird. A lot of people could say that they’re wasting their time, but that’s become their full time thing now. Just recently, they had their 1,000th episode. They celebrated their 1,000th episode, and they had this montage of audience members who send in videos of them saying thanks or whatever. For a “nice-to-have,” their show is strictly what most people would consider nice to have.
- 32:39 It’s entertainment. It’s funny. There’s nothing of high value that you get out of it. Sometimes, there are facts that you can get out of it, but it’s nothing that will ultimately bring you to some critical point in your life. All of these videos speak to the value. For example, there was a lady who’s husband was in the military. He was deployed, and she felt scared and alone in the evenings. She would watch their show, and she felt like she was hanging out with friends. That’s value.
- 33:21 There was a young boy that, because of his disability or disease, said that he couldn’t eat right now. He’s on a feeding tube, but they have this show that they would do occasionally where they would talk about whether a food was better than other foods, and he said, “I watched those and I think about all the things I want to eat when I can eat again.” It sounds so silly, but my wife and I watched it together. She was nearly in tears by the end of it. It was an escape for all of these people. They were like, “I feel like nobody cares about me. I watch this show, and I feel like people care.”
- 34:26 That’s value. That’s not tangible value, but think about how valuable that is to somebody. Those are the people who would support them, who would buy their merchandise. I know I’m going deep into this, but I don’t see how people don’t understand the value of nice-to-haves once they see something like that. It adds to someone’s experience in life.
- 35:16 Cory: It does require that you know some solid details about your target audience. We get into this in episode 3 and we’ll get into it in the next episode. Let’s keep going. All of that was gold, Kyle. Hearing you talk about that was valuable, too. I don’t know anything about that show or those guys. I’ve seen them in a video or two, but you sharing that to me was powerful for their brand because of your word of mouth recommendation.
With a nice-to-have, the kind of success someone is looking for is a way to satisfy the desire to make their life a certain way.
My home is better because of a nice-to-have painting and to me, that is success.
4. Will It Bring Me Closer to My Brand Goals?
- 36:27 Cory: That’s a pretty straightforward question. You need to know what your goals are (Related: e024 Your Next Ten Years). Almost all of these have an episode for them. You need to know what your goals are. You need to know your short term goals and your long term goals. This doesn’t have to be your end goal, your retirement plan, your exit plan—what’s the next thing and the thing past that? What’s ten years down the line? Is this bringing me closer to where I want my brand to be?
- 37:02 Kyle: Let me ask you this. I think that this is a good clarifier for anyone listening. My mind is still on target audience. Does this mean where you want your brand to be, as far as scale, the income you’re making, the audience size you have, the amount of traffic you have on your website—is that what you’re talking about, or is it more about whether this takes you further in the association you want your brand to have? I’m just trying to clarify here.
- 37:49 Cory: Yes. It can be anything. If your brand goals are to have 400,000 followers on Instagram and we’re evaluating posting daily on Instagram, then yes, posting daily on Instagram is going to bring you closer to that brand goal. It just depends on what those goals are. You can talk about goals long term and short term, but ultimately, it’s similar to the mission, but brand goals can be different. You can have a number of brand goals, either in time or amount. What are my top five or ten brand goals, and is this thing going to lead me closer to them?
- 38:44 Kyle: Basically, is this accomplishing anything significant for my brand? That’s an interesting topic. To give a tangible example, when Steve Jobs came back to Apple, they were close to not being a company anymore because they just started making a bunch of products. I don’t know that they were off their target audience, but they were just making things because they wanted to fill gaps and just make more things. Steve came in and said, “We’re going to reduce this down to a few products that make sense and take us in the direction we want to go. We’re making people happy, but we’re not reaching our goals as a brand.”
- 39:43 They weren’t accomplishing those goals, and because of that, they were going to go away. They wouldn’t be around for those people anymore because they weren’t accomplishing their goals. They weren’t looking at their goals and saying, “Maybe it’s not good to come out with a digital camera, even though that’s a big thing right now, because it doesn’t accomplish the goals our brand has for the next year.”
5. Will It Bring Me Closer to My Version of Success?
- 41:00 Cory: We talked about what the version of success is in question three, but this is a personal one. It could be personal for your brand or personal for yourself. This is the overall success based on if you accomplish your mission and your brand goals, how that looks for you—the kind of person you become and the kind of brand that your brand becomes.
- 41:27 Kyle: This is like the sweet spot to me. If you can get number three, will it bring my target audience closer to their version of success, and number five, will it bring me closer to my version of success, that’s the sweet spot. You’re helping people, making them happy, and doing the things that serve and help them, but you’re also happy. You’re content with what you’re doing and you’re passionate about it if it’s achieving your version of success, and therefore, it’s this symbiotic relationship. Both you and the target audience feel like you’re getting somewhere and being successful.
- 42:11 If you’re sick of doing things in your brand and you don’t feel like that’s reaching success for you, that’s going to be reflected. Consequently, you’ll have less motivation toward your target audience, even if you’re putting the right things out there. It will deflate their excitement about it.
- 42:50 Even if it’s really small and nuanced, they’ll notice that.
- 42:59 Cory: I totally agree.
You can pretend to be excited about something, but if you’re not passionate about it or invested in it, your audience is going to notice.
6. Does It Match My Brand Style, Aesthetic, and/or Visual Presentation?
- 43:14 Cory: This one is in here because I know a lot of people want to do these big changes, but if you have a brand style or aesthetic and you want to make a leap from that, it’s good to know that that’s what you’re doing. The answer to this particular question could be not at all, it could be definitely, and it’s just kind of a way for you to stop for a moment and consider that even if you really want to do this thing but it doesn’t match your brand’s style, it makes you think about that. It makes you thoughtful, which will allow you to execute that better.
- 44:09 Kyle: Are you saying that a brand is not all about visual presentation?
- 44:13 Cory: No…
7. Will It Be Simple for My Target Audience to Understand?
- 44:33 Cory: Now we’re getting into deeper questions with more nuance. If you are trying to do something that’s so far out there that your target audience is going to feel a lurch, that they’ll get whiplash, because it’s confusing or such a deviation from what your brand already is, you also need to be aware of that. How can you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with this thing you’re evaluating?
- 45:14 Kyle: I feel like I see this a lot, and I know that I talk about technology a lot, but that’s kind of my thing. I see this a lot in my technology industry, specifically. There are times when there are these new, cutting edge technologies. A company could put these into a product they’re making, but it’s so far removed from what people are used to. It’s confusing, it’s new. Even changing something like not having a USB port anymore—those changes can be simple enough to understand, but you might be changing the entire experience of something.
- 46:11 A great example of this is Windows. They started trying to make this totally new, very foreign interface for their desktop. It’s really confusing, especially for people who are used to using a computer a certain way. This was a completely different interface with Windows 8.
- 46:51 I remember, at some point, that was the default. Especially for older people that had been using computers for a long time, or who weren’t used to computers and had learned a very specific way, that was very confusing. “Oh, the whole computer is wrong.” There was a way to get into what we consider a normal desktop, but you had to know these shortcut keys. It was kind of a mess. In that case, no, that isn’t easy for your target audience to understand.
- 47:43 Cory: That was a great example.
- 47:46 Kyle: I’m on point with examples today.
- 47:49 Cory: You’re so good with your examples! For Kristiana’s birthday a number of years ago, I bought her a new laptop. She wouldn’t go to Mac yet. I finally convinced her, after all these years, but she wanted a Windows computer. She needed an upgrade, because she had a really old one. When she got a new computer, it was a Windows 8 computer. It had a touch screen, and it was infuriating to her. She didn’t understand it. She just wanted things to be simple and as they were, because she was used to it.
- 48:21 Obviously, there needs to be some area for innovation. Absolutely. We’re not downplaying innovation at all, but you still need to ask this question—is this thing going to be simple for my target audience to understand? If not, what can I do to help mediate the process from point A to point B.
- 48:42 Kyle: You mentioned innovation. That’s where I worked for a couple of years, in that innovation space, within a company, and that was part of it. That’s kind of what I’m trying to get to here. It wasn’t necessarily that the Windows 8 interface was bad, but there wasn’t any gradual implementation of it. Typically, when something is that radically different, unless it’s some new product, if it’s a product or brand that’s already established and you want to take it somewhere completely new, there can be this gradual cycle of starting to change things.
- 49:24 That doesn’t meant that you don’t ever change it to the thing you want to change it to, but you do it a little bit slower. You implement it in pieces, so that the people participating with your brand can slowly start to acclimate to the new environment.
Your audience will be confused if you completely change the system instead of gradually implementing change until you have the final, changed product.
8. Is It Something I Can Sell or Use for the Purpose of Selling Something Else?
- 50:15 Cory: Selling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a product and you’re exchanging it for money. You might be able to sell an idea. If you’re a non-profit, you’re trying to sell the mission of your non-profit so that you can receive donations or other kinds of funding. You need finances to survive. You just need money in this world. You can’t get away from that. As a brand, you need to function in a way that sustains you financially. If this is something that’s going to take money out of your pocket and you can’t be sustained in helping the people you want to help, there’s something wrong.
- 51:03 You need to ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing something I can sell or use for the purpose of selling something else?” In a simpler way, you could say, “Is this something that is going to help sustain my brand going forward?”
- 51:26 Kyle: That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t give anything away. People start hearing that it’s all financial, but there’s room for giving. You should be giving things to people. That’s part of it. Is it something you can sell or use for the purpose of selling something else? Today or tomorrow, I have the 50th icon tutorial on my YouTube channel. I’ve been doing daily icon tutorials.
- 52:10 There’s a lot on there. There’s value there. I could be selling that. It could be something I could sell. Instead, I’m using it for the purpose of promoting myself and establishing the fact that I know how to make icons. That’s what I’m projecting. I’m working on a course at the moment. In fact, tomorrow, Saturday, the 15th of October, I’m launching an email course. Again, that’s not necessarily a profit thing, but it funnels to something that does lead to profit, which is a very robust video course on designing icon sets.
- 52:54 That’s something I’m working on. There’s all this free content on the front end. This doesn’t mean that you have to be greedy and that everything you do has to translate to money.
Whatever you do, do it intentionally so it funnels to something that brings in a profit, so you can continue to do what you’re doing.
9. Will It Improve the Perception My Target Audience Has About My Brand?
- 53:39 Cory: What’s a brand, Kyle?
- 53:42 Kyle: What is a brand? Go to episode 1 of Invisible Details. It’s all explained there.
- 53:54 Cory: If your answer to this question is anything less than an 8 or a 9, you need to rethink some things.
- 54:09 Otherwise, what are you doing? You better have a really good reason. If you do, send me an email. I’d love to hear how something that damaged your target audience’s perception of your brand was beneficial. I’m open to hearing.
- 54:30 Kyle: I’m going to throw a curveball at you, Cory. I think there’s a way to answer this question, where you still should be at an eight or a nine, but if you’re turning things a different direction, let’s say that you have had a brand that is focused on hand lettering for years, to use seanwes as an example. You’re turning the ship towards wanting to give advice to people to help them grow their business and make a living with their passion. In that case, your target audience has shifted.
- 55:12 Maybe the current audience you have won’t be on board with what you’re doing, but look at your new target audience. For the direction you’re going, consider whether this improves the perception in the direction you’re trying to go with your target audience.
- 55:30 Cory: Maybe a better way to phrase that question is, “Will it improve my target audience’s perception about my brand?” Then, ultimately, you need to know your target audience and what it is you’re helping them with, how you’re impacting them, reaching them, or serving them. You need to have a great understanding of your target audience so you know if the thing you’re doing is going to improve the way they look at you, feel about you, talk about you, and think about you.
Everything you do needs to help improve the perception your target audience has about your brand.
10. Is It Related to Things I’m Already Doing in My Brand?
- 56:22 Cory: The reason why I asked this question, why you want to ask this question as you’re evaluating moving forward, is that it ties in with several of the other questions—is it simple for my target audience to understand, and is it going to improve the perception my target audience has? It ties into that, because you need to know if something you’re doing is in a completely different category, industry, or whatever. You could be in a completely different industry, but it could still be related to the things that you’re doing.
- 56:57 Look at what Tesla is doing. Look at what Virgin is doing. Look at what Apple is doing. You know the Mars corporation, Mars bars? Mars owns M&Ms, Skittles, and Snickers. Those are all types of candy. Mars owns all of these different types of candy. I found out the other day while talking with a friend of mine that Mars also owns Pedigree. Pedigree is an animal food brand. I think they primarily sell dog food, but they also have cat food. It’s a pet food brand. Mars owns Pedigree. They also own Iams, also in the pet food genre, Whiskas… They also own Altoids, Juicy Fruit, Life Savers, and Wrigleys.
- 58:36 You sit there and you go, “Hang on a second. Mars the corporation, this giant industry, owns all of these different other brands. How is all of that connected?” That is a great question for another day. As they decided whether they should buy something in another industry or create something in another industry, is it related to the things they’re already doing. If the answer is no, you have to look at the other questions and say, “Is this going to bring me closer to my brand goals? Is it going to bring me closer to my version of success?”
- 59:15 Don’t forget that answering with a low score on any of these questions doesn’t negate the fact that you still might get a high score with the other questions. It’s all about bringing awareness to what you’re doing and establishing a solid level of clarity as you make these decisions. My mind was blown about all of that Mars, the candy people, owning dog food stuff.
Scoring the Brand Consistency Test
- 01:00:15 Cory: That is the brand consistency test:
- Does it advance my mission?
- Does it reflect my brand values?
- Will it bring my target audience closer to their version of success?
- Will it bring me closer to my brand goals?
- Will it bring me closer to my version of success?
- Does it match my brand style, aesthetic, and/or visual presentation?
- Will it be simple for my target audience to understand?
- Is it something I can sell or use for the purpose of selling something else?
- Will it improve the perception my target audience has about my brand?
- Is it related to the things I’m already doing in my brand?
- 01:00:56 That’s the test. Now we get to the scoring. You score each question from 1, not at all, to 10, definitely. At the very end, you add together the score of all ten questions. I’ve broken this down into what I believe are accurate sections. If you feel like you get a really low score but you’re still going to do it anyway, that’s up to you. This is just based on how I made it. If you get a score of 40 and below, it’s probably not a good idea. If you’re going through these questions and it doesn’t advance your mission, reflect your brand values, bring you closer to your brand goals, it isn’t related to anything you’re doing, it’s not going to improve your perception… It’s either not worth your time, or it’s not going to help you achieve your goals.
- 01:01:53 That’s just what it is, 40 and below. I would recommend you use that as your evaluation and see if there’s another way you should do it. If you get a score between 40 and 59, you should probably rethink it and give it some more time. Don’t rush into things, but don’t throw it out just yet. You may be onto something. Having a score between 40 and 59 just means that you need to think about it a little bit more. See which questions have a low score, and see how you can adjust what you’re doing to bring that score up.
- 01:02:42 All of this depends on you being honest with your answers. If you say yes to all of the things and you don’t stop to consider it, if you don’t know these things very well about your brand, it’s not going to be very beneficial for you. You need to do this as honestly as you can. If you need to do this with someone else who knows your brand and knows you to keep you honest and accountable, go for it. If you get a score between 60 and 79, this is pretty consistent with your goals.
- 01:03:15 Either an 8, 9, or a 10. If they’re not, take a look and figure out why before you move forward. If you get a score between 60 and 79, it’s pretty consistent with your goals. Make sure you evaluate a little bit more. Just see where you’re at. If you get a score between 80 and 100, I think it’s something that’s going to really benefit your target audience and your overall brand. If you’re being honest and you’ve done your homework, I would say, go for it! It’s going to benefit your brand. Even more importantly, it will bring your target audience to their version of success and helps them be the kind of people that they want to be.
- 01:04:03 That is the brand consistency test. That’s a lot of stuff. How in the world am I going to remember all of the questions? I have to go write it down, make a spreadsheet, and do all this stuff. Do you know what I did, Kyle?
- 01:04:24 Kyle: I’m going to guess that you made a solution.
Make sure the first four questions have very high scores before moving forward.
The Brand Consistency Test
The Brand Consistency Test a simple tool to help you evaluate if something is consistent with your brand goals and direction, and if it's beneficial to your target audience. You can use this tool to evaluate:
- A project
- A piece of content
- A product
- A new direction
- and more...
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- 01:04:30 Cory: I made the brand consistency test. It’s so good. Go to BrandConsistencyTest.com. That’s a place where I’m going to start to build up free resources for you to have access to. You can get the guide there, but you can also get to the brand consistency test. This does all of the calculations for you. When you go there, you sign up, and it’s got a little field for you to write what you’re putting to the test. I could type in “daily images on Instagram,” and it automatically fills in the rest of the form while you’re filling out the questions. It’s all automatic.
- 01:05:24 As you move the sliders for each question between 0 and 10, at the very bottom, it gives you the total score and the recommendation. It’s got this little slider to show you if it’s inconsistent or consistent. This is a very early iteration. I made this yesterday. If you accidentally refresh or you close it down and come back to it, it’s going to locally store what you wrote or filled out and it will bring it back. You don’t have to try and scramble to remember what your answers were.
- 01:06:08 I’m thinking about adding on some more features later, ways to export it so you can share it with your accountability partner and so on. It’s going to have more information there. I think this is going to be really helpful for people. I’m really excited about it. I sat there and I had this idea. I asked Sarah in the Community if she could help me with a piece of code that I used for it, and I sat there working on it for a few hours yesterday and then I woke up at 2am because my daughter was screaming, so I was awake until 6am just making this thing so it would be live for this show.
- 01:06:54 Go check it out. I hope it’s helpful for you. This is an early stage, at the time of this recording, so if you have any ideas, thoughts for improvement, or ways that it could be more helpful for you, you can check it out. That’s the brand consistency test. I hope it helps people.
- 01:07:17 Kyle: It’s so good. I was really excited about this. Cory and I were bouncing ideas off of each other yesterday.
- 01:07:31 Cory: This is the most tangible show we’ve done, the most practical. I was thinking, “There’s got to be a way that I don’t just give somebody a PDF to remind them of how to do this test.” It’s all interactive. It’s all there.