Do I Belong Here?

Do I Belong Here?

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A few years ago I was meeting a magazine editor at a local coffee shop that I had never visited before.  While sipping a beverage awaiting my appointment, I took a mental note of the “feel” of this newly discovered coffee house.  Or, more specifically, I made a note of how it made ME feel.  And, as you’ll see from the actual Facebook post I wrote at the time, I didn’t quite feel at ease.

I fear I am sitting in a coffee shop I am NOWHERE near hip enough to be in. I should come up with a story about how my chain store necklace made in China is really a piece from a local artist who made it from reclaimed clasps, free range bobbles and gluten free silver.

I didn’t really belong there. Don’t get me wrong, for its loyal customers, it’s a wonderful place to relax and get a cup of Joe.  In fact, today (years later) it’s still thriving.  And while the staff was friendly, the coffee tasty and the prices reasonable; there was something that didn’t click for me. And that’s OK.  Successful businesses know that they can’t be all things to all people.

Since then I have found some delightful places around town to meet up with friends, brainstorm with colleagues and open up my laptop (or the occasional cozy fiction novel) and enjoy a cuppa.

How do you make sure your ideal customers know you are a perfect fit for them? The following questions will help you to do that.


When you’re developing your brand messages, it’s not enough to know what to say. You need to decide how you’ll say it. What is the tone, attitude or personality behind these marketing statements?

Is your brand like a stylish aunt giving much needed fashion advice?
Is it an expert teaching people how to live a healthier life?
Are you fun and playful? Smart and serious? Edgy and eclectic?

The physical and digital spaces you design, the ads you create, the events you host and the social media posts you…um…post … should all reflect who you are so consumers know exactly what they’re getting. Be authentic and consistent.

That coffee shop I mentioned earlier wore its environmental, sustainable heart on its heavily tattoo’d sleeves.  And the right customers liked that.


Picture your ideal customers. Be specific. Visualize how they go about their day. What do they read, watch or listen to? What causes do they support? What kind of relationship do they want with your brand?

Knowing more about where and how your customers get information and whom they trust, will help you determine the best tactics and channels to use to reach them. But be sure you are engaging with them in an authentic way. You want this to be a good match as well as good marketing.


Strong brands know that getting customers to buy isn’t enough. You want them to “buy in.” Buy into your messages and your mission. To become advocates and ambassadors.

Word of mouth is the oldest and strongest type of marketing. Do you have fans who will share their love of your brand with others? (Without an incentive to win something.)   Are your regulars also recruiters?

Basically, do you and your customers feel like you are on this branding journey together?  If so, then you have found the perfect fit.

Agency Founder Gets Hubspot Certification

Agency Founder Gets Hubspot Certification

Social Studies: Customer Service in the Online World

Social Studies: Customer Service in the Online World