In a recent Speaker Magazine article, Bruce Turkel, CEO of Turkel Brands, said, “What most people forget is to make the brand resonate with the consumer.” So true, yet so very hard to do—especially for financial institutions.

When helping organizations develop their value proposition, we tell executives that a good value proposition must resonate, differentiate and substantiate. But as Turkel notes, that first step is critical. A good value proposition will resonate with your target audience.

Ultimately, resonating means walking in the consumers’ shoes. Not your shoes, but their shoes. Too many times we lose touch with the people we are trying to reach. What is important to your target market in their lives? Here is a hint: it’s probably not your products and services (loans, checking account, deposits, etc.).

So don’t start your resonating process with your products. Rather start the resonating process with what they need. Consumers need a home, a way to pay for their kids’ college education, maybe a car, help with maximizing their retirement funds, etc.

In other words, your members and customers have dreams. They have financial dreams. You resonate with consumers by connecting with their dreams, wants and desires.  You resonate by connecting on their level. You resonate by giving information and not a sales pitch. You resonate by discussing benefits rather than features.

Ultimately, your brand must mean something to consumers.

Review your branding and marketing materials. Do the language and visuals resonate with your target audience? Are your
marketing messages something consumers can relate to? Take a look at your website, your e-messages, your brochures, etc. from the lens of the consumer. Do they mean anything—do they connect with consumers?

Strong brands resonate.