Intent Based Branding – How Frank Kern Uses it

What Exactly is Intent Based Branding & How Do We Use it

Update – See my specific real world application on Intent Based Branding: HERE.

Let’s start with a description of what we’re talking about when we say Intent Based Branding. There’s no specific definition.

It’s an overall marketing strategy in which you build your brand while simultaneously selling your stuff. It helps accelerate the sales process and attract loyal customers, by building a bond and a relationship across a large audience.

Frank Kern describes it as “the future of advertising as we know it.” While becoming one of Frank’s private clients may be the easiest was to get Intent Based Branding working for you, that starts out at $2,800/month.

That doesn’t mean we can’t apply it ourselves. Here’s how we do it, in a way that can work with any business, product, program or opportunity.

How to Apply Intent Based Branding

So let’s break down this type of branding in a way that is actionable for us all. The overall process is this: We take a prospect/potential customer from a place of where they are not getting the results they want, to a place where they are, with our help, by giving them immediate steps to take.

First you need to identify what your audience’s needs are and what results they aren’t getting, but that they want. Be specific about this. It will vary depending on your niche or line of business.

Next, and only after identifying their needs, you can then find out the exact type of content that is going to provide the most value to your ideal prospect. This, again, is where you need to know your audience. You have to be in tune with their needs. It’s a must.

Once you know your audience’s needs and the type of content that will provide them the most value, you then start providing them this content. You provide value by ACTUALLY HELPING THEM. FOR FREE. WITH NO EXPECTATION OF ANYTHING IN RETURN. This value starts to form a relationship.

In the world of online sales and internet marketing, this is also the best way to sell with integrity. Make your intention to help, for no other reason than you want to help. If you do so by providing value, others will choose on their own to pay you for that. People like paying for value. Sounds simple, but is often overlooked and not understood by many internet marketers.

How to Build A Bond with your Audience

Now here’s the key to this all.

We need to present out content in a way that will cause them to bond with us in an emotional and psychological way. We’ve already established that our content is going to provide value, so we’ll already have this working to our advantage.

So the next question becomes, how to we structure our content in a way that is most effective. There’s one basic intent based branding advertising model that I follow, with all my other social media content extracted from and based on of this core model.

intent based branding chris cunningham blog


This model involves creating value based videos to run in ad form on social media, but that are not a sales ad per say. These videos help create a warm market, that you then will eventually present your sales offer to, in a separate re-targeted add, but one that does not break the bond you’ve established. This is a form of Behavioral Adaptive Marketing, which can be extremely powerful.

Our bond or relationship with our audience is two-fold. There’s a bond on the surface level and then a deeper more important bond. When you’re creating your content, me mindful of the surface bond. Initial impressions do matter. Try to make your content appealing and of good quality, which get’s easier over time, but don’t dwell on this too much.

It is the deeper bond that is most important. There’s no better way to establish that than to just be your authentic true self. Its just easier that way. And it translates better with your audience. (More on this to come below)

While the above chart is presented in a paid advertising model, the same overall strategy can be applied for free across social media. The basic point being, DON’T try to sell anything to someone you haven’t already provided value to. This is the difference between Real Marketing vs. Promotion.

Intent Based Branding Content Creation

So what should the theme of this video content? You definitely want to stick to a couple of core messages in all your content. Remember you are trying to solve the specific problems of your ideal prospect, so you don’t want to jump around too much. Through your content, you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

How to Build an Business Online

I find it best to stick to two or three core messages. Again, these will vary depending on your industry or niche.

As far as presentation goes, as we already discussed, we’re trying to establish a deeper bond and relationship with our audience, so don’t overthink it. Flashy, overproduced ads just aren’t nearly as effective anymore. People see right through them. If you’ve had past successes, don’t shy away from sharing them, but just don’t think that standing in front of a bunch of flashy cars or a mansion, for no reason other than to draw attention, is going to be effective in attracting an audience. People see right through that and won’t relate to it.

Take note of what other big name advertisers and content creators are doing. They are doing it for a reason. It works! The Gary Vaynerchuck and Grant Cardone types. Don’t get me wrong, they have some well produced videos and graphics, and given the sheer quantity they output, they must have extensive production teams. But the core of their messaging is most often delivered in cell phone style video footage, shot as they go about their day. That’s certainly comes across as authentic to me.

Creating the Emotional Bond

Your content needs to have an emotional impact on your audience to build a relationship with them. A great way to do that is through longer form video, in a story telling format.

We stick to our core messaging, as we weave in personal experiences and other story telling methods that our ideal prospects can relate to. Identifying their problems and identifying the solutions along the way. Slick ad copy and flashiness don’t accomplish this nearly as well as just being authentic and honestly trying to help.

Intent Based Branding Action Plan

So, to summarize, by applying intent based branding, we first identify the problems faced by our ideal prospect. We then create content that helps take them from a place of not getting the results they want, to getting those results, with our help. This content, that provides value and actually helps them, for free, establishes a relationship and a bond. All the while proving that we can offer solutions to their problems and help them get the results that they want.

Only then do we present them with our offer, while maintaining a strong emotional bond, thereby creating a loyal customer who will seek us out because we have already proven we can help.

That’s my definition of intent based branding. A very powerful marketing tool, overlooked by many. A means of selling anything you want with integrity. After all, don’t we all want what we are selling to actually help people?

Start with that goal in mind and you will be on the right track to applying this powerful strategy yourself. A strategy that I strongly feel should be an integral part of any marketing system. I know it is with mine!

-Chris Cunningham
Chris@ChrisCunninghamBlog.com

See my specific, real-world, application on Intent Based Branding in an Affiliate Marketing setting by going HERE.

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Intent Based Branding Chris Cunningham

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