Last week, I wrote about the Highly Effective Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs. What do successful entrepreneurs have? Successful businesses, that’s what. More importantly, they have successful brands. ONE brand or several! Every startup needs to establish its brand. This is where the fun starts: you decide on a logo, a colour scheme, a tagline, a tone of voice, etc. You even decide on a font! It’s like… planning a wedding! I remember the kerfuffle during my daughter’s wedding. Grooms have it easy–all they have to do is attend tastings, look interested, and agree with what their brides decide (not without due comments and consideration). When my son married, I barely detected any fuss. But with my daughter, it was a different story. Branding is like a wedding. Or any other party, really. You want your gathering to be nice and memorable. You NEED your brand to be memorable and irresistible. You want every customer to associate a positive feeling or thought to your brand. Same as my observations on successful entrepreneurs, successful brands have the following ‘habits’ in common. And because of my digression earlier, let’s go ahead with the wedding theme. It’s a good analogy!
How do you establish your brand in your market’s thoughts and emotions?
HABIT #1 – Consistency: Use the Brand Essence (The Theme)
My daughter had a Regency theme for her wedding. She and her mother loved Austen–in print and on the telly. So they had a Regency wedding. Simple, pretty dresses with square necklines. Cravats and top hats. What is YOUR brand’s theme? In business buzzword, this is called the “brand essence.” A bakeshop’s brand essence could be “happiness.” Its marketing campaigns centre around people made happy by a tart or a scone. A little accounting firm’s brand essence could be “family.” That encompasses a lot–trust, compassion, openness. Their social media posts are often jokes between family members about money. If you’re having trouble marketing your brand, perhaps you haven’t identified your brand essence yet. Once you have it, it’s like a wedding theme–and everything becomes easy to create and match.
HABIT #2 – Intimacy: Know and Use Your Brand’s ‘Statements’
Oh, it’s too tawdry to mention the importance of knowing your bride/groom. You all know that. But do you know your brand’s statements? Another business buzzword: a brand’s positioning statement. These are:
- your target market
- your goals
- your competition
- your edge over the competition
- and your brand’s essence.
If you look at every ad you see in print or in the telly, they’re always aimed at their target audience, and showing their wit in one of two ways: sharing their brand essence, or showing you they’re better than the competition. That’s how they achieve their goal: converting you, or making you loyal to them. What are YOUR brand’s statements?
HABIT #3 – Courting Your Clients and Customers
It’s a constant and continuous seduction. Customer service trumps ‘established name’ all the time. How many ‘established’ brands have been shunted to oblivion by new upstarts who have phenomenal customer focus? Customer service and customer experience are what makes history–a brand which always goes the extra mile for their customers and clients becomes historically big in a short time, or is left in the dust for neglecting customer satisfaction. Ask your clients/customers for their input. They can even create and decide on your themes for you! They’ll like that.
Exceed their expectations and help without being asked. They’ll remember. And they’ll be loyal. Thank them for being loyal. Give a special letter of notification or a small gift. They’ll post it on their social media and essentially market your brand for you!
Like many people around my age we are redefining what retirement is all about. Our generation is not satisfied with just sitting around waiting for time to pass. We’re breaking the rules and making our latter years mean something.
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