In this article, I will talk about the importance of creating and nurturing real business relationships. Also, how to have a presence that leaves a lasting impression with existing and potential customers even when you’re not standing in front of them.
To sum that up in one word that is called “BRANDING”. You see large corporations do it all the time. But did you know your local maybe even small business has a brand? Whether it be big or small you have a brand and it’s VERY important you protect it and build upon it as well.
I don’t have to tell you that getting new customers is hard work. People won’t give you their hard earned money if they don’t know you exist, like you or your company, or have faith in your ability to deliver on your product or service.
Some of the methodology in this article came from the great mind of Brian Lenney. Let’s get to it.
Running a business is NOT a 40 hour a week job. You have to hustle every day. What makes the long hours worth it, is the complete freedom you have from the corporate world. You make your own schedule, you can work from anywhere if you’d like, and you get to write your own destiny.
While you get to write your own destiny, make sure you take the easiest way possible.
In this article, I will lay out some actionable tips you can use starting today to strengthen your brand.
What is a Brand Anyway?
You’ve probably heard the term before but have you ever sat down and thought about what your brand is?
According to Seth Godin it is this:
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”
When you think of a company (or individual), that companies brand is what you think of when you think of them. For example, when people think of Apple, they usual think the word “cool”.
A good brand isn’t the logo or the product.
It’s the feeling that logo or product creates within the people who encounter it.
Every person or company has a brand whether they think they do or not. Their brand can be good or it can be bad. It really depends on the interaction you’ve had with that person or company.
LESSON #1: Everyone has a brand and marketing that brand is MORE important than marketing your product or service. This is important because once someone has identified with your brand – they will buy from you.
How To Build A Great Brand Presence
The best brands in the world don’t have to “sell”. They stay true to who they are and people follow. You see this all of the time. If a company or person “resonates” with you, you trust them. If you trust them you follow their advice and buy from them.
Apple has mastered this!
Do you think people stand in line for days to buy the new iPhone because they like the apps?
Not at all.
They do it because they REALLY like Apple. They like the feeling they get when they have a new iPhone in their hand. That all important “Cool Factor”.
So back to you and your business, when you focus on the who and why of your business instead of the what and how, customers will become brand ambassadors without you even having to ask them to. We all identify with brands that are making a difference or brands that resonate with how we think and go about life.
People don’t care about your clichés. They want to know who you are and why you do what you do. This is how you build a brand that people will follow.
This is why having an active social media presence for your business is vital.
How Do You Sell Bacon? You Cook It
People want to know YOU, not your product. They want to know what you stand for, who’s running your company, and how you can help THEM.
We are selfish creatures. So the sooner you can let a potential customer know why you do what you do and how it will help them, the better for you.
Don’t just “sell” to people:
Show that you actually care
It’s very easy to ONLY do what our competitors are doing and try to do it better. But to really stand out these days you have to be a little forward thinking. You have to be:
The brands that do this well are the ones you and I notice, remember, and follow. Think about it.
Who hasn’t heard of Apple, Geico, Red Bull, Ikea, Zappos, Amazon, Dell, Pepsi, Coca-Cola. I just threw those out off the top of my head.
These are just a small few of the brands that are doing well in business, marketing, and creating an attractive company culture EFFECTIVELY because they brand themselves as different and unique INTENTIONALLY.
Apple doesn’t beg people to stand in line for iPhones. People just do it. They want to. TOMS doesn’t try really hard to sell shoes, they just tell their story and people flock to them.
This is the result of being a “bacon brand”
Brand Strategist Justin Foster wrote a small book on this called, “Oatmeal v Bacon” (go get it). In the book he says:
“Bacon is interesting and oatmeal is boring. This book is not about being less boring; it’s about being more interesting. It’s about establishing the case for being different, being an outlaw, and being a non-conformist. And, that being interesting is an effective business model…the opposite of oatmeal is bacon. If this is true in food, it is true in brands.”
Bacon brands don’t have to try – they just do. They don’t have to dress themselves up in clichés, fancy packaging, or empty promises. They just are. Think about it.
How do you sell oatmeal?
You have to add to it, dress it up, make it tasty, and even then, it’s still boring and uninteresting.
How do you sell bacon?
You simply cook it. You don’t have to try to get people to eat it, they just do it.
So the questions become:
- How do you become (or discover) your bacon brand?
- How do you cook up bacon instead of serving up oatmeal?
- How do you leverage your skills, uniqueness, story, and culture to create a brand that people flock to and keep coming back to?
11 Questions To Discover Your Brand
Congratulations!! If you’ve made it this far into the article you are serious about building up your brand. I want to give you some actionable items that will help you take it to the next level.
Here are 11 questions you can ask yourself right now, to help you get on the right track, and start building your bacon brand.
When you have the answers, these should be how you run your business going forward. It becomes your culture and should be reflected in every piece of your marketing (ie: website content, emails, advertisements, social media posts, brochures, flyers, meetings, training, everything).
Who are you and what’s your story?
What problem(s) are you solving for people?
Why do you do what you do?
What are you THE BEST at that you do better than any of your competitors?
Who needs what you have to offer?
What are you doing to get people to notice you, talk about you, share your stuff?
What do customers think of when they think about you? (your brand)
How will you get stories from your customers and broadcast them to the world?
Why should ANYONE do business with YOU instead of your competitor?
What are you doing to create a culture that makes people want to stick around and hang out with you (online and/or offline)?
How are you being disruptive, intrusive, and different? What are you doing to upset the status quo and get noticed?
Did you notice that NONE of these questions deal with “your product” or “your pricing”? When you and your team (if you have one) start thinking through those questions together, you’ll start to realize what’s amazing about you and your brand will start to form.
Boring isn’t a strategy – it’s a culture killer
Don’t be boring
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jonathan Scott is a full-time internet marketer and lover of everything fitness. He is the owner of Scott Marketing Services, LLC and wants to help small businesses level the playing field and compete against the larger companies using the power of the internet to generate new business.
You can reach Jonathan by contacting Scott Marketing Services.