Posts Tagged ‘brand foundation’

Yesterday, I quit.

YESTERDAY, I QUIT . . .

I quit thinking small.

I quit thinking I need to do it all myself.

I quit discounting my talent and services.

I quit thinking I am supposed to know how to do everything.

TODAY, I  BELIEVE . . .

I believe I only attract those people who are excited to be working with me.

I believe I’ve “GOT THIS”!

I believe it’s OK to take breaks during the day and let my mind rest while NOT working.

I believe what I do contributes to the positive awakening of the world.

And tomorrow . . . I TRUST everything will work out just dandy.

Because, after all . . .

Lukewarm vs. Pretty Cool.

Certain things are not meant to be lukewarm.
Showers. Hot Chocolate. Eggs. Gravy. Relationships.
. . . and why not “dougwarm” or “anniewarm”?
Research shows the word “lukewarm” popped up around the 14th century as meaning “slightly warm”.  “Luke” is derived from “lew” or “lewk” or “leuk”, in Middle English, which meant “tepid” (slightly warm). This in turn came from the Old English adverb “hlēowe,” which means “warm or sunny.” Additionally, “hlēowe” came from the Proto-Germanic “hlēwaz,” meaning “warm.” Within two centuries, it also began having a figurative meaning, that of “lacking in enthusiasm.”
Here in the United States, lukewarm tends to connote “less than” warm . . . as in, were things to be ideal, what you have in front of you (hot chocolate, eggs, a first date) should be warmer. . . and warmer would be better, if not best.
At Davis Creative, we don’t do lukewarm.
Our clients reach out to us because they know they will never get “lukewarm” nor “almost.” We don’t do things “almost” . . . we do them right the first time, with enthusiasm, excitement and eagerness.
You deserve the best, you expect the best, you get the best. 
Now . . . if you are Dutch, and just happen to be living in the US . . . and just happen to be working with Davis Creative, feel free to use the word, “leuk” (pronounced LUKE). Research also shows that the Dutch currently use this word as in “cool” or “nice.”
So, if you like the services we have provided for you, please feel free to respond enthusiastically with “LEUK!”
We’ll think you are pretty-cool, too.

Finding My INNER-G

My weekly blog post is due. I need an idea . . . an inspiration of some sort. I’ve hit a metaphorical roadblock.

Sometimes I just need some inner guidance – some INNER-G.

When you work for yourself and you love what you do, your business “day” can easily turn into nights and weekends as well. The longer I do this (this entrepreneurial “thing” – now in my 13th year), the more I have learned to STOP and take breaks.

Perhaps it’s a walk, a sit on our covered front porch or the back deck, a short nap, or a ride in the car – with the windows down, if possible – especially if I need to blow out the cobwebs in my brain.

For me, it’s all about having a process where I have learned to LET GO of any expectations I have around the perceived roadblock. It could be anything from dealing with a whiny client (NOT you) to needing a new idea, to how to pay that bill which just landed on my desk.

I’ve learned to recognize the “roadblock” feeling – a dull heavy sensation in the middle of my chest – almost like an invisible set of hands pushing me forward AND back at the same time. If I actually listen to the “nudge”, and let myself “break away”, it more-often-than-not leads me back to my INNER-G . . . my “flow”.

I REALLY, REALLY like it when I’m in the “flow”. Ideas come faster than I can sometimes type (or write). Words which I’ve been searching for all day (or all week) begin to pop in my head and I’m better able to serve our clients and help them grow their businesses.

Giving myself permission to take a break and regain a connection to my INNER-G (my inner guidance) has been pivotal in being able to grow OUR business.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help YOU find your own INNER-G so you can Look Good, Attract More Clients and Monetize Your Passion . . . give me call.

PS: Our new website just went live last week . . . take a quick peek and let me know what you think!

10 Ways to BE Your Brand

The first question I typically ask a new client is, “What are you REALLY selling?”  

A few look at me as if I’m crazy — but soon learn I have method in my madness. We’re not selling windmills, whistling lessons or wonder-bras — we’re selling the RELIEF or FEELING our customer receives from making the purchase. We want them to feel good about doing business with us.

Quite often, as with APPLE or TIFFANY or DISNEY, we are simply selling our brand essence — our brand experience — how great it makes a consumer feel to be associated with our product or service. How can you develop your Brand Essence? . . .

10 Ways to BE Your Brand.
  1. BE-Lieve. Believe in your product/service and others will too. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show.
  2. BE Giving. Be of service by offering more than your customers and staff expect.
  3. BE Integrated. Create brand standards and use them. Identify colors, fonts and messaging unique to your business. Again, USE them.
  4. BE Seen. Have a great logo? Use it. Need a new one or an update? Hire a professional to fix that for you.
  5. BE Heard. Know your key messaging and share with your employees and around your community. Let people know WHY you love what you do.
  6. BE Bold. Boldly share your visual, verbal and virtual message every chance you get. Find your niche, fill a void.
  7. BE Valuable. Bring value to the table. Value propositions have no value if they fall short of expectations.
  8. BE Committed. Follow through on your commitments to your clients, your community, and to yourself.
  9. BE Trusted. Establish relationships based upon trust, honesty and integrity.  Trust your gut, follow your instincts.
  10. BE Consistent. Deliver on your brand promise. Play your strengths. Reframe your weaknesses. Respond proactively.

BRAND STRATEGY

Making Your Brand “FEEL” Good.

SO . . . How DOES your brand make your customer feel?

Brands have an emotional appeal. Consciously, or sub-consciously, people have feelings about your brand. It’s the reason why some consumers buy Heinz ketchup, and others buy Hunt’s; it’s the same with iPhone vs. Blackberry — loyal followers for each claim their choice is best. A successful brand creates the perception that there is no other product/service on the market quite like yours.

Brand Equation
 

A “FEEL GOOD” brand occurs when you:Define, Design, Deliver

  • DEFINE your business focus.
  • DESIGN your business image.
  • DELIVER your business message.

IN THE NEWS

How to Design a Brand

TOM ASAKER  |  Author, speaker and provocateur  |  2/16/12

I was recently turned on to the legendary designer Dieter Rams, whose comments below were made three decades ago during a speech to the supervisory board of Braun:
“Good designers must always be avant-gardists,
always one step ahead of the times. They should,
and must, question everything generally
thought to be obvious. . .” 
. . . So I’ve decided to appropriate Dieter’s ethos and apply it to designing a “good” brand; one that creates growth in profitability, as well as happy and healthy, holistic relationships. I’ve specifically referenced his “Ten Principles for Good Design” from his book “Weniger, aber besser” (“Less, but better”). I hope I’ve done justice to the spirit of his timeless words . . .

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen . . . CAN “Spoil the Pot” and Spoil Your Brand Impact

Small business owners — especially solo-preneurs — tend to ask everyone they meet for an opinion when it comes to marketing. They fall prey to the DELUSION that the more people they ask, the more they will learn about how to market their business. Trick is . . . for every person they ask, they are guaranteed to get a different opinion, which quite often leaves the business owner even more confused.

Unfortunately, this DELUSION leads to brand DILUTION.

Avoid the Dilution of your Brand Message through Visual, Verbal and Virtual Consistency. 

If you are not comfortable in making marketing decisions, hand that responsibility over to ONE trusted partner. Having one primary marketing partner to help you craft your overall brand strategy will create a clear and consistent marketing message.

  1. Visual Message. Scattering your design projects among several designers will do just that — scatter your image and create confusion. Develop a visual brand strategy that supports your brand message and stick to ONE professional designer that understands visual brand strategy.
  2. Verbal Message. There is so much more to writing marketing copy than stringing words together into a sentence. Your consumer is more likely to remember you when you have a consistent tone and message written by ONE professional writer/editor.
  3. Virtual Message. Not all web designers are web developers (and vice-versa). If you are lucky, you’ll find one that does both. The same goes for SEO and/or Social Media — trust ONE expert to set you up with a customized plan.

Resist the Delusion of Getting Something for Free.  

Barter is not always best. Smarter is best. Everyone is on a budget and looking for ways to stretch a dollar, yet if the outcome of your “trade for services” brings about chaos and confusion with your consumer, then you have essentially gotten what you paid for (nothing), and you’ve wasted everyone’s time (which by the way, is valuable). Choose “smarter” — and make decisions based upon what is best for your brand message.

Trust Your Instincts. 

At your gut level, you know what is best for your business. Learn to trust those instincts. Avoid the temptation to “collect” a cadre of disparate designers, writers and web developers — find a few key players whom you trust to help you develop your “big picture” brand and trust them to help you craft a consistent brand message. Creating a clear and consistent Visual, Verbal and Virtual message for your consumer serves to clarify and solidify your brand and strengthen your client/consumer relationships  – and will cost you less in the long run.

What’s YOUR 3-Legged Stool?

Building a Strong Brand FoundationC-art

Building your brand begins with three C’s. Each are dependent upon the other, and each grow exponentially as you develop the others. Fail at one, and the other two “wobble”.

  • CREDIBILITY is built upon client trust in you, your product and your promises.
  • CONSISTENCY in what you offer defines your BRAND. Consumers like to know what to expect.
  • Creating a CONNECTION with your consumer through your marketing message and product performance rounds out the 3rd leg of your triple promise.

As you build your BRAND, you strengthen each of the three C’s, creating a strong business foundation. As you build your credibility, your consistency and your client connections, you solidify your BRAND.

How are YOU building your Brand Foundation?