Posts Tagged ‘brand positioning’

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 . . .

Fireworks Get Noticed

My mother’s birthday was July 4th.

And, YES, she was one heck of a FIRECRACKER. She LOVED being the focus of attention, and knew how to make that happen.

She always led with her “sparkling” personality, and it always served her well. Even after she moved to a nursing home, she landed on the front page of the Webster Kirkwood Times at least twice.

As I look back, I now realize (in her own way), she was teaching me to be a “Firecracker”. . .

After all . . . Fireworks Get Noticed.

I now use my Mom’s “how-to-be-a-firecracker lessons” for creating my own “Fireworks” in business:

  • GREET and introduce yourself to everyone you meet.
  • SMILE and the world smiles back (she wrote this one in her high school year book).
  • SPARKLE and always dress to impress — whether it’s your wardrobe or your website.
  • GIVE of your Time, Treasure and Talent.
  • COMMUNITY — surround yourself with supportive people.
  • PERSISTENCE — if there is something you want, ASK for it.
  • HAVE FUN — people want to work with people who are having fun.

If you are in business for yourself, and are ready to get noticed, give me a shout . . . I bet we can create some great fireworks together . . . I learned from the best!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

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!

Fuzzy Brands Breed BANAL Benefits

ba·nal
bəˈnäl,bəˈnal/
adjective

D: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

I learned the word BANAL from my mother.  She LOVED crossword puzzles, and as it became more difficult for her to see, I would sit with her at the nursing home, asking her the clues as she rattled off the answers with lightning speed.
She had most of the answers memorized from years of subscribing to the same puzzle magazine.  She knew the answer by how they asked the question.  She knew the answer would change, depending upon whether we were looking for a 5-letter word vs. a 7-letter word.  She learned to rely upon repetition, consistency and memory.  
That’s why it was important when I went to replenish her inventory with new crossword puzzle books, I was told (by her) to look for a specific publisher – a specific brand – the “EASY Crosswords” by Dell Magazines.  I’m pretty certain my mother was not their only loyal fan “for life”.
So how did Dell turn mundane crossword puzzles
into a “gotta have” brand?
REPETITION:  Brand awareness is one of the most important things you can build for your business.  You want customers to recognize your brand when they see it. You want to create a specific emotional response in the viewer when they come into contact with your brand.  Many customers  will still remain loyal to a brand they love, even it that means paying a little more for it.
CONSISTENCY:  Consistency makes your brand feel more dependable.  Part of engaging a positive emotion with your consumer is to make them feel like they know your brand and that your brand can be trusted.  They learn to know what to expect and they know they will like the outcome.  Putting a consistent brand message in front of consumers is one strong step in the right direction to attracting new customers.
MEMORY:  Everything your customer and prospects remember about your company through interaction, products, advertising, events, etc. contributes to the overall lasting impression of your “brand”, be it positive or not.  Brand memory occurs when you share a consistent visual, verbal and virtual brand message, and is a major step towards letting consumers get to know you.
Just like my mother, as she became increasingly more familiar with the “Easy Crosswords“, nothing else would suffice – which is the ultimate definition of Brand Loyalty.
When consumers learn to know, like and trust you, they are more likely to purchase from you and more likely to recommend you to others.
It’s really that Easy.
PS:  Thanks, Mom, for giving me the love of language! 

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.

HUMMING IN COLOR

“Painting” said Pooh, “is like humming in color”

Handing someone a generic business card or marketing piece tells them your company is . . . well,  generic. 

IMG_7518

Offering well-thought-out marketing materials (from business cards to website banners) tells your audience you are excited about and proud of what you do, and want to share what you know. It doesn’t matter whether you are a financial planner or a tattoo artist, utilizing color or black-and-white — how you “paint the picture” of your business creates your visual brand.

You become memorable.

Choosing color to represent your business is much more than picking your favorite color. Different colors evoke different subliminal psychological responses. That’s why hospitals traditionally don’t use orange, yet Home Depot does.

What message does your business “hum”?

 

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.