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!
D: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.
into a “gotta have” 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? . . .
- BE-Lieve. Believe in your product/service and others will too. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show.
- BE Giving. Be of service by offering more than your customers and staff expect.
- BE Integrated. Create brand standards and use them. Identify colors, fonts and messaging unique to your business. Again, USE them.
- BE Seen. Have a great logo? Use it. Need a new one or an update? Hire a professional to fix that for you.
- BE Heard. Know your key messaging and share with your employees and around your community. Let people know WHY you love what you do.
- BE Bold. Boldly share your visual, verbal and virtual message every chance you get. Find your niche, fill a void.
- BE Valuable. Bring value to the table. Value propositions have no value if they fall short of expectations.
- BE Committed. Follow through on your commitments to your clients, your community, and to yourself.
- BE Trusted. Establish relationships based upon trust, honesty and integrity. Trust your gut, follow your instincts.
- BE Consistent. Deliver on your brand promise. Play your strengths. Reframe your weaknesses. Respond proactively.
Santa’s back in town! I saw it for myself — several sightings on the retail front.
We can learn a lot from Santa when it comes to branding. He does a pretty darn good job when it comes to effectively delivering his brand promise.
Think about it . . .
- CREATES RELATIONSHIPS: Santa builds positive relationships across the globe; he attracts throngs of people who are willing to stand in line to meet and talk with him — if only for a few minutes.
- SERVES HIS COMMUNITY: Santa serves his “tribe” by offering a service unlike any other. He’s definitely not “in it” for the money, but more for the outcome — the feeling his followers receive when they interact with him. He has definitely earned the love and respect of customers AND his staff.
- BELIEVES IN HIS BUSINESS: Not only does Santa BELIEVE in his mission, but so do his followers. It’s all about offering a product or service which makes people happy — we are ALL attracted to people and things that make us happy. Santa consistently fulfills his positioning statement of Bringing Joy to the World.
- PLANS FOR SUCCESS: Nothing stops Santa — just remember Rudolph and the fog. Santa finds solutions. He’s a “can-do” kind of guy. The kind of guy you want at the reins of your business.
- BUILDS TRUST: Santa instills “trust” and “warm cozy feelings”. If you can’t trust Santa who can you trust? You’ve been telling him your heartfelt wishes since you were a kid. Santa listens and follows through on his commitments. He doesn’t over-promise, and always has a back-up option — just in case (toy recall).
- CROSS PROMOTES: Santa is everywhere. He graciously offers his positive brand to movies, car dealer ads, non-profit causes and more — all in the hopes of spreading goodwill and good cheer across the globe.
- STAYS FOCUSED: You don’t see Santa expanding his line of offerings beyond the aspect of “giving”. The downfall of such was creatively portrayed by Martin Short’s Jack Frost and Tim Allen’s Santa, in the “Santa Clause 3” movie, showing the negative impact of wandering off-target. Ultimately, “good” overcomes “evil” and the movie ends with the North Pole back to “normal” — back on target.
- SUSTAINS HIS IMAGE: Santa creates a positive response in the marketplace and emotes a distinct visual image which immediately comes to mind when his name is mentioned. Even with 100’s (if not 1000’s) of Santa likenesses seen around the world, we all have our favorite that comes to mind — white beard, red suit, and a wink of the eye.
- ADAPTS EASILY: It’s not everyone that can morph their body PLUS a 100-pound bag of toys small enough to fit down a chimney (and in some cultures through a keyhole). Knowing when and how to adapt to your customer’s needs — and a willingness to do so — always give you an edge with the competition.
- RISES ABOVE: Santa is basically one-of-a-kind, so rising above your competition is a piece of cake (or cookies and milk). Taking flight is easy when you keep your magic-sparkle flying dust handy. Markets change as often as the weather . . . being able to fly above a snowstorm or around lightning strikes allows Santa to deliver a solid brand — on time, on target and on budget.
How are you delivering YOUR brand?
A good logo transcends time and a variety of media, allowing a brand to imbed itself in a community — whether your community is defined as local, regional, national or global.
Watching how global brands transcend their own iconic brands to target core audiences can help you learn to expand your own brand.
Take Nike’s latest NYC campaign:
“Painting” said Pooh, “is like humming in color”
Handing someone a generic business card or marketing piece tells them your company is . . . well, generic.
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”?
Making Your Brand “FEEL” Good.
SO . . . How DOES your brand make your customer feel?
- DEFINE your business focus.
- DESIGN your business image.
- DELIVER your business message.
How to Design a Brand
TOM ASAKER | Author, speaker and provocateur | 2/16/12
always one step ahead of the times. They should,
and must, question everything generally
thought to be obvious. . .”
LOGOS & COLOR
As Leatrice Eiseman executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains in her book Color Messages and Meanings, “While it is a given that a successful brand logo is a happy marriage of shapes, symbols and colors, it is truly the colors that evoke the emotional message.”
Many leading brands are so linked to specific hues that they are primarily recognized by their color or colors.
Think Tiffany blue, Coke red, American Express blue, Kodak yellow and red, or DeWalt black and yellow. “Tiffany Blue” is the colloquial name for the blue color associated with Tiffany & Co., the New York City jewelry company. Tiffany Blue is a specific shade of light blue; it is very similar to the blue of a robin’s egg. The color is produced as a private custom color by Pantone, with PMS number 1837. As a trademarked color, it is not publicly available and is not printed in the Pantone Matching System swatch books.
When a color and design “signature” is established, it becomes the brand identifier that reinforces the image in the marketplace. This includes print and collateral materials, websites, packaging, point-of-purchase displays, signage, as well as the product itself, creating what is termed a “total brand experience”.
To your customer, when joining your “tribe”, color becomes a subliminal part of the brand experience. Whenever they shop or seek information about your brand, color serves to reinforce your brand and helps to establish that they will receive the same quality and service across many platforms.
Brand. Identity. Imprint. Stamp.
When we get an envelope in the mail with a fancy stamp, our curiosity often prompts us to open that envelope first.
When we want to attract new business, we are really asking for a “Stamp of Approval” from our new customer. Our “brand” is our business identity . . . our unique imprint . . . our one-of-a-kind STAMP.
How do we Develop a Distinctive S.T.A.M.P.?
S = Focus on how to best SERVE our customers
T = Instill TRUST with our customers and our employees
A = Make it easy to ACCESS our business and products
M = Tailor our MESSAGE and MEDIUM to reach our audience
P = Honor our PROMISES with a commitment to excellence
Bezos, Branson & Buffet on Brand:
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
“The brand is only as good as our products, so . . .
if people have a good experience . . .
then they’ll try the next product that we launch.”
– Richard Branson
“Your . . . brand had better be delivering something special, or it’s not going to get the business.” – Warren Buffett