Audio Version: 20100310 BST-WhyEveryoneNeedsABrand
Interview hosted by Aurora Winter, Author of From Heartbreak to Happiness, Founder of the Grief Coach Academy
Context: This is part of an alternating Wednesday night series on breakthrough branding called Brand Stories Tonight. For call-in info and the latest schedule, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The word Brand provides an access point to a super-powerful point of leverage in business.
Fundamentally, branding is all about language—how we use language on a conscious, unconscious, individual and group way, involving business.
If you are in business with more than one customer you are a brand manager.
In other words, if there are enough other people out there to have a conversation about you in business, then you have the (opportunity) to create a brand.
Unfortunately, many or most people don’t realize this until it is too late, and then may face either of three costly processes:
- developing a brand conversation after the fact, or;
- spending heaps of money on advertising, or;
- becoming a generic provider and providing your goods/services at the lowest possible commodity prices at the whim and demand of the market (out of your control).
Either way, you’re better off starting now by getting clarity that you have a brand the moment you start talking about what you sell to anyone who is remotely possible to connect you with buyers.
A brand—particularly a Breakthrough Brand—will carry that conversation forward—even when you can’t, like when you’re sleeping, eating or vacationing!
The big difference between advertising and breakthrough branding is one is a method to gain market attention through expenditures on media, the other is a method to gain market attention through investments in relationships. It’s up to you.
However, consider that money knows no loyalty, whereas people do.
Therefore, by investing in relationships—even market relationships—you stand to make considerable residual gains—over time this investment will eclipse any possible investment you could ever afford with advertising. The reason is simple:
People put more credibility (FAR more) in what another trusted person tells them, than any message they receive via paid media.
In fact, a recent study indicated that people put more value into a single recommendation from a trusted person than from all exposure to advertising, store-placement, point-of-sale placement and coupons, combined.
The 3 most common branding mistakes:
- People spend too much time trying to ‘get it right’ rather than choosing ONE way and proceeding. Sometimes spending time getting it right is time well spent in the marketplace getting real market feedback. Often the ‘right’ way only appears after we have begun to execute our plans. The key to making this work is to ensure you are choosing ONE way—this may branch off and develop new ways—but always respect your path, so it tells a true story.
- People have expectations (of self and others), which are unrealistic, and therefore bound to end in disappointment. Setting aside from the fact that most people honestly don’t have a strong ability to distinguish reality from unreality, particularly in the matter of relationships with others, this is based on my experience that entrepreneurs generally fall into one of only a couple role-types—and these types of people don’t have a clear ability to empathize with most people’s honest experience of reality—therefore they miss the mark (and the market) by a wide margin. The failure to take into account other’s perceptions, abilities, talents and context is a major failing that prevents millions from getting even close to their true success potential—and I include many ‘successful’ people in this group. At the MarkBrand Group we address this through our IN2IT member coaching program. Everyone gets at least 2 personal coaching calls a month—besides up to 4 other group calls—from just $39 a month.
- People don’t thoroughly know and apply the 3 key absolutes that go into every single successful brand. I call these the 3 Keys to Breakthrough Branding
3 keys to building a breakthrough brand.
(How to make a great brand sandwich!)
- Category. You have to name what you do with a clear, easy-to-understand plain English category description. For instance, Rapid Response IT. Breakthrough Branding, Concentrated Orange Juice. Grief Coaching. Your Category is your Secret Sauce. Only you can be number one in your category. If you have global ambitions, then you need a global quality category. Legal Services doesn’t cut it. Prep-Paid Legal Services stands out. You must be able to describe your category in two or three words at most.
- Concentrate. You have to name and describe what you do with an emotionally evocative ‘recipe for success’. The title of your recipe is your brand name. This is generally a catchy, easy to pronounce word or set of words. For example, Coca-Cola. Old South, MarkBrand Group. Your concentrate also includes all other emotional responders, including color and logo (combined, the brand mark) as well as logical arguments, package claims, as well as the way you do business, such as persistent patterns, for instance trade agreements, representation and geographic locations. Your concentrate includes your unique innovations that make your specific brand more useful, more interesting, more engaging, ultimately more effective than anything else in the marketplace!
- Conversations. You have to have people talking about you through contagious conversations via member/group networks (for instance all the people who work with you/for you/even indirectly, media, networks and social media networking. If they’re not talking about you—you’re just not a brand—it’s really as simple as that. Ultimately your value / price proposition is developed and presented in conversations.
Check out more about Breakthrough Branding at MarkBrandGroup.com