from Small Business Branding.com 1/07 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 8/13
5. Prepare a one page Overview. This one pager will be vital as a “leave behind”, when you meet a prospect. Use short sentences in short paragraphs – people like to read quickly. Also make it very conversational; it’s not a white paper. Your one page overview should include your value proposition, target audience benefits, previous audience experience & a mini-case study + don’t forget your contact information.
6. Participate in local Business Events. And by participate, I mean be on a committee. Just showing up at events is great, but you’re just a face in the crowd. Ask to be on one of the committees. Believe it or not, it’s as simple as just asking most of time. Groups are looking for volunteer help and it’s a great way to elevate your status & visibility among the entire organization.
7. Do what you say you’re going to do. I know it may sound like common sense, but one of the primary drivers of brand loyalty is a consistent experience. If you say you’re going to have your product ready on a set day, be sure they are ready. Nothing leaves a bad taste in someone’s mouth like missed expectations. Positive experiences lead to good feelings which lead to telling their friends. But don’t forget that bad experiences spread much faster and are harder to overcome – if you get a chance at all.
8. Stand for Something. People latch on to something they can understand & appreciate. If you’re trying to be everything to everybody, chances are you’ll attract no one. If you think it’s too controversial to choose a niche, remember the power of being seen as an expert. Experts are not good at everything, they’re “awesome” at one thing. This allows you to better position yourself and charge more for your services. People seek out experts, not generalists.
9. Realize that you’re not in control of your Brand. That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your actual brand image is determined by your audience. You can use these tips to ensure alignment between your desired brand image and your actual brand image in the minds of your customers. Branding isn’t a “one shot” deal, it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research & conversation. If you’re not tapping into those conversations with your audience, how do you know what their real impression of you is? How will you know how to address it? Brand growth comes from alignment. You have to ensure that your actions, stationary, website & marketing efforts put out the right image. But you cannot stop there; Those are pre-sales activities that get you noticed and hopefully bought. You also have to ensure that all actions and engagements during the sale & post-sale are positive and in line with your desired brand image. If your audience has a different view of you than you’d like, then you need help. And it’s probably best to bring in an outside Consultant.
BONUS TIP: #10 Branding is as much about your people as anything else. Never forget that the best interactions come from one-on-one conversations between executives, employees, suppliers, & customers. Employees that want to help and do the best job possible go a long way.
Proper Branding is Critical to your long-term success. A lot of people think of branding as logo development. But in reality, branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire. If your desired brand image isn’t what’s in the minds of your target audience, you’ve got to figure out where the gaps are & how to address them. And fixing those issues is hard work because the old adage still rings true – “The Customer is always Right”.
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