Monday, March 25, 2013

Branding Tips

Your brand is a promise that you make to your customers – one they need to experience again and again to believe. When considering your brand, come up with a promise that provides a unique benefit to your customers. Then, keep that promise consistent and reinforce it through every interaction you have.

Weigh in: What promises do you make to your customers and how do you back them up?

“A business based on brand is, very simply, a business primed for success.” -David F. D’Alessandro

Many small business owners mistakenly think that branding is simply about slapping up a well-designed logo on their website and then waiting around as the sales start pouring in.

Here’s the truth of the matter. A brand isn’t about your logo. And it isn’t about the color choices on your website.

And, it isn’t about your mission statement.

A brand is simply a promise that you make to your customers.

And, for your brand to work, you need to create a big, bold promise to your prospects.

Furthermore, your prospects need to experience your small business promise again and again (and, yes even again), before it takes hold.

But, as a Shoestring Marketer, you don’t have Starbuck’s marketing budget to launch your brand promise. Does that mean that you can’t effectively brand your small business? No way.

Even the smallest one-person operation can effectively launch a brand promise in today’s marketplace.

Here are 5 branding tips to keep in mind when designing a bold promise to your potential clients and customers:

1.    Bold brand promises are unique.

Your brand promise can NOT be something that your customers automatically expect, like “great service” or “quick delivery.” You need to think outside of the box and make a promise that your prospects are not expecting.

2.    Strong brand promises capture the core benefit you provide the consumer.

It’s essential that you identity the main benefit your customers receives when they do business with you. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to wrap your promise around that essential benefit.

3.    Bold brand promises are simple.

You only have three seconds to convey your brand promise to your prospects, so it’s better to be clear than clever. A confused prospect will never make a purchase.

4.    Bold brand promises are consistent.

You’ve got to be steady, reliable and unfailing when delivering your brand promise. If you’re brand is perky, happy and cheerful, then you’re not allowed to get crabby at your customers. Ever.

5.    Bold brand promises constantly reinforce their message.

Once your brand promise takes hold, you need to make sure that every single interaction that you have with your prospects and customers reinforces your brand promise.

If your small business promises some form of “education,” then every single email, sales letter, video, podcast and newsletter should clearly educate your prospect.

So, take the time to figure out what promise you can make to your prospect that offers then a truly unique benefit.  Then, keep that promise simple, consistent and constant. This is how your businesses brand will grow exponentially over time.

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