Bernard Hendricks came to Brand Excitement because his business was struggling to get clients. Unlimited Cleaning, a business he sold a few years later as part of a planned exit strategy, was a word of mouth business that had great potential but few clients.
We started by creating a true visual identity for him. His website had been built on a free template by Godaddy, something that most entrepreneurs think is a good idea but in the end it makes you look like a cookie-cutter business and it limits your visibility and opportunity.
We did visual brand identity, build an online marketing strategy and then created social media posts and managed his Facebook page for several months. The visibility this strategy built helped him get more clients, and bigger clients such as Diesel apparel, and helped him to hire more people and grow the business.
On that success he was able to find buyers for the business and sell it as intended. See the design work we did below, and if you need to build your brand for an exit strategy be sure to consider the brand identity and strategy essentials we used for Bernard.
Above is the website we created for Bernard. For Before/after shots give us a holler.
This business card represents the logo we created for Unlimited Cleaning, seamlessly connecting the U and C from the name, and the color scheme and clean concept that represented the brand persona.
We love our clients! We are proud that we were able to work with Bernard and assist in his business growth and are honored to celebrate him and that work for our 7th anniversary series.
It’s our birthday! This month we turn 7 and to celebrate we’re highlighting some of the amazing clients we’ve had the honor of working with for the past 7 years. Every day in July stop by to get inspired, get the inside scoop and see how brands evolve. We’ve worked with small brands, big brands, brands that evolved and brand that were dissolved and through it all we have developed more passion and spirit than you can imagine.
To kick off the series we are first highlighting Porshea Wilkins. Porshea is one of the first entrepreneurs that we worked with back in the day and we worked with her to build her personal brand over at PorsheaRae.com. Since that time Porshea has evolved and is now managing many brands, including a powerful platform Build It For Your Last Name, with her husband Jarrod. Porshea is proof that your brand is always best when it evolves to match your growth. Need inspiration? Listen to the podcast below, and then visit Porshea’s website at www.BuildItForYourLastName.com and get on her list! You won’t regret it!
This past Saturday I was watching Tabitha’s Take Over on Bravo TV and before I knew it realized that this reality show had sucked me in big time! Why? If you haven’t seen the show before here’s the premise: Tabitha Coffey, a successful hair salon owner from Australia, is requested by a failing business owner to come for a visit to help the business rebound.
Today’s episode, a rerun, was about a failing cafe in Sherman Oaks, CA called Cafe Treats. Without recapping the entire episode I want to share with you some key observations that I think many businesses can benefit from:
1) You must be deeply involved in your business if you want it to be successful.
This seems like a very “duh!” statement, but from what I’ve observed in the businesses around me it’s not that evident. The business owner, Veronica De Messina, had two additional successful businesses so the fact that she had one that wasn’t working was a challenging surprise.
2) You need a clear brand offering
When Tabitha arrived at Cafe Treats the menu had nearly 100 items. The specialty was fish tacos but customers complained about the menu having too many other types of cuisine available. The restaurant was open for breakfast and lunch, but not dinner. By taking a visit to a successful local restaurant in town and getting some advice from its owner Veronica was able to scale down her menu, offer cuisine authentic to her skills and Mexican culture and realized profit opportunities that she didn’t have with the old model.
3) You need a supportive brand name
This one was my favorite, because you know how much I like naming. Cafe Treats would lead you to believe you’re going to walk into a restaurant full of treats right? Well, right… when Veronica founded the cafe it was mostly for quick and easy eats. As the business evolved and customers gave their input she realized they wanted more. The business changed, but the name didn’t, so there was a disconnect. It was Tabitha (love this lady) who suggested that she change the name. The name Cafe De Mexico became the new name, along with an entire redesign of the restaurant’s interior as well.
What can you do this week to benefit from this insight? Monitor how deeply involved in your business you actually are, examine how clearly you are communicating your core offering and examine if you name sets you up to achieve your goals.
Leave a comment below and let me know how it goes, ok?
You know we launched Booster shots last week, something we’ve been doing for our clients for years now which we just opened up to those like you with existing brands. Taking the money-making tasks off your to do list so that you can focus on what you love most about your business is a joy for you and fun for us!
Brad and Molly discuss how much easier it is to work together as a couple by having a little help. Molly’s very much a creative, while Brad is a “creative conservative” – together they now get what matters done by putting it into their Booster Shots program.
With all the talk of automation and systems it’s easy to forget that you have to stay plugged in when it comes to building your brand. I received a great (and humbling) reminder of this in an email recently. The results of falling off the wagon will remind you in many ways (your people really are your brand) and it can go a little something like this:
You get the idea. We sometimes get so much automation in place (which is still necessary, because it makes our life easier) that we forget we still need to show up live and in person, online and offline.
Be sure to keep your brand alive by having systems in place “in support” of the things you’re also doing as you’re fully invested in your brand. You’ll love it more, your brand ambassadors will love it more and the drive will help you soar!
Do you have a phrase, system or mindset that helps keep you plugged in? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them below.
Media kits are not just for celebrities and large companies. To get visibility and opportunities for your small business they can be used to introduce you to media influencers, get you booked for speaking gigs and attract your next client.
When launching my first business I had a lot of visibility right away because I build a relevant brand before launching. Once it was up I was instantly able to get radio interviews, articles, special guests, quotes and clients.
When the opportunity to meet with the staff at Oprah magazine came up, I already had a media kit ready for them. My referral asked me to send it by email and that helped me to make the cut. I wasn’t special, I was just prepared, BUT, that only happens if you do it right (and I now have that contact for a lifetime – including her cell phone and personal email address!)
And it’s easy. Here’s a list of what you need. If you don’t have each of these ready at the moment, don’t despair. Just make a plan to achieve them as the year progresses.
1) A Professional Photo. It’s media, so of course they want to see who you are. As a best practice, make sure this isn’t a photo taken by your own digital camera. You need makeup (yes, even men) proper lighting and the right resolution.
2) Your History. Knowing how long you’ve been around and what you’ve been up to helps journalists put things in prospective for their readers.
3) Press Releases. These show what you’ve previously announced that’s newsworthy.
4) Potential Story Ideas. This sheet essentially lists some possible topics that you can discuss. Keep it up to date and be sure to include seasonal ideas as well.
5) Facts and Questions about your subject matter. List surprising or contradictory (true) statistics about your subject matter and prepare questions that potential hosts, interviewers and reporters can ask.
There are many more elements to your press kit, but these are the essentials to get you started. If you have the essentials in place the next step would be to add in video, audio, interviews, clippings, a list of awards, testimonials, reviews, quotes, tips and more!
If you want to get your brand media ready and take the shortcut to boosting your visibility, let Brand Excitement help you. Schedule a time to chat with me now and you’ll be progressing before the next newsletter hits the stands.
In my most recent teleclass I spoke about the importance of having a Brand Management Program in place. Many of you wanted to learn more about this and though I’ll drill really deep into it in our bootcamp I want to give you more to build on and explain this further right away.
A Brand Management Program is a system that allows you to track and measure the impact your brand is having in the marketplace . They tend to have a creative and advertising background by trade, but essentially implement the Brand guidelines of your company. Those guidelines will be your value system, signals and promotions and positioning.
Tracking data and summarizing reports is a vital part of the responsibility. The data is used to determine what products or services are really getting the best Return on Investment with customers. They monitor pricing and movement, and create projections based on the outcome. Just as you track your income and expenditures, a Brand Manager tracks the interest and engagement level of the things you put out on the market.
Another key responsibility is to develop comprehensive marketing campaigns and publicity relationships. They react quickly to special sales opportunities and implement performance measures as well as contribute to the development of an annual brand plan and long-term plans so that your brand’s goals, 1yr, 3yr, 5yr and beyond, are met as easily and realistically as possible. Essentially, they follow a plan so that you won’t be the best kept secret in the industry.
If you’ve had a feeling there’s more to building your brand than meets the eye and you’ve wondered “what’s next… what builds momentum?” the answers lies in proper brand management. Do an assessment of exactly what your marketing efforts have returned, in dollars, for your business, and then, create a projection for where you want to go, and what marketing, engagement and activities you’ll need to get you there. Outlining this is the first step in Brand Management.
Ready to build your your Brand Management Program? Worksheets, Templates and One-on-one Feedback is available in the Bankable Branding Bootcamp. Join today, and start building your program right away.
If you have questions call me at 888-YOU-BRAND :-)
There are opportunities all around you to get exposure for your brand, you just need to know where to look. If you’re active in networking and marketing your business, coming up with some ways to generate press for yourself will be really easy. Unless someone (especially the media) knows who you are, you’ll have a hard time growing your business and making it the lucrative company of your dreams.
Even if your business isn’t making major changes, it may have activities coming up that are news worthy. Below are a few overlooked reasons to distribute a press release for your brand.
Upcoming Events. Perhaps one of the most common reasons to send out a press release is for an event you’re having. Most business owners don’t think of this simply because they’re having a small event, but your event doesn’t have to expect hundreds in attendance to be newsworthy. In addition to getting online attention at business websites and blogs you may even get published in print when a newspaper or magazine is looking to fill space or balance their percentage of bad news.
New Identity/Logo/Name. Do you have a new colors, a new logo, a new name? If you’ve been in business for a few years and have decided to ramp things up and change things around it’s an opportune time to do a press release about your decision. Not only does this provide an opportunity for your clients and supporters to know stay in the loop but you also may get interviewed about your business growth and how the change is expected to serve your clients.
New Website. Since the internet and its standards and practices are constantly changing this is going to be one of the most frequent reasons for doing a press release. Your press release should indicate the new features of the website, any new functionality you’ve introduced (such as search features, a shopping cart, etc), what you do and who you do it for.
Staff Introductions. As you grow be sure to announce new members of your team, even when they’re part time or unpaid. If you hire an intern, it’s an opportunity to position yourself as someone willing to train and mentor the new upcoming leaders of tomorrow. If you hire someone full time and have been working solo, it offers the opportunity to show your growth and how you’re introducing new jobs to the marketplace. It’s a win for you and a win for your local economy.
Achievements. I must admit I haven’t taken the best advantage of this myself but I have done it enough to reap enormous benefits. If you win an award, complete a program, get accepted in an organization or for a prestigious role or launch something that turns out really successful, be sure to let others know! It will allow you to take a moment to celebrate your achievements and also offer hope to others working hard on their businesses.
New Service or Product. Have you introduced something new in your business? Press releases aren’t just for celebrities with perfume and clothing line launches. Although we’d like to believe our ideal customers and influencers keep us on their radar constantly the truth is we must stay in front of them and remind them of what we’re up to. There’s just too much information out there for us to put this responsibility on our customers. Let them know what you have, and they’ll let others know too.
Do you have ideas that could benefit from a bit of exposure? Brand Excitement can help you to do a brand scan to make sure your idea is media ready so that you can have maximum impact from your press release. To schedule yours just give us a call at (888) YOU-BRAND.
There’s a bit of a lie going around on the internet and it’s become such a part of main stream online marketing that it’s gone unchallenged and undetected by mostly everyone. I know you’ve seen this value on the internet on sales pages and probably in the bonus section of some of your favorite sites. Chances are, you’ve seen it done so much that you’re imitating it and doing it yourself thinking that it is a “best practice” for doing business. Your “gurus” do it, top business coaches do it, and almost everyone that I’ve seen offer a special report or free CD or “Irresistible Free Offer” has done it… the fake value of that item. And more than 90% of time, it’s a lie.
It begins innocent enough. It is not done to deceive you. Most business owners just don’t believe you’ll be interested in their stuff if they don’t give it a dollar value. You go to their website. They have a special little something they want to give you for no cost. It might be a report, it might be a subscription to a newsletter or it might be an audio recording or an interview. The offer, it should go without saying, really should be able to stand on its own without a fake price tag… but that’s not what happens.
What we see is… $97, $297, $999. That’s the price tag you usually see coupled with that item. For an ezine subscription like this one, the price is usually $97. Where did that come from? Who was the first person to attach a price to an item that has never been sold and that is produced to never be sold? Really? This has always bugged me.
We also see it when someone is selling a high ticket item or series or event and want to entice us with bonuses. Those “bonuses” are usually the give away no-cost lead generators from other service providers that can compliment the product or service in some way. The sales page is long, the offer seems good, even if we’ll never listen to, open up or watch all of that additional material, and we buy in.
Do we buy in, opt in or exchange because of the fake stuff or the real stuff? I can’t speak for everyone, but when I decide to subscribe to something, opt-in for information or exchange my address or number for something it’s 98% of the time because of that particular flagship item, not the fake and phoney add-ins. If the bonuses are truly things that are also sold by the merchant or someone else, I feel a real value has been added.
Instead of buying into the lie, a better option would be to communicate the real value of creating that product or service. For instance, for my own ezine, I do not have a fake value expressed. Because I don’t and never have intended, to sell it. Now, that’s not to say that it won’t end up in a book one day, but the purpose for which it is written is not for that. Instead, if someone asks me what it’s worth I would tell them that I pull in my 10 years of experience, and that I spend about 3 hours each week creating it so that people actual get real and usable tips and resources that they find helpful to move their brand forward.
I’d also tell them that I generally get several (not hundreds, not thousands… not yet anyway) emails each week from someone telling me that something in the newsletter helped them build a new brand component or make one better and that an opportunity came their way as a result of it. That’s valuable but the dollar amount of that advice is variable, as you can imagine.
I suggest that we change this flimsy way of doing business and adopt a more transparent and authentic way to express value. Placing devils advocate, one could argue, well, if someone’s usually getting paid $100 an hour, and they spend 3 hours a week on that ezine, it’s worth $300×52 weeks! But that’s really not true because a person’s time is rarely that concrete, especially when they’re creating something that’s got a lot of leverage.
You can easily express the real value of the things you offer by considering three important factors. Keep track of these factors and people will connect to what you’re offering based on true value:
1) How many hours did it take you to produce it? Consider everything such as the time outlining it, research, writing, development, proofing and putting it into the system.
2) What results are people getting or expected to get from it? In the beginning you may only be able to tell people what they can expect, but after a while you’ll be able to tell people the effect it’s having in the lives of others.
3) What makes it unique? Since it’s unlikely that you are the only one in your business doing what you do, express what makes it so remarkably different from the others. Could anyone in your industry do it? Are they? If so, find a way to give people what they need that isn’t currently being met.
I’d bet if you really expressed the value of the products and services you offer given those three criteria people would stand up and pay attention. We all are naturally attracted to the truth, and brands develop loyal and lifelong supporters when they express the truth in everything they do (even subtly).
Do that, stay away from the trend of expressing fake values and prices in your business and I’m sure you’ll see priceless rewards.
Want to know how you can make your brand different? It’s been said that genius runs through me. Call us at 888-YOU-BRAND (or 201-356-9139 for international dialers) and we’ll get to the core of your true value, ok?
Animoto.com makes it so easy to create video that even professional video editors use it. (I sound like a commercial right? Yeah, that happens with me sometimes.) I just think it’s a great product, and I suppose to add to my experience I’ve actually met one of the co-founders who lives right here in Jersey City, NJ. If you ever look up the history of Animoto, you’ll be inspired. It started as a group of four guys moonlighting after hours to make their dream a reality and now they are HUGE and have offices in New York and California. Go to the main page here and play around a bit.