Many businesses make the same mistake that I did several years ago, they start their business without a clear name, strategy or distinction to get them traction right away. They know they need to re-examine their business but don’t know what that will involve and therefore do nothing. Today’s branding exercises will get you un-stuck the next time you’re in need of help.
Brand Excitement’s 7-Step process is designed to get build a brand foundation that will support your goals, build visibility and opportunities and result in more profits to do what you love.
Step 1. Examine Everything From A to Z
Before you begin anything, ask yourself (and those you serve) a lot of questions such as “What brings the most exciting results to their lives?” and “What motivates them to spend money (the answers may surprise you)” Look at all your existing materials, your color scheme, marketing plan, and even accomplishments and see what’s working and what needs help. Even if you’ve already done this it’s great to revisit these questions. Things change. Lives change. Needs change.
Step 2. Exclude Anything Generic
A brand is most successful when it actually excludes the people, places and ideas that it does not serve well. I know this is scary for some people, but it’s such a necessary part of the process. Don’t be afraid that you won’t “get the work” of more people, that’s never the case. Specializing actually makes you a more favorable brand. The mistake most businesses make is that they describe themselves too broadly.
Step 3. Express an Authentic and Genuine Message
The essentials such as core brand values, character, tone of voice and visual identity are paramount to getting the right people to connect with you, but they have no power when it’s watered down or when you’re “just not feeling it”. When you can communicate your quirks and quality in a simple and transparent way, you become a magnet for others like you.
Step 4. Experiment by testing, tracking and transforming
With the use of polls, surveys and focus groups leading brand ideas are tested for desirability, price and performance. There are many tools that you can use to test and track the activities you invest in. Make sure you’re measuring the activities that matter most. One service we love is UserTesting.com – they actually have live users test your website for anything you want, like logical thought patterns for a specific outcome. It’s much better than having your “friends” test your site, and you get recorded results!
Step 5. Execute with speed and integrity
Have you ever had an idea, let it settle and then watched someone else reap enormous profits from it? I once came up with this idea called the “Happy Nappy” – a place where New Yorkers could go and take a good nap at any time of day. I didn’t have the funds, or the insight to act on it, and someone else came up with the same idea and made a mint! When it comes to profit success, speed is king. Getting your ideas out there doesn’t take as much time or expense as you may think. Getting it done and delivered is more important than getting it perfect right out the gate.
Step 6. Exceed their expectations
To really stand out from the competition, a brand must exceed customer expectations in unexpected ways. There are ways to do this with very little effort and the payoff is enormous! One example I often refer to is TD Bank. One of my favorite things about them (and why they’re so successful) is that they have live customer service or an automated system. No other bank offer such an immediate customer engagement and in doing so, TD stands out big time.
Step 7. Expand your profits by leveraging technology
The expansion plan is the roadmap to taking the brand beyond the next level by leveraging the ever changing resources we have through technology. If you take a look around other businesses in your industry it won’t be long before you recognize the opportunities to serve more people without getting into overwhelm. Your clients will thank you and your income will soar.
I hope this list gives you a comprehensive way to examine how to grow your brand this year. What other things have you done, or can you think of, in self-examination that could possibly help your business? Comment below…