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Branding – Are you guilty?

Remember you can’t create branding. It doesn’t matter a hoot what you believe, your brand is simply what other people think of both you and your offerings. The good news is you can improve and nurture those perceptions, change opinions, build your reputation and develop your brand.

“My Logo is my brand…”

I can’t help but feel for the unenlightened Ostrich, head in the sand, they wholeheartedly believe… their logo is their actual brand. Your logo identifies your business or service, it will not encourage people to have happy thoughts about your brand, if the public has a generally weak or poor view of your your offerings… you might consider burying the logo in the sand until you repair your reputation!

“I will concentrate on my branding efforts when I have more money…”

… the worst offender, because they are completely clueless… a ship without a captain. I hear this all the time,
“I will focus more on my website and branding when business takes off!”
Guess what…. business won’t take off…

“Shouting from the roof… when you should be silent…”

A bout of temporary insanity brings an idea to end all others… Groupon or some similar magic bullet…
Don’t get me wrong here, services like these are great to introduce new people to your business and build on a good product or service. However if your business is not doing well, this will sock you right between the eyes. You need to examine your business, ask yourself why are people not engaging with you?
I see it all the time, a poor quality restaurant or hotel organises a coupon blitz. They have hundreds of customers with a poor opinion of their offerings, but now they have invited thousands through the doors, suddenly there are a lot more people spreading the word…this business is to be avoided.

“I know my customers!”

Customers are the people most likely to purchase your goods or services, this also includes people who have not yet engaged with your business.
I ask each new client “who is your customer?“
70% usually say they know… but I find from a marketing perspective about 90% don’t really have a good handle on their customer reach. You need to do a ‘Gordan Ramsay’ on this, when examining a business in trouble Gordon organises the restaurant staff to go to a busy intersection in town, handing out some ‘nibbles’. While engaging with the local customer base the staff ask… do you know about our little restaurant? Do you know what we serve? What do you think of the place?
They get answers… lots of them, “you are expensive… your service is bad … I thought that was a ‘chipper’ …. or in some cases “we like your place but your menu is limited or service too slow for my lunchtime break” or similar answers.
For these ‘nibbles’ what value do they get? They learn about their brand. I will say it again, your brand is the perception and opinion of the general public when speaking or thinking about you, your goods or your service. Get to know your customer.

Trying to appeal to everyone.

Be specific, it is important to realise your product or service is suited only to certain people. Try your best to develop a clear brand message for those potential clients, forget the rest, put them out of your head and never think of them again.

Offer a quality product or service and make your customers shopping experience the best possible. Do these things right and they will come back again and again.

Don’t over think it or over work it…..Don’t try to appease everyone!