Welcome to Day 2 of the ‘5 Essential Steps for Taking What You Want in 2017’
Today we’re on to #4… Your Secret Weapon to Standing out in a crowded marketplace…
Spoiler alert, your brand is not your logo.
I sometimes feel slightly insecure when I introduce myself as a ‘branding expert’ amidst a room of unfamiliar business folk. I know full-well, that the people in the room who do not truly understand the power of branding, will dismiss it simply as ‘design’. I feel the same hesitancy as I write this email – I know at least half of you will shrug it off and think ‘I don’t need branding’ or ‘I just got a new logo last year, my ‘branding’ box is ticked’ . But when I talk about branding [which I do a lot] the logo, all the aesthetics really, are only a very small part of what it means to be, to build, to enjoy the title of ‘brand’.
I will let this image sum up why branding should matter to you – no matter who you are or what you sell:
We don’t have time here to dive in to all the reasons and ways your brand will drive profitability in your business, but I do want to be clear that profit is reason number one that it PAYS to invest in figuring out and bringing to life a brand, rather than simply running a business.
Effective brands make more money and are less vulnerable to competition. Period.
You can get a bit more background as to why this is true over here, but today I want to give you some resources to get started on building your business into a brand, so you can start collecting that profit, publicity and influence that make entrepreneurship so rewarding.
1. Get Clear
Your 6 Marketing Senses:
- Sense of Self / WHY do you do what you do? What do you stand for?
- Sense of Sight / WHO are you for? Who are you NOT for?
- Sense of Hearing / WHAT do your people want and what will they pay for?
- Sense of Touch / WHERE do your people encounter you?
- Sense of Taste / HOW [pre-sale] How do you optimize for the ‘easy yes’?
- Sense of Smell / HOW [post-sale] How do you keep demand + desire high?
Chief among these is #1, ‘your Why’. Why do you do what you do? Might sound an easy task but actually it’s quite challenging to dig out an authentic, commercially viable enterprise 100% aligned with what fulfils you. Most of us decide ‘I’m going to be a dog walker or a pet photographer’ and then we set out to build the thing we think a ‘dog walking’ or pet photography business’ is supposed to be. This leads to 100 dog walkers or pet photographers who look, feel, act and sell exactly the same – it’s only the few brave souls who invest in their uniqueness that really stand out in the crowd, and they often suck up all the clients and all the profit because they know who they are, and who they’re for, and that makes them magnetic.
Aim to be one of these few. That all starts with the six marketing senses… and knowing WHY you do what you do.
Need help navigating this process? That is what I do.
2. Get Organized
As you navigate the journey of understanding why you do what you do, who you do it for, what you sell, where you sell it, how to make it easy for them to say ‘yes’ to you and how to keep them coming back [easy right!? haha] you’ll need a compass and roadmap.
- Brand Pillars
- Brand Guidelines
1. Your compass: Brand Pillars
When you determine ‘why’ you do what you do – and what you stand for – I recommend distilling down 3-6 words that ‘sum you up’. They can be the ‘reasons’ you exist or perhaps are the ‘essential elements’ of your business or product. One way I like to think of it is that these ‘Pillars’ often become the primary ‘categories’ or ‘topics’ in your blog.
For example, this business Catio Spaces is in the process of building a brand. They build ‘Catios’ and they have discovered their brand pillars are:
Now that they know this – they know what words, benefits and themes belong in their sales and marketing copy, what content is appropriate for their social media profiles and even how to re-define the visual parts of their brand based on these themes and the feelings they want to evoke.
Without this kind of compass it’s easy to sell products that don’t make sense, lose track of why people buy what you sell, talk about and share super random stuff on social, and generally wander aimlessly around bleeding momentum. No. You want to be clear and organized about why you do what you do, internally – and especially outwardly to the world.
2. Your Roadmap Brand Guidelines
Once you’ve got your compass, you clearly need a map. Now we can finally talk about the aesthetic part of your brand! One of the most important Dogly Principles that your business should be living by is CONSISTENCY. The most simple way to create this is by using consistent visual cues: namely fonts, colors & icons.
I could talk about this for hours – but instead – if you’re in need of brand guidelines visit this fantastic ‘DIY Brand Guidelines’ resource here – which was member’s-only content I have made public, special for you. [this is a sample of the kind of stuff we’re giving away every week in #workingwithdog, btw]
You do not have to invest tons of cash to get your brand off on the right foot, you simply need to take the time to go through the process. Unfortunately, there are no short-cuts, but you certainly can increase your chances of success by working with professionals who make it their life’s work to build brands – mentors, designers, photographers, copy writers and other craftspeople who can lend you a bit of their individual genius to bring your vision to life.
Here at working with dog our entire world revolves around helping pet businesses get more profitable, more popular and more influential by building brands. If this sounds good to you, you should definitely…