Forget Branding…

…Connect instead

lifeprint consulting

Many companies focus on brand building.  Unless you have a Nike or Coke kind of budget – I say, forget about it.  Think small ‘b’, not capital ‘B’. Focus elsewhere for more cost-effective and results producing marketing efforts.

That elsewhere is what I call “market positioning.”   What?  How does it help my brand?  Remember, I said to forget about branding.  Some would have you believe that promotional products with a logo is a brand.  That’s like saying your car or your clothes are you.  True branding is an inside job – it goes to the essence of who you are.  And that is what market positioning is, in my option, and the best way to get there.

Here are 5 strategies to get your marketing focused and rolling – and your brand will take care of itself…

  1. Target Marketing – This means to drill down on who your customer really is.  I recall the chiropractor who proclaimed that his market was anyone with a spine.  While technically correct, he missed the point.  You cannot market to everyone – that would require promotion via every know channel – hardly a realistic, effective or inexpensive approach.  Rather, our friend the chiropractor should focus on people who, 1. Believe in chiropractic, 2. Have a back problem due to injury, age or other causes.  These people you can find and message.
  2. USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – What makes you unique, even when compared with your competition.  Everyone can have a uniqueness.  I recall the radio ad in Los Angeles for the “smell-good plumber.”  No others can claim this, and it is a catchy way to get attention.  “Maybe these guys are different.”  But try to avoid gimmicks, be real.  By the way, don’t just say service is your differentiator.  Unless your name is Nordstrom, it is unlikely you really have a service program that is unique.
  3. Strategy – You need a plan for marketing. What vehicles/channels to use.  A budget.  Goals (results measured).  And much more.  The idea is to be focused, not scattered.
  4. Customer Experience – By engineering the customer experience with your products or services you have an edge up. It’s not about you – it’s about giving the customer what they want or need, solving their problems, helping them.
  5. Trusted authority – The goal is to be a trusted authority to your clientele. Remember, people want to buy, they just don’t want to be sold.  If all they get from you is pitch, pitch, pitch – they will soon turn you off.  By giving them helpful information, you are positioning you as the go-to person when they are ready to buy.

This is your homework – now do it. But know that it must be executed consistently to be effective.  No one week on and the next off.

Finally, this list is not sacred, but if you follow it your brand will develop naturally – from the inside out – and it will become genuine and authentic – both needed (and differentiated) qualities in the market place.

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