Building a successful brand comes down to building a successful relationship with the people you serve.
And to do that you’ve got to position your brand so that it attracts this group – not just a little bit – like a magnet. And you can’t think of this as a box you tick – it has to be something you do over and over again at every possible opportunity.
Every touch point, every interaction, every transaction – needs to consistently tell the story of what you stand for as a brand.
Pay Close Attention
You need to pay close attention to every detail from your logo, website and social media properties look, feel, graphics and copy through to the way you answer the phone, the types of systems and processes you use within your business, your newsletters, customer emails, follow up, relationship building, communication, collateral of every sort and description – which suppliers you choose, which partners you are associated with, your location.
Will you fail if you don’t do all of this and do it perfectly?
Firstly there is no such thing as perfect.
Secondly, there will always be people who are less concerned with great service, or who don’t know any better, or who don’t care very much about the product or service you’re providing so it doesn’t really matter to them, or maybe they’re too lazy to change.
So you won’t fail.
But building a business will be constant hard work for you. You will always be looking for customers. You will always be pushing to make budget.
You will say things like ‘Business is so hard’, ‘There’s so much competition’, ‘Customers aren’t loyal anymore’.
Transactional Approach To Business
When you take a transactional approach to your business that says – there’s always another customer out there – you do things like run constant price promotions, advertise, spend lots of money on things that never seem to change things for more than a day or a week e.g. letter box drops, discount vouchers, group buying sites.
There is no point at all trying to convince people to be your customer – trick them – kid them – con them – ‘sell’ them. It can never end well.
It’s hard, it’s time-consuming and it’s not fun, for either of you, it never lasts and it doesn’t generate ‘surprise and delight’ or value to the point where people can’t stop talking about it.
However – when you take the approach that says “Our brand stands for blue – we do blue better than anyone else in a shade that no one else can do – for x group of people – in a fun way – we are all about fun & this special shade of blue”.
Then you look for every possible way to weave that into your business.
Your target market is left with no doubt about who you are and what you’re all about. People who love that shade of blue and who want to have fun will be drawn to your products and services.
They’ll be happy to post stuff on social media about you, they’ll proudly use your stuff wherever they go, they’ll tell their friends who like that shade of blue and having fun to check you out.
They’ll keep buying your stuff.
They’ll respond when you send out an email announcing a new product release.
They will think fondly of you.
They would miss you if you were gone.
(Most businesses in a niche do the same thing. It’s how they do it that can be different and a major choice influence.)
Stand For Something, Be Unique
You can’t compete head on with someone else when you are unique – you only have that problem when you’re a commodity.
Stand for something and you’ll be unique and probably more successful.