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R is for Real

 The Case for Authenticity

photo 3If I could give you one word that sums up how to create and build a powerful Brand that works, it would be ‘authentic.’ Keeping it real is not just something you want to aim for in your romantic relationship, after all. Be real with how you communicate with your audience. Getting real about who you are as a company is the absolute first step to creating a Brand that is unique. Once you are clear about who you are and what you offer, you will have clarity about who your target audiences are. Who’s going to resonate with your Brand? Is it young, busy moms? High net worth individuals? Retired baby boomers? It makes a big difference when you truly understand your audience and you can communicate with them authentically. They will be drawn to what you’re selling when you are real.

 

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Q is for Quiet

Follow Your Own Voice.

phasdfasfoto 3So many companies vying for your attention makes the world a very noisy place. Sometimes, as marketers, we need to take a step back, get quiet and remember what we stand for. The most powerful brands are simple and really know what they stand for. Nike. Apple. Google. BMW. Disney. We all know who they are and what they mean to us. That’s the power of good branding backed up with ingenious ad campaigns and really smart integrated marketing strategy.

If you’re a business owner, or looking to expand your business, shhh. Take some time out. Think about what you stand for and write down, in five words or less, what you bring to your  customers. This will become the core of your Brand strategy and you’ll want to use it on everything you do to communicate who you are and what you offer to the world. True, it’s easier said than done. Just be quiet and trust your inner voice. It’s almost always right.

 

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J is for ‘Just Kidding’

Deliver on Your Promise.

photo 2Ultimately, business is about relationships. It’s about trust: earning it and keeping it. So when you say you’re going to do a thing, you’re best bet is to follow through. In the fast paced, deadline driven world of a brand agency there is a lot of juggling going on. So, there are times when we say we’ll have something for you to review on Thursday, and some other critical situation arises to push that possibility out the window. It happens. Not very often, but when it does it’s essential to give the appropriate head’s up. It’s not a good idea to wait until Thursday to address it. The worst idea yet is to ignore your promise and deliver it on Friday (hoping they won’t notice).

Your Brand is your promise. When you reneg on your promise, or even a tiny speck of your promise, you are damaging your Brand.

My last boyfriend promised he would “love me forever, even if I weighed 200 pounds.” I believed him, and interpreted that to mean that he would love me forever. While I did not set out to test him on his big fat promise, I did hit some tough times when my dream vision for a multi-media production company, crashed and burned. Clearly, said boyfriend did not want to go down with what appeared to be a sinking ship.

Apparently, we have different standards in our personal and business lives. Or, do we? Maybe people who say what they mean and mean what they say are really like that, all the time. My practice is to under promise and over deliver. Clients seem to like that because they know they can count on me to do what I say, and then some. It’s simple. I value their trust and work at keeping it every single day. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but hey, who ever said relationships were easy?