One of my business heroes is Sir Richard Branson and on his visit to Sydney this week he offered the following tips for business building… (1) surround yourself with good people, get people with great ideas on your team, find people that are better than you at doing things… (2) delegate more, know your limits and try not to do too much yourself… (3) when you delegate and other people get it wrong that’s OK, sometimes they will stumble and sometimes they will shine, so let them go and don’t keep second guessing what they are up to… (4) it’s OK to fail as long as you get back up again, regard failure as a learning experience… (5) do better than your competitors… (6) try to promote your business for free, don’t spend a lot of money on advertising but go out “make a fool of yourself, do whatever it takes to get your message out there, get out there and market cleverly.” Very wise words. Thanks Sir Richard.
A product is something made in a factory. It can be copied by a competitor. It becomes outdated.
A brand is bought by the consumer. It identifies goods or services. A brand is unique. If managed properly a brand is timeless. Ref. Stephen King (J Walter Thompson)
There are many answers to this question…
Here is one which makes good sense: a brand is a promise wrapped up in excellence.
I do not like “politically correct” rhetoric – because so often being political is not being correct. Why pander to a militant minority when it is the (often silent and long suffering) majority who have a fair idea of what is right/required.
Thus, when I read the following actual accounts of US police officers talking to their “clients” I had to share it. Well done officers. If only the whole world communicated with this truth and clarity. Without fear of reprisal.
1. “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right. We don’t. Sign here.”
2. “I’m glad to hear that the chief of police is a personal friend of yours. So, you know someone who can post your bail.”
3. “Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop.”
4. “The answer to the last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?”
5. “Warning? You want me to give you a warning? OK I’m warning you not to do that again or I’ll give you another ticket.”
6. “If you run you’ll only go to jail tired.”
7. “Can you run faster than 1200feet per second? Because that’s the speed of the bullet that’ll be chasing you.”
8. “If you take your hands off the car I’ll make your birth certificate a worthless document.”
9. “Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they’re new. They’ll stretch after you wear them a while.”
10. “You don’t k ow how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to pm the ticket.”
11. “No sir,we don’t have quotas any more. We used to but now we’re allowed to write as many tickets as we can.”
I salute you!
Back when Apple kicked off they chose the apple as their logo. It signified the apple that fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head… that ignited his passion to understand gravity. It represented innovation. Interesting that Wikipedia calls Newton the world’s second most influential person after Jesus Christ. Interesting – also – that all these years later when Fortune magazine ran a survey on which is regarded as the world’s most innovative company… first place went to – you guessed it – Apple.
Famous copywriter John Caples said it so well… give people every reason to do what you want. He was referring to repeating your selling message. Say it different ways to maintain curiosity. But don’t be afraid to announce your call to action more than once. Research by Gallup years ago showed that repeating an offer/proposition 3x worked best.
My hero David Ogilvy the famous advertising copywriter broke the myth that there was a limit to the amount of words in an ad’. His ads for Rolls Royce and Saville Row featured hundreds of words – sometimes half of the ad space. Tests have shown that ads with 1000 words have a response rate of 17%. Which goes up to 19% with 2000 words. And 24% with nearly 3000 words.
Unique Selling Proposition. Point Of Difference. Customer’s Unique Buying Advantage. They are all the same thing. A uniqueness that helps a business stand out from the crowd. Their own IP. Product or service. Level of expertise. Method of delivery. Philosophy and culture. Whatever it is… find it, create it, promote it.
Discussions this week about creating a new brand for a client reminded me about the importance of trademark protection. To the point that I invited Mark Your Territory to join the “pit crew”. Rebecca Stalenberg is a registered TM attorney and her advice on this corporate identity project has been invaluable. I cannot stress enough the importance of protecting a brand. It is the core of a business. Worth as much as it would cost to start again from scratch… along with the value of a business owner’s reputation. In other words – a great deal.
So your business has just installed a blog onto its website and you aren’t exactly the world’s best writer. Yet you know how important it is for you to regularly update your website in one way or another. So you spend an afternoon trawling through the Internet looking at your competitor’s blogs, your family blog, possibly even your friend’s Facebook updates – only to realise that you are still out of ideas.
Well have no fear anymore. What I am going to propose for topics and ideas to blog about here isn’t exactly rocket science or the secret of getting hundreds of extra visitors per month. Rather, it is meant to give you a framework of what can be posted that is both useful and potentially interesting to your readers and clients. By being just a little more transparent on the blog about the organisation, you are allowing people to become involved and hence feel a part of what is going on.
1) Introduce new staff members – A great way for people to get to know those who they are dealing with is to announce them online. Now obviously not everyone will be outgoing enough to have their picture and a few bits and pieces about themselves online for all to see. However, even just by letting people know there is a new member of the team (use first name only if you must) and explain the role they will take – you might even find people are coming in and specifically asking for that individual.
2) New product announcement – The first thing you do whenever you launch a product should be to broadcast it online. It is by far the cheapest and easiest way to get the word out. Instead of issuing a press release or distributing it in other ways – the blog leaves all those other methods out to dry in terms of exposure.
3) Share client successes – In your business dealings you will come across many that will truly appreciate the product or service you are offering. It is those stories that can go on the blog and be shared with everyone. These testimonials can build trust in your organisation and the brand, encouraging even new businesses or customers to try your offerings. Trust and new business go hand in hand.
4) Charity and other events – For one reason or another, many organisations are afraid to mention what they get up to besides their core product. If your organisation has helped some specific charities or participated in some relief assistance (such as Haiti currently) – that is something your company should be proud of. It is ok to show that you care about the community and the world around you, and people respect those organisations that give back. Even if you participate in community initiatives or join in local festivals or shows – take photos, videos, even Tweet from specific events if need be to prove how active you are. Even if you are attending a trade show or seminar to help you improve, that shows that your organisation is growing and is concerned with bettering itself and its employees.
5) Commenting and giving your opinion on events that affect your organisation or clients – This is another option that is constantly overlooked. For example, if there is some form of new legislation that will be or has been past, where are your clients (even the employees) going to find out? Sure they could go look at some government site in a badly formed PDF – but wouldn’t you rather they came and got their news from your website? I know I would. By being on the cutting edge as well, it makes you an authority for a particular industry or skill set.
Article by E-Web Marketing.