I once worked for a company that changed their tagline just about every year. By doing so, they unknowingly demonstrated a lack of focus and left people wondering what they really stood for. By chasing the shiny objects on the hill and declaring, “Us, too!” they risked losing their unique identity and authoritative voice. A business that should have taken off and changed their market floundered instead.
It’s always a good idea to take a step back and be more introspective about your unique qualities and strengths. By looking beyond short-term distractions, we often discover that we still have a place to fit in.
Try taking an unbiased view of your brand promise and what it means to your clients and prospects. If your message is high-level (think 30,000 feet), you can withstand lower-level market change and still have flexibility to adapt. If you find yourself constantly retooling in reaction the latest trend, then, perhaps, your message isn’t broad enough. If even a small amount of change risks confusing your audience, then you have most likely marketed yourself into a corner (think 10,000 feet).
What is that deep-down characteristic that makes you the expert? Why does it matter to your audience? What makes you the go-to resource? How can you build on your marketing without creating confusion? Can you do it yourself, or would you benefit from the objectivity an outside consultant brings? How about surveying your best clients to see why they’ve stuck with you over the years? Sometimes, we find that the best way to see our own business is through the eyes of others.
It seems that market dynamics are constantly shifting. That’s the reality of today’s fast-moving world. But, with it comes huge opportunities. Those who fail to embrace change and seize the moment to reinforce their role will quickly be marginalized.
Never Make Assumptions about Your Audience. That seems like an obvious rule, right? But, we all do it to some degree. It’s human nature. We follow our gut instincts. We proceed without having the data to back up our actions. Remember New Coke?
You cannot do it all and do it all well. Nobody can. I certainly can’t. Instead, I’m spending my time doing what I do best to make money and hire seasoned professionals to help with the rest.
Why aren’t you?
Building a great brand is never once-and-done. It’s more than a name, logo and graphics. It’s a frame of mind — an experience — with a narrative that stays relevant and makes its audience part of the story.
The tagline is not about who you are or what you sell. It’s about them: your target audience. So, you better make sure it’s concise, direct and memorable, so they recall it the each time they hear your name.
Here is our second installment of tips addressing ways you could be missing business opportunities without even realizing it.
Instead of offering tips to get more clients, we’re putting a bit of a twist on things by highlighting ways you could be losing them without even realizing it.
The bankruptcy courts are full of great ideas that were undermined by ineffective branding and promotion. Build it and they will come? No, they won’t. Not unless you make them really want to. Or, better yet, need to.
You seem to be great at what you do. You have a terrific product. Your media coverage has been impressive. You’ve been serving the industry for decades. But, what does it mean to your customers? What’s in it for me?
Nobody is an expert at everything. Nobody. At one time or another, we all find ourselves forced into situations outside of our comfort zones. That’s why it’s important to rely on the expertise of others to help you make educated decisions and get the job done right.