Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | December 9, 2016

Boobs are your Brand

Good branding is at the heart of any good business, but most of the branding advice you’ll get is about making sure that your brand remains consistent in your marketing efforts, or it gets improved, if it’s already established.

However nobody talks turkey. Nobody tells you what happens if your business has never developed a brand, or if you’re just starting out, or if you are trying to build a business from scratch?

And even worse is that nobody tells you that even if you don’t think about it — you’ve got it.

Because your brand is like a pair of boobs. Everybody has them but not everybody knows how to make money out of them…

Think of the American Angel above, vs your office team mates that cover up their boobies in closed neck black sweaters that make them all look like the female version of Steve Jobs.

Better yet think of this: Kim Kardashian vs Hillary Clinton.

So since you have the boobs — men and women — you might as well use them unless you want to go unnoticed in business and in life, like a good wallflower.

And by boobs here I mean brand. Whether nobody knows your brand or not — it’s entirely up to you. Use it or lose it. And if you have it “Flaunt It”

And this is the primer on how to get to use them.

If you want to learn ask me here:

So go ahead and ask the Right Questions:

How can I become a great brand?

How can I make this brand sustainable?

What will bring value to my brand? Just what is my story, and how do I tell it?

And lastly:

What the hell is branding?

Branding is more than a logo. It’s more than a website. It’s more than a business card. It’s more than the colors and typefaces you choose to represent your company. Your brand is your voice in the marketplace, and it is your proposition for disruption. It is your opportunity to create something with lasting impact. It is how you tell your story, and it is absolutely key to your success and your survival.

Most entrepreneurs go to market not with a brand, but with an idea — an idea that can be so soulful and personal that it can be challenging to present and explain to others. You think everyone should intrinsically understand it, as you do—but they don’t. And that’s why you need to develop effective brand messaging.

One of the most frequent comments I hear is, “People just don’t understand us, our value and what we do, but we are absolutely the best at it.” That statement is a problem. Your brand is your story, and if you can’t tell it, then nobody will get it.

If you ever catch yourself making that sort of statement, take a step back. Because it is total BS. No one is that special. This is business, not Dr. Phil, and if you cannot communicate the value of what you bring to the market, the economy and the world, well then, you have a problem.

Branding is about knowing what you stand for and how you communicate the values and character of your product or service. As a company founder, this is not so much a design choice as it is a leadership decision. Your job as chief is to know exactly, concisely and in context what you stand for. You are the lone author of your story, your mission and your reason for being. How you tell it is your job.

Branding is about democratizing your product or service. This blog is meant to help you do just that.

The latter effort isn’t going to be easy, but it certainly is possible — even for a non-professional. Eventually, you’ll have to enlist the help of an experienced professional (either an in-house creative director or external marketing agency). But when it comes to establishing the core features and qualities of your brand, all you need is a little time, a little research and an in-depth understanding of how your company operates. Here are six considerations.

1) Identify your target market.
First, think about who your target demographics are. Children’s books and experimental novels aren’t written the same way; similarly, your messaging and imagery should be unique to one target demographic segment. Trying to target everyone is an exercise in futility — you might cast a wider net, but you’ll end up being less relevant to any individual within that group.

Instead, start out with one or two key demographics and slowly expand from there. Think critically about these demographics: Who are they? What do they need? What do they want? How do they act? What do they like? How do they like to be spoken to?

2) Learn your competitors’ brands.
Next, start evaluating your competitors’ brands. You can learn a lot about marketing in your industry just by studying these previously established entries. What do their logos look like? How are they different from one another? How do they talk to your shared customer base? It’s important that you not take any of these qualities and copy them for your brand. Instead, look at the motivations behind these choices, and use the qualities themselves for the next step of your process.

3) Separate your unique differentiators.
Identify what’s going to make your brand unique. It could stem from your business plan in general: For example, if you’re offering lower prices than your competitors’, you could emphasize that in your branding. Otherwise, find a way to make yourself stand out. Are most of the other brands older, more traditional, more conservative? Try for something sleeker, more cutting-edge and with a younger vibe. Are the other brands elitist and pretentious? Shoot for something more down to earth.

4) Define your brand as a ‘person.’
Once you’ve collected this information and begun some preliminary brainstorming, speed the process along by trying to define your brand as a person, rather than as a logo or a written voice. If your company were a person, what type of person would that be? Male or female? Older or younger? What kind of wardrobe would your brand choose? How would it talk?

Would you be happy to see it if it approached you as a stranger? What are its favorite foods and movies? The answers to these questions may never come up for customers, but they will help you come up with a better, more precise feel for your brand.

5) Apply your brand personality to multiple areas.
Think about how these personality qualities might translate to more tangible, practical areas of your marketing strategy. What colors will be associated with your brand? What might your logo look like? How will your voice come across in your content and other promotional materials? If you can, imagine your “brand personality” as a figure engaging with individual members of your target demographic.

How would that person approach them? Speak to them? Gain their trust and loyalty? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but they’re critical for establishing the core of your brand.

6) Get help.
Now that you have the core idea for your brand more or less in place, it’s time to enlist some outside help in fleshing out your vision. Unless you have experience in the graphic design realm or an in-depth knowledge of creative marketing, your best bet is to get aid from an experienced, educated professional. You can hire a resident branding authority (usually a creative director) in-house, or outsource your work to an agency.

It’s still important that you remain a part of the process and keep your entire team in line with your new brand, but the expertise of a dedicated professional can go a long way in securing a quality brand for your company.

Once you’ve established your brand’s look and personality, your responsibilities aren’t quite over. You’ll still have to ensure that your entire team is on board with the brand and using it correctly in every application. It’s also a good idea to check in every few years to update your brand, as needed. Stay consistent, and your brand will increase the visibility, authority and retention potential of your company.

Yours,
Dr Churchill

PS:
In addition to all its other parts, your business plan should include a branding strategy. This is your written plan for how you’ll apply your brand strategically throughout the company over time.

At its core, a good branding strategy lists the one or two most important elements of your product or service, describes your company’s ultimate purpose in the world and defines your target customer. The result is a blueprint for what’s most important to your company and your customer.

Don’t worry, because creating a branding strategy isn’t nearly as scary or as complicated as it sounds.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Set yourself apart.
Why should people buy from you instead of from the same kind of business across town? Think about the intangible qualities of your product or service, using adjectives from “friendly” to “fast” and every word in between. Your goal is to own a position in the customer’s mind so they think of you differently than the competition.

2) “Powerful brands will own a word—like Volvo [owns] safety,” says Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing consultant and co-author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand. Which word will your company own? A new hair salon might focus on the adjective “convenient” and stay open a few hours later in the evening for customers who work late—something no other local salon might do. How will you be different from the competition? The answers are valuable assets that constitute the basis of your brand.

3) Know your target customer.
Once you’ve defined your product or service, think about your target customer. You’ve probably already gathered demographic information about the market you’re entering, but think about the actual customers who’ll walk through your door. Who is this person, and what is the one thing he or she ultimately wants from your product or service? After all, the customer is buying it for a reason. What will your customer demand from you?

4) Develop a personality.
How will you show customers every day what you’re all about? A lot of small companies write mission statements that say the company will “value” customers and strive for “excellent customer service.” Unfortunately, these words are all talk, and no action. Dig deeper and think about how you’ll fulfill your brand’s promise and provide value and service to the people you serve. If you promise quick service, for example, what will “quick” mean inside your company? And how will you make sure service stays speedy? Along the way, you’re laying the foundation of your hiring strategy and how future employees will be expected to interact with customers. You’re also creating the template for your advertising and marketing strategies.

5) Get In the Loop.
Many companies large and small stumble when it comes to incorporating employees into their branding strategies. But to the customer making a purchase, your employee is the company. Your employees can make or break your entire brand, so don’t ever forget them. Here are a few tips:

6) Hire based on brand strategy. Communicating your brand through your employees starts with making the right hires. Look to your brand strategy for help. If your focus is on customer service, employees should be friendly, unflappable and motivated, right? Give new hires a copy of your brand strategy, and talk about it with them on a regular basis.

7) Set expectations. How do you expect employees to treat customers? Make sure they understand what’s required. Reward employees who do an exceptional job or go above and beyond the call of duty.

8) Communicate, then communicate some more. Keeping employees clued in requires ongoing communication about the company’s branding efforts through meetings, posters, training, etc. Never, ever assume employees can read your mind.

9) Your branding strategy doesn’t need to be more than one page long at most. It can even be as short as one paragraph. It all depends on your product or service and your industry.

10) The important thing is that you answer these questions before you open your doors, or at least you have these discussions with your team as you create and grow, and hopefully scale to the point that you can afford to buy the expertise, or built it in house, as we all know how to do inside the Startups.


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