These may seem like common sense rules but entrepreneurs and business owners often forget everything they learned about the rules of branding, marketing and advertising when they begin marketing their own products and services. It becomes personal.
- Make it simple. I don’t know what an Idiomatic Algorithm Modernizer P3 is. If you tell me it is software that ‘reviews your copy and looks for the innovative way to update it’ I understand and I am interested. Usually jargon is developed for two reasons: to help create something unique, a brand, and to confuse the consumer so that they cannot compare. The result is the consumer moves on.
- Measure. Be innovative and try different ideas but measure. Measure anything you wish to change. My first question to a business owner is what has been your results with this program. Most often the answer is “I don’t know, we haven’t taken the time to measure.”
- Listen. Your customers know more than you do about your products, services, your image and your brand. The brand development process begins by listening to the consumer. Brand developers know that the brand exists in the mind of the consumer. Find out what your brand is…Ask your customers.
- Selling. The selling process has changed. Your prospect is 60 to 70 percent of the way through the sales journey by the time they reach out to a company representative. Your future users are leveraging the web to research solutions. If you're not putting your message in front of them, you're losing business to your competition.
- Mobile matters. The number of people using mobile to make purchases reached a tipping point in 2014 and is growing daily. Be there or be left out.
- Personas. Knowing your customer is more critical than ever. A trick we have learned is to create personas of your customers (as many personas as you have customers). Your personas and your brand are inseparable. A persona is a detailed description of a particular customer—her likes, dislikes, profession or job, where she lives, what she enjoys when not working, how she dresses—the more the better. Then name this persona for easy communication with your staff, i.e., “Today we want to post a Facebook notice to ‘Mary’ about our new gizmo. ‘Mary’ loves these types of things.”
- “Thank you.” Everyone wants to be acknowledged and appreciated. Thank your customers sincerely and often. It is far less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one.
- Differentiate. Everything can be differentiated. Think water. It may not be easy to differentiate your product or service but it is essential. If you do it correctly the rewards are enormous. Brands differentiate and if you are not a brand then you are a commodity and commodities sale on the lowest price. Think visually because design may be the easiest way to differentiate your product or service. Designers—brand image makers—are skilled at creating visual experiences because they know “We buy with our eyes.”
- Ask for the sale. If you do not ask it is sure you will not get the sale. If you are intimidated by asking for the sale, begin your sales presentation with complete honesty. Tell the prospect that you have a very difficult time asking for the sale, so if after hearing what you have to say about your product or service, and if they like it they will have to say, “I would like to buy your service” because your won’t be able to ask them. Honest marketers are the most successful marketers.
About Ken Gasque
Ken Gasque is a brand image-maker, marketing planner and designer. Ken works with small companies and Fortune 500 companies who recognize the need to differentiate their products and services to stand out in a cluttered market. Ken is a highly visual, outside-the-box-thinker on advertising, branding and marketing—his work reflects his belief that “We buy with our eyes.” Ken writes and lectures on brands, design, images and brand development.