What differentiates Winners from Losers in Business?
Ever wonder why the majority of new businesses fail in the first or second year? New products are failing at a disastrous rate?
While some businesses make millions a month and are unstoppable? So much so that people all around the world recognize these brand names. They are world-wide known giants that turn into a global household name. Most of them even charging premium prices?
Channel, Mercedes, Gucci, Dior, Marlboro, Guess, Audi, Toyota, Domino Pizza, Starbucks, Dove, Samsung, etc. so a million others…
If I asked you to name a hamburger restaurant chain, what would be your immediate answer?
What about the energy drink that comes first to your mind?
How come these brands are at the top of your mind, the ones you immediately recall?
What these brands have done to occupy a clear space in their customers minds and hearts?
How come they become the obvious choice?
What differentiates winners from losers in Business?
Are you ready?
Short answer. Powerful Positioning + Branding.
Great Marketing Starts with Great Positioning.
Positioning answers questions:
- Who are you as a company?
- Why do you matter?
You must fully understand what—at its core—your company does. What your value proposition to your customers, how you are positioned against your competition, and how to tell your story in a compelling way.
Positioning is all about building a foundation around that competitive advantage before you take a campaign all the way out to the branding side of things. If the foundation is weak, or worse, not there at all, the house will fall.
Differentiation is the holy grail of marketing.
Avoid me too” positioning”.
Your understanding of customer problems and how your competitors are positioned has the greatest impact on your ultimate positioning statement.
your positioning statement needs to be unique – no other competitor is making your claim — and addresses the target buyer’s No. 1 problem.
It’s really not that challenging to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Pay attention to what your competitors are saying on their websites, and in marketing communications, and then avoid those claims.
Choose a differentiating positioning that is relevant to the target group, and your product, brand or will stand out from competition.
When you structure a well-founded positioning, it creates the right framework for your offerings and business message.
Positioning is not the same as branding. Although the words often are used interchangeably, the concepts are not the same.
You must determine your ideal position in the market before you work on the brand.
Because determining your ideal position in the market results from understanding exactly who you are (your DNA) and why you matter (what you bring to the market that others don’t).
It’s the positioning of your offers, that will create value in the ideal clients’ mind. Take a woman’s leather bag, for example. It could sell for a €50, €100 or €5,000. It’s all about perception. How valuable does the person purchasing it perceive it to be?
Positioning is one of the more complex steps of high-end coaching or consulting offers.
You have the positioning of what you’re selling and also who you are selling as the expert that can deliver on those promises. This is outcome-based and should be highly valuable so that even if you attach a €10,000 price tag when compared to the outcome it actually seems a reasonable price.
As for your positioning, you must be seen as someone who has specific knowledge and credibility in solving the problem and delivering the promise.
If someone views you on a peer-to-peer level, they’re not going to invest for your info product, coaching or consulting services. You need to make sure that your positioning is elevated to an expert.
If your positioning is weak, it is a recipe for a failure (applies especially for info products and services).
Your Positioning Statement
Your positioning is a short statement, that clearly declares what you do and why target buyers should care about your claim and take action.
Your positioning statement addresses the target audience’s most pressing problem by expressing a benefit.
Your positioning statement should be unique; only you are making this claim. Your positioning statement becomes the theme for all your marketing communications.
Execute your positioning statement consistently in all marketing communications, and repeat it often. No matter how compelling your positioning statement is, it won’t resonate with buyers unless it is repeated often over an extended period of time.
To sum it up
Positioning is the promise to the market, the value you bring to the table for a specific kind of people.
The general structure of a positioning statement is:
Product name delivers a benefit that solves the target buyer’s most pressing problem
The brand is an extension of the positioning.
Your ideal position isn’t based on a perception you want to create, a brand you hope to build. Quite the opposite, in fact. Brand is derived from positioning; it is the emotional expression of positioning.
See the illustration below.
When positioning and branding come together, you have a sense of the company’s identity as a whole. It answers who you are, why you matter and what values do you stand for.
The brand brings the positioning to life, so it becomes easier for a person to perceive and feel more attached to an appealing brand.
What makes a brand so vital is that it is the basis for an emotional bond between the customer and this special meaning of the product. The key, as I mentioned earlier, is relationship.
We have lots of powerful brands like Nike, Apple Computer, BMW, Coca-Cola.
They are successful, because
they have learned how to make their brands live in the customers’ minds.
Brands are the part of our daily life. We can find and see them everywhere – supermarkets, bookshops, festivals, retail shops, schools, pharmacies, restaurants, organizations and any other places. Brand and Branding are fashionable notions.
To be branded means to be state of art, innovative, well known and desirable today.
But do all brands succeed in the markets?
Are all of them appreciated by consumers? What are the key points of successful branding in the fast-changing environment?
Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect. When you build a powerful brand, you will have an effective marketing result.
If you can’t…
then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotion, Web designs, and public relations in the world won’t help you achieve your objective.
Marketing is brand building. The two concepts are so inextricably linked that it’s impossible to separate them. Furthermore, since everything a company does can contribute to the brand-building process, marketing is not a function that can be considered in isolation.
Branding “pre-sells” the product or service to the user. Branding is simply a more efficient way to sell anything.
It’s the difference between selling and branding. Could you sell a $100 Rolex watch? Sure, you could probably sell millions of them and in the process increase sales of Rolex watches.
what would happen in the long term to the Rolex brand?
A cheap Rolex would ultimately kill the expensive Rolex brand.
Branding is simply a more efficient way to sell things.
And if you want to be truly successful in business, you should consider yourself to build a brand.
Keep reading. Because…
You may not turn into next Bill Gates, but you will shortly learn the secrets of branding.
Internet has an enormous impact on the way products and services are marketed.
Today’s consumer can purchase a car from websites without ever seeing the cars or going for a test drive.
With millions of sites to choose from, you pretty much have to know where you’re going before you embark on your Internet journey.
You can, of course, start your journey at a search-engine site.
But… you can build a brand and embed it in the prospect’s mind, so they do not ask Google, but make people search directly for your name.
Why would anyone check out where to buy books, when they can go directly on Amazon? One of the first world-famous brands.
Do you see the power of brand?
Hooked? Keep reading…because…
What you’re about to hear will make your heart beat faster….
I know your time is valuable, so let’s start.
In a world of extreme clutter, you need to stand out.
How do you stand out the easiest and fastest possible way?
You need to be unique, be different.
When everybody zigs, zag.
Think, how can you be different and stand out in a competitive market.
The differentiation will become the engine for your high-performance brand.
It gets you on the fast track to having more people buy more stuff for more years at a higher price.
We live in the 21st age…. meaning
the most powerful barriers to competition are not controlled by companies.
Your customers build perception in their minds, that determine the value of brands.
But before we dig deeper,
Let me ask you a question.
What exactly is a brand?
Logo, website, advertising. I bet that’s what you’re thinking, right?
Your logo, ads, fonts, colours, website is not your brand.
It’s actually the smallest part of your brand, that you have control of.
Yes, while your picked colours, logo, fonts etc help to create a brand voice it is just a little part.
So, what exactly is BRAND?
Your brand is what your customers are talking about you when you’re not in the room.
It’s a feeling about your products, services and your company.
BRANDING is Hot Because:
- People have too many choices and too little time
- Most offerings have similar quality and features
- We tend to base our buying choices on trust
People often think that Marketing and Branding are the same. That’s wrong!
Marketing and branding both aim to attract customers to a business to ultimately grow that business.
Marketing and branding are not the same thing.
Marketing is all about attracting leads while branding is all about creating an identity for your product or service.
Marketing drives sales, Branding builds loyalty.
A great marketing campaign attracts customers and encourages them to purchase a company’s products or services.
Your branding impacts everything that happens after they arrive in your online or offline store. …
People create brands to stand out, so people would remember them. Brands bring order out of clutter.
Brands are used in marketing and advertising to help consumers identify the products they want to purchase.
A brand is composed of two parts:
- an identity (logo, color scheme, slogan. Your mission, vision)
- a personality (values, beliefs, feelings)
The identity portion of a brand is often created by designers who work on behalf of the company.
The personality portion of the brand is often created by people within the company who have knowledge about what it stands for.
The human mind deals with clutter the best way it can—by blocking most of it out. What gets in, those items that seem most useful or interesting, are labelled and stored in little mental boxes.
Your brand is not what you say it is, its what customers talk about you.
Branding is everything your brand represents from its personality to differentiation strategy.
Marketing is everything you do to promote your brand in the market to drive sales.
One of the biggest mistakes most business owners do is, design a logo and jump straight into the marketing.
Most Business failures are branding failures
there are a number of big branding successes on the Internet:
- Amazon.com in books
- eBay.com in auctions
- Monster.com in jobs
Businesses have to begin by clearly defining who they serve. That’s how the brand is developed. Your brand messages shape the perception of your brand in the mind of the audience to ultimately influence a long-term relationship.
Is there something you can do to influence their perception; their feelings associated with your company and offers?
Yes, you definitely can.
Put all your efforts to build lasting value by delighting your customers.
There is no formula for measuring brand value.
But… your goal of branding is simple:
To delight customers so that MORE people buy MORE offers for MORE years at a HIGHER price.
The goal of your brand strategy is to build long-term relationships.
Never promise all the starts in the sky, that you can’t deliver.
Because…you’ll damage your brand
Overdeliver. This way you will surprise your customers.
Who doesn’t like surprises? I know you and me we both do.
More- is not better.
Quick, easy and different is better
Here is one BIG SECRET.
People may not remember what you say, but they will always remember how do they feel.
So do everything to make them feel excited, special, happy.
Think of the ways how can you do it. While its easier to do it if you’re meeting your customer in person, you can also improve feelings, experience if you sell online. Courses, or digital downloads.
How you wonder?
While you can’t offer champagne on your website, try to make the best shopping experience. Make it so good that they would come back again for more:
- Improve your website loading speed
Use FREE Google tool gtmetrix.com to check out your website speed and how to improve it)
- Make buying process fast and easy
Check out as a guest, sign in with social media profiles, add to favourites
- Give detailed product/service descriptions
Provide visuals to showcase your products/services
- Have Q&A and answer most common questions visitors may have
Every brand is built with experiences. No matter whether you sell a product, or a service. No matter if its Bt2C or B2B..
The key is to craft those experiences so they create delight for the people who determine the meaning and value of your brand—your customers.
Customers experience your brand at specific touchpoints. Choose those touchpoints and influence what happens there.
How can you influence it?
The best way to start choosing and influencing your touchpoints is by mapping your customers’ journey from awareness to brand loyalty.
How will they learn about you?
How can you help them “enrol” in your brand?
Who—or what—will be your competition at each of the touchpoints? Where should you put your marketing resources?
- Word of mouth
- driving by
- walking by
- walking by
- introduced by a friend
- online ad
- Web search
- your Web site
- editorial coverage
- direct mail
- online even
- live event
What people want today are trustworthy brands.
What they don’t want is more intrusiveness, more empty claims, more clutter.
Build Your Brand
Because… here are some shocking numbers…
More than 50% of customers would pay a 20–25% premium for their favourite brand before switching to another brand.
In some categories, a 5% increase in loyal customers can produce a 95% increase in profitability.
In some luxury categories, 10% of the customers generate 50% of the sales.
Build Your brand, because…
How to build a brand?
You build a brand by being loyal to your customers—not the other way around.
Your customers will turn into loyal fans, that will recommend your offers and bring you their friends and family.
Your light-bulb went off…. I see
Brand consists of tangible and intangible benefits:
Tangible benefits Intangible benefits
Package design Stories
Tangible and intangible benefits create a certain value of a brand and give brand strength in the competitive environment. Brand value shows ability of a brand to deliver profits.
Brand advantages (market perspective):
- Brand differentiates one product from the others
- Brand identifies products
- Brand gives emotional, functional and self-expressive benefits
- Brand creates personal relationships with customers
- Brand stimulates purchases
- Brand reduces risk and increase reliability of the product
- Brand symbolizes quality, longevity, luxury, or other symbols
Brand advantages (an organization perspective):
- The strong brand creates value for the company. It is intangible asset for the organization. Nowadays even higher than tangible ones.
- Legal protection of unique product qualities, technologies, inventions
- Increase reliability of products and services and organization
- Easier to enter new markets
Your Brand name
Start building a powerful brand, with strong Brand name.
Today, however, a lazy, say-nothing name isn’t good enough to cut into the mind. What you must look for is a name that begins the positioning process. A name that tells the prospect what’s the major benefit.
7 Powerful tips for Your Brand name:
- different than your competitors
- brief—four syllables or less
- appropriate, but not so descriptive that it sounds generic
- easy to spell
- easy to pronounce
- suitable for “brandplay”
- legally defensible
Some examples of strong and weak NAMES
Web search Google Ask
life insurance MetLife American United
shipping FedEx DHL
retail bank Citibank First Bank & Trust
PDA BlackBerry Anextec SP230
Stand out from the competition with a name.
Next step in Building your brand is
Our brain acts like filters to protect us from too much information
Solution: Be Different
If you’re not different, you are a commodity. You are just another me-too product.
Come up with a plan, how can you be different,
Because when you’re different, you stand out. You get noticed; you get attention.
How your customers feel about your brand?
Crucial moment in marketing and sales department. It’s feelings that turn people into a loyal fan of your brand.
Lisa’s Chanel scarf is made from nice material, it probably didn’t cost not much more to make than the cheapest scarfs in the market. It doesn’t do any extra magic and Lisa could choose a different scarf, for a small fraction of a price she has paid for Channel. Chances are, that Channel doesn’t even manufacture it.
But none of those matters….
In Lisa’s perception.
The logic would say Lisa is a sucker for going for a of fashion hype.
But not everything we do is logical.
The value of the new scarf exists in Lisa’s head and heart. The value to Lisa is in it makes her FEEL.
That’s the Power of Brand. It’s your association with it makes you feel.
The rational reasons for choosing one brand over another melt away and an emotional part of the brain take over.
Let me share a real-life example how one coffee shop has differentiated themselves and attracted most clients on the block.
The café was nothing much, with bare concrete floors, a row of amateur photos on the wall, some couches on one side, a big coffee-roasting machine on the other side, and parking in front.
The place was run by a nice Middle Eastern couple who keep it humming 365 days a year, except for a half-day off at Christmas.
People were queueing for coffee.
Not only that, everyone seemed to know everyone else’s name. After a few visits, you learn and get how it’s so successful.
Coffee shop had a “loyalty program”—a little paper card that gives you 12 drinks for the price 76 DESIGNING YOUR ZAG of 10. They write your name and your favourite drink on the card. Then they punch it every time you order.
Everyone gets to know your name, and soon you know everyone else’s name.
On top of that, the counter people learn to recognize your car when you pull into the car park.
They get your drink ready when you get to the head of the line.
Over time, customers form and reform to chat with each other—over there on the couch, then at this table, that table, outside on the porch.
It was such an effective system. It worked as it was in the gives and gets.
Customers come in every day, so they can have a cuppa and make new friends. The baker makes special pastries so she can have a happy-paying client. The landlord gives the café lower rent so it will attract customers for the other tenants.
Other coffee shops have noticed all the activity at the café, and they copied the loyalty system.
Today majority of coffee shops have a loyalty program: cards or even apps where they offer special offers and attract more coffee lovers.
Could you profit from similar thinking? Think about how can you design a loyalty system, so people could come back to you and buy again and again.
Build customer loyalty, because When customers are loyal:
- they stop considering other brands
- they request your brand by name
- they recommend your brand to others
- they wait longer and travel farther to get your brand
- they accept brand extensions more readily
- they continue to pay a premium price
Use this Brand Checklist when building your brand
Your Brand Checklist:
- Have I made time to consider, develop and build the brand identity relevant to my business?
- Does my brand identity clearly state what I am?
- What do I stand for and how is this represented through my actions?
- Have I established the key brand messages to communicate?
- Does my name and logo support the ‘look and feel’ of my brand?
- What do I want to communicate through my communications plan, both short- and long-term?
- What platforms will I use for establishing brand awareness?
- How should I encourage employees (if any) to promote my brand?
How Do You Extend Your Brand Success?
At the point of a successful brand, you can extend its success by “leveraging” the brand into other offerings. The Brand name will become a name for a whole line of products or services.
Each new product or service building on the customer loyalty already accrued.
If the original brand has positive associations for customers, there is untapped value that you can benefit from. In return, new extensions can reinforce the meaning of the original brand, making it more valuable.
Here is what all customers want:
- Understand me.
- Make a difference in my life.
- Surprise me often.
- Make my buying experience enjoyable.
- Give me more than I paid for.
- Show me you love me/you care about me.
After you click all the boxes… BOOM! You’re on the way to making millions.
Build a Brand, that doesn’t just thrive, but win. A Brand that is the best from the rest
People fall in love with brands, trust them, and believe in their superiority. How a brand is perceived affects its success—whether it’s a start-up, a non-profit, or a product.
Remember the key points:
– Be Unique – Be Authentic – Be Different
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Happy Brand Building