Imagine a world where your products and services are in high demand, your marketing spend is down and business just seems to flow through your door easily - you’ve got “Brand Love”.
People love your brand so much they actively market it for you, and what better way is there than word of month – considering that over 70% of people trust their peers over any other form of marketing or advertising.
It is possible, but first we need to put aside some common misconceptions about branding and marketing your business:
- “Brand love” can’t be achieved by having a funky new logo and web design, people love brands for more than their appearance.
- Your marketing or advertising alone won’t get you long term love, only short term sales and awareness.
- Your competitors don’t have the answer for your business, so stop watching and copying them.
- It doesn’t have to cost the earth, in-fact all you need is time and brain-power to get started.
- Having people love your brand is achievable for any type of business – regardless of how crowded your industry is.
As a business owner the biggest barrier to growth is cash, which comes from sales, and the sales come from marketing the features and benefits of the product or service on offer.
Sounds simple right?
Too simple. There’s a fundamental piece missing in this process, and that’s a commitment to create something extraordinary to tell a story about.
If you’re a follower of Seth Godin this will already be sounding pretty familiar. Seth writes a lot on creating a business that’s so remarkable people cannot help but talk about it to others.
But how do you create something extraordinary and remarkable out of, more often than not, the ordinary business? AND why will people love it?
This is where most marketers’ stumble, because we’re not talking about conversion rates or ROI, we’re talking about becoming intuitive, insightful and aware so that we can connect with emotions via storytelling.
Many CEOs and Business Owners don’t own the task either, thinking that it belongs to marketing to ‘get it sorted out’; when they’re the ones holding the key to being ‘extraordinary’, but haven’t shared their vision throughout the business.
I’m urging every business to bring CEOs and Marketing Teams together to tap into how they can get more “Brand Love”, it costs nothing but a little bit of time and brain power to get started, here’s how:
With your teams in the room ask:
1. Do we love what we are doing?
When we love what we do in business the impact of any type of marketing is significantly increased. If the answer to this question is a resounding NO then think about what needs to change for you all to love what you’re doing again? Make steps to implement that change. If you got a chorus of YES’s, congratulations! Move onto the next question…
2. Why are we doing what we do?
Central to the success of any business is a compelling reason “why” the business exists beyond making money (which is the by-product). You might call this your vision, passion, purpose, mission… whatever it translates to for you doesn’t matter as long as it provides everyone with a powerful and motivating reason “why” they’re coming to work everyday, which will provide the start point of why customers will choose your brand over the competition.
3. What do we believe about our brand or the industry that can change the world for the better?
Many smaller businesses are created out of an individuals desire to re-shape or change the industry. Perhaps people in your industry are over charging; perhaps you know how products or services could be improved. Think about what makes you angry, or is making your clients and customers frustrated that you believe its time to change and you’re prepared to act on.
4. Why should anyone care?
Customers are selfish, which is right and normal when they are paying for goods and services. To get “Brand Love” it’s critical to think about what’s in it for them. How will your “why” and beliefs benefit and become important to them?
5. How can we improve our product, service and brand experience to make people care even more?
Where can you make improvements and innovations? It can be as simple as improving your messaging to make it more about your prospect and the value your brand offers them, or the service and delivery to customers to create an experience beyond any other. How can you continually make their life better when they come into contact with your brand; how will they feel as a result of your brand; will they view themselves differently after using your brand?
Love isn’t based on ROI, we give love to receive it, but first you must love your businesses enough to let your brand shine. If you only take one thing away from this post let it be this:
Stop chasing the money and the numbers. Start by understanding your own motivations for being in business and focus on the unspoken and unmet needs of your clients and prospects - the numbers will take care of themselves.
Sarah Birken is a Communications Expert and brand owner of Purple Circle Group in Sydney, which offers specialist brand strategy and communication consulting to businesses and is a wheel-in strategist for design and marketing agencies.
Sarah provides the missing link between business strategy and marketing effectiveness.
Services include Brand Strategy and Communication Planning: “How to get more customers and become untouchable by the competition”, Brand Management, Tailored Workshop Facilitation and is an In-House Strategic Communications Director for businesses committed to growth.