The 5 Most Important Activities to Shape, Influence, and Lead with Your Brand
There are so many benefits to having a strong brand. Internally, it provides focus, clarity, credibility, and the ability to attract the right employees. Externally, a strong brand allows you to grab attention and be irresistible to the right customers. It starts with a strong foundation, clear messaging, and consistent delivery.
While brand building is a lot like exercising in that you always need to be working on it for it to be strong, there are important activities that you need to perform upfront to create the foundation of a strong, client-attracting brand from which to lead.
Here are the 5 Most Important Activities to Shape, Influence, and Lead with your Brand.
1. KNOW YOURSELF – It all starts with knowing who you are, what you stand for, and what unique value you deliver. You need to really look at yourself to identify how you are unique. What are your core values? What’s your personality, mission, and vision? What type of customer do you serve best? If your employees and customers are your brand ambassadors – are they describing your brand the way you want? Not sure? Ask. If not, start working on the rest of these tips to strengthen it. (Grab a copy of my free ebook, 10 Questions to Ask Your Customers to Identify your Unique Brand for help on identifying the value that you offer.)
2. WALK IN YOUR CUSTOMER’S SHOES – To be irresistible to your ideal customers, you need to know who they are and what they want and need. You need to know them better than they know themselves. What do they like, where do they hang out, what keeps them up at night, and what would make them look like a hero? Even in B2B situations, there is a human in every purchasing decision. Get to know these people! Create a Target Persona Board to focus on who you serve and what they need and want.
3. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT – This is the fun part! What can you say, how can you act, and what can you deliver to stand out from the competition to be irresistible to your target customer? There are so many ways to differentiate:
- Is your product or service different?
- Is the way you deliver it different?
- What is the customer journey like? Is the experience different?
- Can they get your product or service in an unusual place?
- Is the way you communicate different? (How and where you tell your brand story)
List every touch point your business has with customers and look for opportunities to strengthen your brand. Make sure those differences are meaningful to them!
4. BE CONSISTENT – Consistency is king! For your brand to be strong and memorable, you need to be consistent in the way that you talk about yourself and deliver on the promise that you make. If every customer or employee explains what your company does differently, no one will ever be clear on what you do or deliver. If your customer has a different experience every time they use your product or service, you’re breaking your promise.
5. GET VISIBLE, GET CONSIDERED –Your customers aren’t hard to find. If you’re not doing anything to market your company, you are the one that is hard to find.
What should you do to be visible? Whatever you feel comfortable doing! Here are a few ideas to get your name in front of more people and tell your brand story to grab attention and attract new customers (or employees).
- Update your LinkedIn profile – For business owners, it’s a sales tool, not a resume. In the Summary, clearly explain what your business does, for whom, and the value you deliver.
- Publish a blog post – Share your expertise or point of view on your blog, LinkedIn or Facebook. It grabs attention, showcases your experience, and boosts your credibility.
- Speak at conferences – Don’t speak to prospects one at a time. Speak to many. Save energy, reach more people, and share your expertise by speaking where your prospects are.
- Send your first (or next) email newsletter –If they liked you enough to give you their email address, talk with them. Give them value and promote how you can solve their problems.
- Collaborate – Reach out to a strategic partner who also targets your same prospect to co-market your product or service. Conduct a joint workshop, exhibit at a conference together to share the cost, or bundle your complementary services into a valuable package. Aligning your brand with another respected brand is a great way to strengthen yours.
- Get comfortable on video – Buyers want their information in video form! Video is one of the best ways to showcase your brand. Show customers what you do. Showcase your employees to humanize the company. Interview your customers for case stories and testimonials. Show the unique way your product is made. The more people see and hear you, the stronger the relationship you can build with them. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to do video. The more you film, the more you’ll feel comfortable on camera. Just do it!
- Create a “bundled package” or “solution” to upsell to existing clients – It’s faster and easier to sell to people who already know you. Package your product or services in a new way as a reason to get back in front of existing customers. They may not know all that you can offer them. So, tell them.
Which one of these action ideas resonated with you? Just get started with one and you’ll be on the path to shape, influence and lead with a strong brand.
Need help getting your brand story straight? Identifying your ideal target market? Differentiating your brand and product or service offering more? Give me a call to talk about where you are at and where you want to be and how I might be able to help you accelerate your brand building.
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