Tag Archives: business marketing

WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS STAND FOR?

What does Your brand stand for - marketing-dish (1)
You’ve probably heard the term in marketing that people do business with those they know, like and trust. I’d like to take that idea further and say people also do business with brands because they know what they stand for. What does your business stand for?

I will do business with companies like Whole Foods because they support my lifestyle. I know they sell organic food and are committed to the mission of healthier food. I buy Apple products because they are easy to use and they have great customer service. I buy training from online marketers that deliver what they promise like James Wedmore and Business By Design. I know he stands for integrity and authenticity.

What Does Your Brand Stand For?

Are people clear on what you stand for?Do you share what you stand for with customers? We can share what we stand for in our story, in our marketing and how our employees represent us.

We’re all different, it’s how we communicate that matters. Just think, there are probably 4-5 different coffee shops where you live from the big brands like Starbucks to Joe’s Main Street Coffee down the street in the strip mall. What make’s Joe’s different than Starbucks? What makes you want to patronize Joe’s?

Let’s use Joe’s Main Street Coffee as our case study and outline some ways in which we know what Joe’s stands for:

• Joe names his coffee drinks after organizations& people in the community
• Joe gives a percentage of his whole bean sales to causes he supports in the community
• Joe knows his customers value a more community feel and he trains his staff to treat everyone like they are family
• The décor is homey and welcoming
• He rewards loyalty with fun ways to win free coffee
• He engages you in real time on social media (Staff is empowered to be social media ambassadors)
• Joe know people appreciate the home baked goods he sells from the local bakery
• Joe has a large community room where local business can rent to hold meetings
• Joe will deliver a catered order to your place of business within 10 miles of the store
• Joe cares what you think and asks customers randomly if they would join him for a free cup of coffee and a chat where he gets invaluable marketing knowledge from his clients

Building a Brand People Love

Building a brand people love, patronize and refer others to is not easy. It does take a focused strategy and the tactics and time to implement. What prevents people from building a brand like Joe’s?
• Never enough time (# 1 excuse)
• Understaffed
• To busy working in my business VS working on my business
• Not willing to invest in help

Six Steps to Building a Business/Brand That People Love

1. Be the CEO of your company. The one with the vision and expertise to drive your vision.

2. Hire others to implement your vision – this means investing money and time to hiring and training. You will be profitable faster in the long-run once you have the process to implement in place.

3. Always, I mean always be looking for ways to add value to your customers. Get your customers what they want and you will automatically get what you want.

4. Be sure you are clearly delivering your brand message in everything you do both offline and online.

5. Invest in technology if it keeps you relevant and drives leads and sales.

6. Invest in resources that will move you closer to your financial and your freedom goals faster. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to make more money and work less hours, but often we struggle without support to get there.

What Are Your Customers Saying About You?

Whether you are in a brick and mortar business or an online business, people often meet us online before meeting us offline. That means in today’s society we are checking review before making a buying decision. We look at reviews on Yelp and Google when we are looking for a place for dinner. When we shop online we read customer review before we make the purchase. From a professional perspective when we are hiring someone or considering a business relationship we check people’s LinkedIn profile as well as their recommendations.

Encourage your customers to leave a review and then engage with those reviewers. Thank them for leaving the comment, ask them to share a good experience with a friend.

We learn from what customers are saying both letting us know what they value and what they want more of.
Are you listening?

Knowing what your business/brand stands for and being able to articulate that brand message is critical to your success. Just like Joe discovered at the Main Street Coffee shop, with some effort, listening and acknowledging what customers want you gain brand loyalty and referrals.

Did this article offer you more clarity for your brand? Share your comments below.

Grow Your Business Being More Human

Grow Your Business Being More HumanI think businesses have lost the concept of being more human.  How frustrated have you become when you called a customer service phone number and all you get is a recording and after you spend 5-10 minutes clicking on numbers to get the recorded message to hopefully answer your question.  How about this recording that says press 1 for ‘self-servicing actions” – what?

I believe we have come to the fork in the road of online marketing including social media and the human need for interaction.  I think it is time to ask ourselves how much can you get from a computer conversation?  Do you feel as a consumer that the company really cares about you when you receive a canned email message, or you consistently reach a recording or the only time you see people are through images on Facebook?

Grow Your Business Being More Human

Although most of us thrive on human interaction, there are exceptions like teenagers and some millennials.  As business people if this is your market you have to meet them where they are with technology.  Business has changed no doubt about that and most of us have already made the decision about what we want to buy using technology resources, the question usually is “Who will I buy from?”   I recommend a mix of both technology based interaction with human interaction.  it is time to get away from solely relying on technology to connect with prospects and customers.  Here are some ideas for bringing human connection back into your business:

1.) Pick-up the phone occasionally and speak to your customers.  Thank them for their business and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.

2.) Make an effort to speak with customers one or two times per year with the goal of learning why they do business with you.  Not only will this please them but you will gain important information about your business.

3.) Call a client and invite them out for a cup of coffee just to make a human connection and not to sell them something.

4.) Network in person versus relying on social media.

5.)  Shake someone’s hand – yes that may seem old fashioned but many important deals were made with a hand-shake to seal the deal.

6.) Personalize your marketing, let your customers know you are listening and refer back to things they have said at every opportunity.

7.) Make your goal with social media to eventually take the conversation off line. Building a deeper more meaningful relationship.

“What happened to a handshake? Business people don’t do that anymore. Trust is human, human interaction and real conversations. We need more handshake friends, discussion, business partners or handshake leaders – we won’t find our own sense of fulfillment, happiness and trust .” Simon Sinkek author of Start With Why

 

Be mindful and focus on the person in front of you

I have a twenty-something daughter who thinks it’s okay to carry on a conversation with a friend via text while talking with me at the same time.  Some of you can probably relate!  But what that has taught me is to be mindful and present to the person I am with and to listen intently.  I ask myself the question, “Don’t they deserve my full attention and not just a part of it?”

I have always been inspired by this quote from Maya Angelou

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said , people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Grow your business by being more human was illustrated in an article I read in Inc.com by HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah.  I have paraphrased one of the most important point he makes;  “Harnessing the power of consumer advocacy is the answer. A delighted B2B customer is a long-term customer: He will tell friends and colleagues, and if he leaves his job, he’ll take your business with him.  Humans don’t buy from companies; humans buy from humans, so solving for humans is every smart company’s primary goal.”

Think about how you can grow your business by being more human and pay attention to big brands that are doing it through inspiration, motivation and leaving you feeling something deep within.  One of my favorite commercials this year is from Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Home Goods company whose holiday commercial says “Imagine a world where the holidays were about people again, this Season Bring Back The Holidays – Those 4 Little Letters, It’s All About L.O.V.E  Not S.A.L.E “  You can watch is here, let me know how it makes you feel.  https://youtu.be/9wKjXpsiK3E

 

Don’t Wait Until January To Get Into Gear

Marketing & sales do not stop because we’re headed into the last 6-8 weeks of the year, in fact while everyone else is geared down for the holiday, it’s an opportunity for you to gear up and dominate your market.

Here are a few tips to keep you moving through to the end of the year;

1.  Offer a holiday promotion as a way of thanking your clients for doing business with you this year Example;  maybe a discount off your regular monthly charges or an extra 20% of something you sell – this one is easy!

2.  Ask for referrals and offer something to your client in exchange that would be of value to them. Example; for any new referral business you write before the end of the year you will refund your referrers last invoice $200

3.  Offer an end of the year special on your facebook page for every new “LIKE” you receive

4.  Find ways you can add value to your customers business between now and the end of the year – Example; offer to post their offers on social media for the next 30 days as a gesture of good will and thanks

How are you different than the competition that’s already quit working for the year?  Here’s your chance to solidify your marketing message. Continue reading Don’t Wait Until January To Get Into Gear