I love the work of John Reese. Itâ€™s so professional and valuable to the point when I consider buying something of his, I have no choice but to get it! So, how did he brand himself that way? Well I think that he positioned himself as professional, valuable and desirable in the minds of his consumers by promoting it on credible, powerful and appealing sources. Positioning is a tool which we use to differentiate products in a market where things are similar to each other and to target niche markets (or in Johnâ€™s case charge a premium).
In this article Iâ€™m going to teach you the ins and outs of a very powerful way to help position your brand and deliver your message. As a matter of fact with this technique alone, you will be able to deliver your brand message more effectively than over 80% of businesses! (And I can bet your competition is in there somewhere too.)
By now, you should have no doubt that when sending a message to your target market, the place you choose to promote your message (aka. The source of your message) will reach different target markets. I suggest going out and finding some advertisers which are suitable for reaching your target market and taking them through a couple of hoops to see if theyâ€™re worth it.
1. Find out how appealing the source is as an advertiser.
First of all, is the source appealing? Does it get the attention of your target market and effectively convey your message? Well to determine how good it is, you can analyse it in three different respects as highlighted by my article on targeting:
- The similarity between the source and your target audience.
- The familiarity that the prospect has with your brand.
- The extent to which your brand is liked by your target market.
While similarity develops a little bit of appeal, likeability fosters the most amount of appeal. So, if you find a source which people really like, then youâ€™re onto a winner. Albeit, the best of these sources are likely to be expensive. So why not scour your local community for outstanding people? Or, go to the web community in your industry and get someone to stick a good word in for you. They might do it for money, a reciprocal word or even just a bit of what you sell. No matter what happens, as they are associated with your product, they will add value to your brand and help convey your brandâ€™s identity.
2. Is the advertiser powerful/influential?
Secondly, does your source have power? Does it have a lot of influence on the people who buy your products? If so, then this is an awesome source! Not only are people going to this source for guidance, they are also looking at your product to satiate a need of theirs. Say for a moment, that youâ€™re an electronics manufacturer who designs wireless webcams. If you want to create a stir in the market, try distributing some free cameras to the big reviewers in the industry. Theyâ€™ll pop out a review with pros and cons and often times will be able to give you feedback on your product, whilst marketing your product to your target market! Amazing huh?
3. Does it have street cred?
Lastly does the source have credibility? Do your target market respect and credit the source as if it were gospel? If you canâ€™t answer yes to this question then you should SERIOUSLY consider whether you should advertise through them. To illustrate this best, Iâ€™ll give you an interesting example. In Australia there is a con artist who runs a newsletter on success and finance. For a short while I was unaware that the guy writing the newsletter was a convicted con artist until a friend of mine pointed out an article to me. Now, whenever I receive a newsletter from him, Iâ€™m incredibly skeptical and critical of every word. Often times I even totally disregard his emails without a glance. In fact, if it wasnâ€™t for his excellent copywriting, I wouldnâ€™t receive it at all.
As you can see, the source you choose can have a great impact on whether or not people will recognize your message as clutter or something remarkable. If you look into it even further, take a look at all the points about a particular advertising source which will add to your brand meaning. As I outlined in Bolstering up Your Brand, you need to consider whether the place you advertise on has similar values to your business. If not, then think carefully whether you are adding or taking value from your brand.
Word of Mouth and Viral Marketing
By far, one of the most interesting and interactive sources you can use to promote your business with is that of Word of Mouth. Kammie K., right here from Small Business Branding has written a fairly nice article on this topic and for your convenience, Iâ€™ll explain it to you guys again. Have you ever found a business or something so amazing that you just have to tell a friend? Well thatâ€™s what we call Word of Mouth or WoM. Iâ€™m going to show you why I think it is powerful as it is by taking a look at it through a marketerâ€™s perspective:
How appealing is it? Well a friend will have all three types of appeal. Specifically, theyâ€™ll have likeability appeal because you like them, they have familiarity appeal because you know and see them and they may even have similarity appeal if they are similar to you. Wowâ€¦ isnâ€™t that something? As it turns out, a friend is a really appealing source for you to push your advertising through.
How powerful and influential is it? I donâ€™t know about you, but if all my friends like this night club, then Iâ€™m going to be more inclined to like it too. Not only this but a little management theory called â€˜group thinkâ€™ comes to mind here. When a leader in the group says something, then everyone will go along with it and agree. For instance, if everyone in the group says â€œGee, I really love Marilyn Manson,â€ youâ€™re not as likely to burst out â€œErrrâ€¦ heâ€™s crap, I like Kylie Minogue better,â€ are you? I wouldnâ€™t think so. Itâ€™s not the best etiquette either. So, when you look at WoM in this regard itâ€™s still a winner!
Finally, ask this: Is WoM credible? If you think about it, thatâ€™s like asking whether people trust their friends? I donâ€™t think that is a question needed to be asked at all. Provided the guy knows what he is talking about, you should have a very powerful source.
WoM Facilities Just For You!
If you take a look around now, a lot of businesses are realizing how beneficial WoM is for promoting their message. One such business I admire is called Promoterz who advocate the importance of being remarkable and worthy of your customerâ€™s attention. By exhibiting remarkable attributes it makes it easier for you to use the very contagious and cheap WoM marketing tactic.
Also, another place which I admire is Digg. If you have something on your website or a new, innovative product, you can submit it there and get a tight target audience looking at your space. Due to the nature of Digg as an emerging technology and trend, it doesnâ€™t reach as wide a target audience as other WoM facilitators but if it suits your target market then youâ€™re in luck.
Getting the word out and about
Of course, as a believer in using lots of different types of advertising, you shouldnâ€™t just rely on WoM. If you go through the steps I went through above, you too can analyse where you are best off putting your ad spend. I guarantee that you will be extremely surprised at the effectiveness of your advertising when you send your message through a sensational advertising source. As always, I welcome your comments and until next timeâ€¦
Best of Luck Branding,
He maintains several of his own sites and has worked with Yaro Starak on various projects. Robert has an understanding of blogging, search engine optimisation, search marketing and new web technologies. In particular, he is very interested in how the internet can be used for marketing.
Feel free to contact Robert Kingston through his site.