When All Else Fails, Trust Your Brand!

9673439_sWe all have good days and bad days. What do you do when that stretches to weeks and months? It’s the kind of situation that has your mind playing all kinds of tricks on you. Has your run come to its end? Have you lost your mojo? Maybe the world simply doesn’t need your product or service anymore. You start to point fingers at all kinds of reasons to explain this increasingly desperate situation. This post comes from a conversation I had recently with an associate of mine.

They felt the problem was that on their website the tone of the message was coming from “we” and they felt it should be “I”. This they felt, was one of the reasons why business dropped off the face of the earth. I thought not on the other hand. My thoughts were that once the (we’s) were changing to (I’s) we’d also be having this gloomy discussion again about poor business.

Then I asked a key question – “I understand that you’re slow, but are you taking this opportunity to market yourself?” “No” they said, “we don’t have the money.” I proceeded to ask if they had a database of potential customers and they said yes. Then why aren’t you doing email marketing? Why aren’t you cold calling? Why aren’t you attending networking events? Why are you doing nothing at all to attract business to yourself and have settled with pointing fingers outward instead of inward. There is no good reason to do a better job looking for blame than looking for a solution. We have to eat and pay bills – that’s not going away.

I too had a slow summer last year – so I spent all my time marketing myself, networking, looking and developing opportunities, trying to do whatever i could to keep my spirits up and allowing a positive attitude to drive business my way. My friend’s conversation touched me but frustrated me more when I discovered their reluctance to help themselves. Even though I was slow, I at no time felt the need to change my brand, change my message. It worked for me in the past and is still working moving forward. Suppress the urge to change up your brand. Spend your energy pushing it even harder.

Change or stay the same – the choice is yours of course. The hard choice seems to be trusting in yourself. I think change is the sucker punch.

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Author: Ed Roach (238 Articles)

For 25 years or so I have developed positioning strategies for small businesses that helps to differentiate them. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. Opportunities come to light in every discussion. I consult predominantly with small business and and implement the solutions developed. If you'd like some help in allowing your brand to lead contact me. I've just released my first printed book, "101 Branding Tips - Practical advice for your brand that you can use today." Get your copy from Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle Bookstore. I can be contacted directly at: 519-324-9536 or ed@thebrandingexperts.ca Blog: TheBrandCorral.com

Comments

  1. Nice post, Ed. I also had a slow summer, and I discovered that, when marketing in lean times, there can be a whiff of desperation to it. It’s really important to get your head right first. I think that’s the critical distinction.

    When the road gets rocky, remember that you know what you’re doing. There is nobody in the world who does what you do better than you do. Trust the universe, then work your butt off. It sounds hokey, but there is a huge difference between marketing yourself when you believe the right work will come and marketing yourself when you believe you’re doomed.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Hey Ed,

    I think that for most people perhaps they aren’t exactly sure what they should be doing to put themselves out there more.  I hope they took your suggestions and didn’t change anything on their site.  I don’t think I’d find it very appealing if I felt it was all about them instead of how they could help me.
    Great advice and hope they took it.  Here’s to a much better year this year for us all.
    Have a great week.
    ~Adrienne

  3. AdrienneSmith  Thanks Adrienne. When slow, we often think we’ve got it figured out when it’s really just the way it is. Focus on what you can control and that’s marketing your brand. It’ll turn around , you only have to be there to jump on board again.

  4. annbevans  Awesome – I couldn’t have said it better myself Ann. “…then work your butt off.” No truer words. Desperation marketing is just a faster bullet to the end.

  5. It is surprising how many businesses sit within their own shells and complain about unrelated issues. Worse, do the wrong things. For example, if they have a choice between making their business premises nicer and putting more noticeable sign, they actually think about it and go for investing in the interior. I totally agree with you that most of your efforts must be on making yourself and your business known.

  6. Joe Moore  I see the same thing thing Joe. Marketing and related disciplines are much like selling air. Clients can’t touch it. And if they don’t see IMMEDIATE return “it doesn’t work.” Fixing the interior is more about them than the customer. It’s a tangible thing. But if no one walks through the door, what’s the good of it.

    The truth is it all must be done to improve the overall experience. McDonald’s doesn’t stop advertising in favor of location renovations – it’s an overall strategy. Small businesses who also think small, compartmentalize business decisions thinking if they do one, they may not have to do another. It’s definitely off-brand thinking.

    It’s probably what separates you and your competition Joe. Good on you.