Archives for October 2012

10 Things I Hate About Branding

ONE:
Frankly it takes a lot of work to stay on top of my brand. If only I could just push a button like the Staples “Easy Button” ( which I have on my desk). I hate that I can’t!

TWO:
I hate having to remind businesses that their brand is more than their logo. I have every design shop and ad specialty shop to blame for the mis-information I guess. (I could be painting with big a brush too)

THREE:
I hate companies who don’t realize that branding is a top down initiative. Without the captain on board, who’s piloting the brand?

FOUR:
Just too many great books to read. I’m stuck on historical fiction right now and so slipping in books on branding is a tight fit – I hate that.

FIVE:
I hate those who confuse their brand message with their slogan. There is a difference. I guess since they are both important, I should be happy that they have anything.

SIX:
I hate followers. Why do some businesses still feel they must follow the leader in their category? A commenter to one of my articles recently lamented their displeasure at businesses who copy the leader’s image almost to the letter. Sheesh!

SEVEN:
I also hate people online who make the simple complicated in an attempt to screw a few dollars out of your pocket, only to reveal the obvious. If you see something online you want to get into, email the author – I’m sure they’ll help you.

EIGHT:
I love it when someone says, “Hey, you’re the branding guy!” I hate that it took so long.

NINE:
Sometimes I hate that consistency is worth so much to your brand. I get the itch like many of us to change things up a bit. BUT, my better judgement knows that that would diminish what I have achieved so far.

TEN:
Sometimes I hate focus groups when judging brand image. By their nature they look to criticize regardless if it is even necessary. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Was your brand built on consensus or instinct?

Thanks for letting me vent a small bit, I hate keeping it bottled up inside

Get Your Expertise Out There

We are all experts in something. You might be humble in your discussion of your expertise, but be assured that you ARE an expert. I think that it’s imperative, that you share that expertise with your audience and allow them to benefit from with their exposure to you.

October has been a good month for exhibiting my expertise. On Tuesday past I spoke to 120 women leaders when I presented to Athena International in Chicago. Yesterday I was interviewed on List Builder Tele-Summit, an initiative spear-headed by Donna Ward and Rodney Rich. Next week, I’m featured at the grand opening of The new Windsor Small Business Centre at the University of Windsor signing my new book, 101 Branding Tips.

All three events were opportunities to expand my reach and profile my expertise. In all cases, it’s a great way to meet new people and see how I can potentially help them with their brands. In every case I am providing opinion free of charge to help those in attendance. It defines my brand, and in turn provides me with the opportunity to develop new leads. What do you do to share your opinion? It’s a great way to show your expertise in your category. It’s very much a three dimensional form of marketing your brand.

Challenge yourself to stand up and express your leadership topic. Put yourself out there and I can assure you that you WILL benefit from the effort. Outside of self-promotion another worthy effort is to mentor younger people with your expertise. It takes a leader to recognize the value in helping others grow. It’s rewarding on many levels.

How To Deny Your Competitors The Opportunity To Define You

Has your competition ever accurately described what you do to a potential customer? My guess is not so much. Most promotional activity among small businesses in my experience does little to define a brand but does plenty selling clever slogans, flashy images, real estate and special offers. To ignore your brand position is to deny yourself the corner of your customer’s mind that tells them why you are the go to people for what they are looking for. Without a defining brand position you are among the gray matter all of your competitors are fighting for. The quick fix, the sound bite, the mediocre message, the viral anything that everybody in your category embraces.

A competitor can only define an opposing brand when that opposing brand denies themselves the opportunity. Most brand positions when done correctly puts a brand out on a limb. The differentiation is clear and often intimidating to a competitor. Your goal in positioning is to resonate with your audience. First you must discover why they love you, then deliver a position that compliments what they love, builds on it and surpasses it. Positioning is not a slogan, it’s a promise to deliver and if you’re good at it – over-deliver.

Why Your Site Stats Matter – Especially To Your Bottom Line

Talks about knowing your website statisticsIf you’ve listened to our past podcasts, you would have learned about Kelly McCausey. Kelly is the owner of SoloSmarts, a resource and podcast for small businesses. She’s always gives me something to think about and some fabulous action steps each time I talk to her, no matter how ‘old’ the topic seems to be.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to get Kelly on the phone with me to talk about website statistics. It was such a good chat, we went over time. We covered things like:

  • Why you’re missing out big chunks of free market research when you’re only watching your page views and number of visitors.
  • How stats can help you laser target content topics your customers are interested in so you can go create more of them.
  • How your stats can tell you if you are wasting time and money creating content nobody cares for.
  • How your website statistics can give your bottom line a healthy boost almost immediately.
  • How your stats can help you boost your rankings in the search engines and make search engine optimization a breeze to boot.
  • The difference between Google Analytics and your webhost’s website stats and why one is better of the other especially when working with ad networks.

Listen in on the interview, click the player above or download the audio to take it with you.

Kelly will be holding a “Know Your Blog Stats Worshop” to show us step-by-step how to really mine our statistics for better profits. The workshop will be held October 13th. Learn more about this workshop and how to get access and recordings.

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