It’s pretty simple; you can be a leader or a follower. Being a leader requires instinct, knowledge and execution and is the hardest path to take but the results are far superior.
10. Don’t get caught playing follow the leader
It’s pretty simple; you can be a leader or a follower. Being a leader requires instinct, knowledge and execution and is the hardest path to take but the results are far superior. Do not try and recreate or reinvent what has been done. Be a leader and carve your own path in order for your brand to be inherently authentic and original.
9. Listen to your creative gut
A piece of advice that has rung true in my entrepreneurial career thus far is that if you listen to your gut and follow your instincts, you will be led towards success. This sounds very simple but when making big decisions, many dangerous comfort zones will appear as distractions from your goal. Ignore these distractions, listen to your heart and be an expert in your brand by flat out BEING AN EXPERT! You should know who you are targeting, what they want and how you need to message to them, inside and out. It doesn’t just stop at knowing your target market; you need to know your competition, competitive advantage or selling points, internal weaknesses and so on. This approach will result in your ability to think through the eyes of your buyers.
8. Don’t just define your market, live it
We can pencil push market demographics all day long and you can spend thousands of dollars trying to understand who you should target, but at the end of the day, to be an expert means you need to live and breathe your brand. A really smart person told me once that if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, no one else will and your company will lose market share based on its inability to connect with its audience. If you live your audience by doing the things that they do, you will naturally be able to create a brand that appeals to them.
7. A brand is not just a logo it’s an experience
Your brand is an experience, not just a logo. Website or visual, your brand is how your client feels after interacting with your company. It goes beyond what is seen digitally and transcends into a personal application and comprehension. Ensure that your brand breathes cohesion and exceptional customer service because that is what creates a lasting impression.
6. Make a plan and stick to it
A plan is only as good as your willingness to follow it. Start off by creating a robust action plan with deliverable dates, items needed and a list of who is responsible for what. Trello.com is an amazing and free project management tool that helps keep you on track by simply creating a task and drag it into completion, done and done.
5. Ask for brand feedback but not too much
Feedback is conducive to success but have you ever noticed that some of your friends always give negative feedback? The interesting psychology behind feedback is that people close to you will generally not give an objective look into the brand because they like you. This sounds crazy but it’s actually very simple. By initiating statements such as “Looks extremely well crafted” or “Nailed it,” friends are now in an approval role which assumes responsibility and results in statements like: “You said we nailed it, but we failed it” or “That was a well crafted mess.” The simple approach is to ask for feedback from a non-objective, outside source who fits in alignment with your brand’s core demographic. Briefly stop someone on the street or set a poll up online.
4. Get a video
Do you really need a video done for your company? The answer is yes but the question becomes what type of video do you need? Youtube.com is the second largest search engine and is also a large contributor to search engine optimization, which is how your site pops up organically on the search engines. You have two approaches: hire someone to create a video for your company or create something budget friendly. Either way, get something up online right away and make it as good as you can!
3. Hire a photographer
It might seem very simple but take a look into your company archives, dive deep, deeper, find anything? Are you seeing random cell phone photos from the company party you want to forget? Yup… Just so you know, you’re not alone and many companies we work with have little to no professional photography to market their company. Surprisingly enough, all of this stuff is plugged right into your website and transcends into everything from social media to what people see on Google. Don’t hire your long lost cousin to do the job who is now dabbling in photography, hire someone who specializes in brand photography and your online visual presence will be revived!
2. Live your core values
To be honest, a lot of companies we work with either do not have a core value set or cannot remember any of them off of the top of their head. This is an indicator of one two things, either you got too busy to come up with core values or the values are so outdated that no one cares anymore. Why should you care about your company’s core values? Great question! This is literally the basis on which you hire, fire, message and embody the brand of your company, so pretty much everything you do should be wrapped around a core value set.
1. Singular Messaging
Ask yourself these questions: What is your brand message? Do you have five taglines for every season or mood? Understand what you do better than your competition and narrow your messaging to just that.