How to build
and manage a BRAND!
The following issues are
important to consider when building a brand, even if that
brand is called YOU, Inc.
Brands tie into our emotions.
It is crucial that this
link be present and underlying all brand building efforts.
If your brand efforts don't touch people at an emotional
level, their power to leverage and attract is nil. If your
own brand building efforts (You, Inc.) are not emotionally
driven then your power to sustain your brand building
efforts will be weak!
2. Brands are
Branding is a journey. The
path that a brand takes is always a bit unknown. This is a
key point. We do not always know what lies in the
"implicate order." Therefore branding is both recognition
and management of the present as well as creating the
space and opportunity for emergent possibilities within
the context of the journey.
have lasting value and transcend fad.
While it is cool...to be
cool, what matters is what lasts. Moving our brand into a
position where it has to be cool to survive is sounding a
death nell. Coolness is a result of the brand acceptance
not the brand intention. It will pay to remember that!
Brands are consistent in appearance.
WYSIWYG! Everything you do
to promote your brand needs design consistency. Continuous
management of appearance is critical to creating brand
equity and leverage. The biggest part of attraction that
many people forget, is that people need to know you're
there! Brand consistency must be seamless and
transparent...the effects are clear, the intention is
Look what blockbuster did
for video. Boston Market for fast food. Nike for sports.
Starbucks for coffee. Each and everyone of these great
brands have one thing in common, they became protagonists
in view of a simple goal, to reinvent the entire category.
6. You can
brand ANYTHING, even You!
What makes people desire
one thing over another? How does one brand attract people
over another? Anything can be managed as a brand by
following simple rules and by consistently outperforming
the other items in the category. This performance doesn't
have to be validated only accepted!
Brands have a clear identity!
Successful brands know
themselves and what they are about. They have become clear
regarding their own boundaries and the need to position
themselves for success considering all the possibilities
in the whole. Sometimes knowing what NOT to do is the key
to brand identity.
building is a marathon not a sprint!
In today's world of
possibilities and global exchange, the only thing is
brand. Price has been shown to be superfluous in the
presence of a strong performing brand. People want
dependability...a known quantity that differentiates
itself from the pack of also-rans. People want to feel
important and they leverage that through brand
identification. Building a brand is a constant and
continuous journey...a long-term approach.
9. Brands are
Brand builders consistently
show up at the right time, in the right place and in the
right way. A knack for great brand building is precisely
knowing when to say when. Consider your brands identity,
your branding intention and your brand investment and make
continuous deposits towards building brand equity.
benefit the consumer!
What is your
feature-benefit ratio? If people are not better off having
used your brand, you're in big trouble! That takes two
loci of action, one being, that you as a brand manager
place your brand in a position to succeed or don't do it;
and two that the benefits appear to the consumer in a
holistic way. It's kind of like the brand that keeps on
giving. Buckminster Fuller is credited with saying that
"when you flush a toilet, it goes somewhere." When people
use your products and services, the same thing happens. If
you sacrifice the long-term value in a holistic sense for
some short-term gain, you are endangering your brand
Improve Your Sales Proposals
Do you create sales
proposals or sales presentations to potential clients?
These 10 ten steps will improve your effectiveness.
Sounds obvious, huh?
You'd be surprised how often the words are overlooked.
Be sure to thank the potential client for the
opportunity to present to them. Tell them you respect
how valuable their time is and that you appreciate them
giving some of it to you.
Prepare an agenda of what
you will be presenting. This gives the potential client
an idea of what to expect.
Let the potential client
know up-front what you expect they will get from the
proposal. This lets them know how you want them to
respond to the proposal. You may say something like,
"after I have completed the presentation, you will be
able to see how my services give you much greater value
for less money."
yourself along with the product or service.
Don't be afraid to toot
your own horn. Come prepared with a resume of your
qualifications or summary of your experience or accounts
you personally manage. People buy from people and
because of people - not the services or products sold.
5. Be needs
Don't try to propose what
the potential client doesn't need. Be realistic and
check in with the potential client. Otherwise, don't
waste your time or their time with the proposal.
Often sales people leave
this step out and expect the prospect will "get it."
State the results that your product or services will
deliver. Be careful not to overstate and be honest about
the outcomes. Underpromising and overdelivering will pay
Make your proposal
interesting by painting a picture of your product or
services. Do a hands-on demonstration, or use charts,
graphs, etc. Get your prospect involved and imagining
their use of the product or service during the proposal.
about the money.
This is where salespeople
get uncomfortable and hesitate. State the cost and
explain all costs. Don't keep anything hidden. Don't be
embarrassed by the pricing. Expect the client will not
be scared by the costs. Don't judge their pocketbooks.
Don't leave the
presentation without agreed upon follow-up. Select the
next logical step and get the potential client to agree
to it. It may be meeting again, visiting a customer
using the product or service, or coming to your office
for another presentation of some sort. Choose the date
and time and make a firm commitment before you walk out
doesn't mean it's over.
Some of my proposals have
been rejected by the prospect the first time. I don't
pout. I just continue my relationship with them. I keep
in touch through calls, mailings, newsletters, and
invitations to seminars. You never know when the right
time may be or the mood may shift. Many initial "no's"
have become "yes" later on. Keep in touch.