Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Brand Strategy : Don’t Sell Your Products!

If your aim is to build a brand that is remarkably different and not to become just the best choice but to become the only choice, then read on.

The BIG mistake : you sell features, not the experience.

As a small to medium sized business owner, if you keep making this mistake you'll be hanging the closed sign for good, and we don't want that!

Therefore, when you think about the service or product you sell, you need to change the way you think.

Instead of listing out all the features you offer, put the customer first. Focus on all the benefits they'll get (what's in it for them) and how they'll feel when you solve their nagging pains and problems. Layer your personality on top of it, and voila! You become memorable, likable and trusted, and they grab hold of you and keep coming back for more.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

An athletic club doesn't sell classes or memberships, they sell how great you'll look and feel in your two piece in Goa this winter.

A real estate company isn't selling houses, they're selling the place your babies will learn to walk and talk, and where you'll start traditions - they're selling the comfort of homes.

Disney doesn't sell theme parks and movies, they sell family fun with a little dose of magic.

So basically, you're selling the feelings they get when they do business with you.

It's all about the meaning, the idea, the spirit behind what you're selling.
The experience.

When you find the hidden emotional need you are meeting, over and beyond the actual physical product or service, your customers will grab on to you and never let go.

They trust you. You offer something unique and differentiated that solves a need nobody else understands. You make a big difference and they won't forget.

Let's try it as an exercise:

Think of your customers first, and what you really do. What's really in it for them? How do you make them feel?

Once you're clear on this, you'll not only be the best choice, you'll be the only choice! 

Complete the 4 step process to uncover what you really sell:

1) Make a list of all the reasons people buy from you.
If you don't know, ask them.

2) Include all the biggest pains and problems you solve for them.

3) When you're finished, pick the BIGGEST result/benefit your customer feels.

4) This is where you'll hang your hat. 

All the Best!

What is a Brand?

A lot of people are talking about it. But very few understand it.
The brand is the most powerful business tool you have.
Everyone seems to want it, but not very many know how to get it.
First, lets start with what a brand is not.
A brand is not a logo. It's a symbol for the brand, but it's not the brand itself.
Corporate colors, fonts, your website, and brochures are not a brand either.
They are the visual identity that communicates the brand.
So then, what is a brand?
A brand is the thoughts, feelings, words, or emotions you have when you hear a name.
It's all about how they make you feel.
Let me show you what I mean.
Think about these 3 strong brands:
Apple, TATA and Asian Paints
We all think the same thing, and we all use the same words to describe each of those strong brands when we hear their names.
Apple: innovation, creativity
TATA: integrity, passion
Asian Paints: colourful, friendly
Simply put, branding is recognition. Or perception.
It's not defined by what the companies think, but by what individuals, like you and I, think.
The brand is held in the hearts and minds of people.
So your brand isn't what you think it is.
It's what they think it is.