What do you think of when you hear the term “branding?“ I think of the golden arches, a silly talking gecko and duck, and cattle on those old westerns. They are how you want your business to be identified and remembered.
The brands I mentioned above didn’t happen overnight. No, no! They started with a man or woman, who had an idea and acted upon it. How did they become so successful and how can you learn from them?
It came through a combination of hard work, dedication to their customers, determination, integrity, and love for what they were doing. They may have thought about making money, but it was more about the customer satisfaction that drove them.
They knew a happy customer would return. A returning customer is probably going to have a friend or two with them. The cycle would repeat itself and grow over time.
You are your brand. You’re unique, there’s no other you. There are bound to be people like you, but they’re still not you. Always keep that in mind! That realization is powerful.
Arm yourself with 7 elements of Branding
I want this article to provide you with solid ideas to improve your game. With that firmly implanted in your mind, let’s see if we can open the floodgates with these 7 Elements of Branding.
- Forget about the money. Focus on staying true to your customers and services. As long as you can do that, the money will come.
- Get to know your customers(career, family, organizations, hobbies, etc.)! You never know who your clients may be. If you know a customer works somewhere, don’t be afraid to drop off a complimentary gift.Share their information with your customers as well. It’s a great way to get other businesses to promote your services as well.
- Always have something to give away (business cards, product samples, flyers/brochures, etc).
- Attend public functions as much as possible. Flea markets, open houses, church gatherings, tailgates, and charity walks are affordable ways to get yourself noticed. I also highly recommend joining your local chambers of commerce. Some businesses won’t be willing to share your services if you’re not a member. It’s definitely best if you want to post flyers or leave brochures with them. It’s all about networking.
- Always be humble, respectful, and gracious. Take time to listen to your customers, your success can be as simple as lending an ear or saying thank you. Above all else, never interrupt a customer.
- Cell phones can be a tricky divide. Shut your cell phone off if you’re in front of a customer. If your cell phone is going to be a large part of your business, make sure you leave a voice message instructing them to leave a message. Having a generic voice message is unprofessional and may turn potential customers away.
- Never take holidays or special occasions for granted. You always want to remember to send something to your customers on these days. If your customer just gave birth to a child, take time to send them a congratulatory card.Don’t forget to send them birthday cards. Always send them a card over the holidays. If you find out a customer lost someone close to them, send them a sympathy card. When you remember them, they’ll remember you.
Do you see the big picture here? While you are your brand, your customers are the life’s blood of your business. Identify with your customer and they’ll identify with you. One hand ALWAYS washes the other!