DIY Marketing – Branding Secrets Top Business Owners Know and Use

Branding your company may seem like a simple set of tasks. Choose a niche, a service or product to sell, a company name, a logo, business cards, a website and “Voila!” You are in business! It is true you can be “in business” with little effort. However, the level of success you experience will depend on whether you know — and use — fundamental, yet little known “secrets”. Your understanding of these four secrets will catapult you ahead of your competition right from the start:

1. Your company’s values must be in alignment with your personal values. Your company brand represents you and all you stand for. You are going to spend many hours, days, months and years working in your business and representing your business. If your company is an accurate reflection of your own personal core values, and not in conflict with any of them, the long hours you will spend working in your business will be much less stressful. In fact, your work life can be a joyful, playful expression of who you are and what you care most about. We all want to do work that feels like play. Now is your chance to create or re-invent your company to become an expression of you and to create a “skin” that you will feel comfortable living in for many years to come.

2. Your brand is created only in part by you. It is co-created by the public in how they view you. You have control over the message you send out about who your company is, what is stands for and what it promises. You have no control over how the message is interpreted by its recipients, your prospective customers. Your brand is also subject to the tides of public opinion. Plenty of companies have fallen victim to their own best marketing efforts by creating unwittingly a marketing message that is negatively received by the public, causing untolled, and sometimes irreparable damage. Creating and refining your marketing message to appeal to consumers is an art you must master to be successful.

3. Discovering, rather than simply imagining, who your ideal client is will determine your level of success. Crystallize your understanding of the client you seek to serve. Fiction writers create a “back story” for each of their fictional characters before they write a word. They conjure biographical details about each character, describing what his life influences have been, which then informs his character. The author then literally “knows” how each character would behave in a certain situation and knows what his character’s response to various stimuli would be. As a business owner, you must “characterize” your ideal prospective customer in this same manner. This knowledge is necessary for you to craft products and services that you prospective customer will respond to and buy.

4. Your customer is seeking an experience not merely a purchase. Because of the large number of choices available, consumers have become accustomed to expect a pleasant and desirable experience with any purchase. Consumers have been trained to believe that if they buy a particular product or service, that their lives will be transformed for the better, if even briefly. A trip to Starbucks is an event and evokes pleasurable feelings in the consumer that run much deeper than just the purchase of a hot beverage. A trip on a cruise ship is much more than mere transportation from one destination to another. Your product or service will be more attractive if it promises and delivers a pleasurable, perhaps even life-changing experience.

Whether, and how soon in your company’s life, you master these fundamental secrets will be a determining factor in your company’s success.