You trusted your agency - they busted your budget.
Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again.
By educating and empowering you to be able to grow your own successful brand.
To do that, I’m going to teach you a system that will make branding simple and easy-to-manage.
Brands aren’t built. They’re grown.
A brand is like a plant that needs love and attention. You can’t force it to grow, but you can encourage it and guide it as it reaches its full potential.
The two things you need to know about branding.
Just two and only two. Forget everything you think you know about branding.
POOF! Gone? Good.
We’re going to keep this super simple. The magic is in the execution of these ideas, not in the complexity.
I love this quote from Albert Einstein:
Here are those two things:
Brand Positioning + Brand Consistency
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning is the special place you hold in the mind of the consumer.
This quote perfectly captures the power and importance of brand positioning:
Here’s an interesting fact about positioning.
Your brand establishes a position whether you intend to or not.
The moment your brand interacts with the public, an impression is made and a positioning takes place.
So it is crucial that we make every effort to clearly communicate the ideal way we would like to be positioned. Letting our tribes know we exist.
Knowing your brand’s position empowers you in many ways. Here’s a few:
Improve your marketing messaging and advertising
Identify and empathise with your customer avatar
Understanding the benefits your product/service provides
Create landing pages that convert
Creating high value content that people actually want
Lower employee attrition and attract the best talent
As you can see, a solid brand is more than just a pretty picture.
Brand positioning lays the foundation for the growth of your brand. That’s the power of an Internal Positioning Statement.
What’s an Internal Positioning Statement (IPS)?
It’s a short paragraph that clearly explains:
Who you are
What you do
Who you do it for
What benefits they get from using your product or service
Through this process you should define:
Your tone of voice
Your customer persona
The benefits you provide
The magic isn’t in the IPS itself. The magic comes from the effort you put into articulating your values.
N.B. I have a free course that guides you step-by-step on how to create a strong Internal Positioning Statement. If you’d like to jump ahead to that, click here.
When I do this with my one-on-one clients, we can spend hours upon hours digging deep into their psyche to discover what truly sets them apart from the competition.
Its exhaustingly, mind-numbing work, but the results cannot be ignored.
Those that invest the blood, sweat and tears into this process will reap the rewards for years to come.
How will an IPS improve your marketing though?
Your IPS will be the guiding light, the compass for all future marketing and branding initiatives.
A well constructed IPS will clearly define your target audience, your tone of voice and the value your provide.
At a single glance, you’ll be reminded of the path you’re on and what you’re aiming for.
N.B. Your IPS is not your vision or mission statements. It’s also not something that should be available for public viewing. It’s for you and your trusted teams eyes only. It’s for internal use only. So don’t make it sound gimmicky. Be real.
So it’s pretty obvious how important your IPS is.
Seriously, if everything is going to sprout and be influenced by this statement, then you’re going to want to be sure that you get it right.
I like to use the analogy of a ship out on the open seas to illustrate the importance of a great IPS.
If a ship is heading north on the open seas, but is off by 1 degree, after 7 days of sailing, the Captain and his crew will find themselves in a very different location. Nowhere near their intended destination.
Branding is like this. These details are brushed off as insignificant and unimportant, but they are the minor deviations that will derail your journey and take you off course.
What is brand consistency?
Brand consistency is the reinforcement of your IPS.
So simple yet so important.
At every opportunity. At every customer touchpoint, that IPS needs to be reinforced.
It gets reinforced by the way your receptionist answers the phone. It gets reinforced by the way your staff wear their uniforms. It gets reinforced by the type of music you play in your showroom. It gets reinforced by the images you use on your website.
I think you get the idea.
Before you do anything in your business, ask yourself this one question:
“Does this reinforce our Internal Positioning Statement?”
If the answer is “no”, then you don’t do it. Period. End of story. Finito.
Here’s a branding mantra I live by and I encourage my clients to live by:
A clear brand is a successful brand.
Clear brands win. Customers can easily recall who they are, what they do and the role that brand plays in their life.
An inconsistent brand sends mixed signals. Mixed signals cause confusion and ultimately disaster.
Remember, we are lobbying for people's attention. So we want to show them at every opportunity that we are who we say we are. That whenever they see our brand they can expect the same level of service as always.
A friend of mine told me about his holiday in China. The day he arrived he was very tired and overwhelmed by his new environment. Hungry, he looked around for something to eat and saw the golden arches. A little slice of Americana. A little slice of familiarity.
Without thinking twice he went and ordered himself a Big Mac and satisfied his needs.
That’s the power of consistent branding.
One cannot survive without the other.
Brand positioning without brand consistency leaves you with an IPS that’s basically sitting in the attic gathering dust and cobwebs. It’s like a ‘69 Mustang with a V8 engine sitting in your backyard getting rusty.
Brand consistency without brand positioning is, well, hardly consistent at all! It couldn’t even begin to be consistent. Efforts are unguided and haphazard.
It’s not fancy, but it is effective.
People are always looking for the next hot topic. But friend, I promise you that these two branding principles have been in effect for a very long time.
The world's most successful brands have executed in these areas flawlessly for the most part, and will continue to do so.
If you are diligent with positioning and consistency, your brand will establish deep roots, and you would have joined the elite class of entrepreneur. The Enlightened Entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur defined by patience and hard work. The entrepreneur who values education over buzzwords and trends. The entrepreneur that has sunk their teeth deep into their business and has learned firsthand what it takes to keep it alive.
It’s the Enlightened Entrepreneur that can now rehire their an agency.
These agencies are like pouring petrol on top of a fire.
You need a spark or flame to being with in order for the petrol to be effective. Otherwise you’re left a smelly pile of sticks that nobody wants to clean up.
With an impressive brand strategy already in place, the right agency will help grow your business exponentially.
By the way…how can you tell who is the right agency for you?
This information is true for all creative fields or anything that requires strategy in order to succeed properly.
Agencies who understand the game ask lots and lots of questions. You’ll feel like you’re lying down on a therapists lounge while they probe your mind.
Because empathy is everything.
Empathy is key because we need it to truly understand you and what you’re wanting to achieve in life.
Empathy is required to understand your customer avatar and their behaviour.
Empathy is required to uncover the benefits of your offering. Not features, not specifications and not price.