I’ve been trying to explain the importance of branding to people all year and then recently I watched the final of The X Factor USA and I saw the power of brand building in action… in a way I think will help people understand.
The three finalists had each been working hard on their personal brand the entire competition:
Carlito Olivero is a Hispanic competitor from the Bronx who has been an underdog all the way, even ending up in the bottom two twice. Every week he tells America that he’s a fighter. He tells them he’s come from the gutter, and he’s going to work hard and fight his way to the top. This is his brand. This is what he stands for. And we all love a fighter.
Jeff Gutt is a single dad who is inspired by his three year old son. He was depressed and gave up music until his son came along. He needs to win for his son. We’ve all bought into his story. He stands for sacrifice, determination and parenthood. He stands for hope. He’s a father. That’s his brand. We are routing for him to win for his son.
Alex and Sierra are the beautiful young couple who are madly in love. They are the lovers of the competition. They both have wonderful voices and sing into each other’s eyes week on week. They stand for love. That’s their brand. Love. And who doesn’t want to believe in love?
Do you see what I’m saying here? In the X Factor the winner is chosen by the vote of several million viewers. But it’s not just about the singing. The good contestants have not just demonstrated their talent. They have also shown us what they stand for. We have fallen for their story and what the values they represent to us. We have an emotional connection to what they are about not just what they do.
In the real world (because we can’t all be X Factor stars), your brand is what your business stands for, not just your product or service. You have to sell an emotional connection.
In the X Factor final, love won the day. What does your brand stand for that will make you a winner in your world?
PS You can read more about the power of branding in my book Liber8 your Business. Available on Amazon right now.
From the desk of Liber8me. Business mentors and publisher of Liber8 your Business: The revolutionary business planning technique that will set every small business owner free.
I’ve recommended to three different clients in the past week that they undertake a client and prospect survey to find out what’s really going on with their business. Each of these clients has different challenges but each will be able to make better decisions by asking the people they are trying to reach.
I was in the advertising industry for over 20 years and the most effective work we ever did for clients came out of insights we had gained from understanding their customers and potential customers. When I ran my own agency, we would always start a new campaign by talking to both existing customers and potential customers. We would base our advertising messages on what they told us…. more so than on what the client told us about their business.
Today I am still a huge believer in the power of talking to your customers on a regular basis.
Why and when should you do a customer survey
- To learn more about customer purchasing and spending habits, and how they are utilizing competitor products – so you can be sure you are positioning your product and marketing in the most appealing way
- To build a more detailed customer profile for future marketing campaigns – who are your hot clients, what do they want and where can you find more of them?
- To further define a clear point of difference – what is that you do that your customers love, and why do they choose you over the competition?
- To learn what frustrates your customers about your industry and how can you package your offering to provide the best solution to this
- To assist with brand development – if you are undergoing branding work, you can build better strategies with customer insights
- For new product development – before you spend money building something, make sure it is needed and wanted by matching it against client/prospect needs
- To find out why clients are not referring others, even with very good incentives to do so
How do you go about it?
I’ve just published a report called ‘Customer Insights: Developing valuable insights for marketing and product development’, which outlines the steps to take and the types of questions you should ask.
You can download it at www.liber8yourbusiness.com/tools
Research is a really important part of product development and positioning so do check it out, and let me know if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the desk of Liber8me. Small business mentors and publisher of Liber8 your Business, the revolutionary planning technique that will set every small business owner free.