Peter Engelhardt is a child of the 70s and is also, as a graphic designer with his own business, a wonderful guide for anyone looking to build their business’ marketing.
Back in the day, he decided that his number one professional goal was to never wear a suit – but this wasn’t going to stop him from astronomical success. Indeed, it’s freed him up to think in a more creative way about the business world and the challenges facing the everyday entrepreneur.
He outlines a 7-step process your business should follow to maximise its brand-building impact.
Before we can begin to work on growing your brand, let’s first define exactly what it is you’re developing.
At its core, your company’s brand is what differentiates your company from everyone else. It makes your customers think of you, specifically, when they want a product or service.
It encapsulates everything from your trademark colour scheme and logo to your building, your employees, your culture, the way you make your customers feel, etc. Essentially, your brand is what gives your business oomph and what allows your customers engage with you.
Your brand is the face of your company and what your customers love about you.
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Something this critical to your business doesn’t just form overnight (well, not very often anyway) and definitely not without a little elbow grease!
According to Peter, there are 5 key issues you’ll likely have already faced, particularly as a small business:
Through Peter’s 7-step process, you’ll learn how to tackle these issues and more!
Bring your meaningful brand to life by being very clear on exactly what it is you’re going to be doing as part of your business.
Make sure you’re clear on your vision for the company and what you want to be achieving. If you aren’t clear on this, you won’t be able to get the foundation of your brand settled.
However, your purpose can’t simply be to “make money” or “generate sales,” even if that is naturally a very big part of what you’ll be striving for. You need to go beyond to what you envision delivering to your customers.
How do you want to be of service?
That overall value you deliver is your purpose. Your purpose should inspire and sustain every single person involved in your brand. In the words of Richard Branson, “What you say is more important than what you sell.”
Imagine spending heaps of time developing an incredible marketing campaign, and then realising it only went out to people who didn’t really care about your product or who didn’t use your product in the way you intended it to be used.
A let-down, right?
Instead, focus on your ideal customer: the person who already loves your product, your vision, and who engages with both in a wholly positive way.
When defining this person, think about things like demographics, their buying habits, their personal preferences. Details in each of these categories help you target your marketing investment towards the right people.
The 5 key things you want to know about your ideal customer are:
Now, align your team priorities and your content creation around what these people want. The goal is to build their trust in you and, as a result, their loyalty to your brand.
This only happens when you provide genuine value to them and value which makes them feel like their concerns and needs have been heard and specifically provided for.
No one would stand for being told what they want or for having a product that doesn’t coincide with their actual desires forced on them. Focus on understanding your ideal customer and what they want.
This way, you are more cost-effective with your marketing budget and will make sure your true customers understand how important they are to you.
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If your customers can’t tell the difference between you and your competition, you don’t have a meaningful brand.
Instead, they’ll be undecided when they go to make a purchasing decision and you can’t predict how often they’ll pick you over the seemingly identical others. Obviously, not an ideal state of affairs for making sales!
You need a clear point-of-difference which is well-communicated to your customers, in order to ensure they truly engage with your brand and your business.
Remember Jack Trout, “If you don’t have a point-of-difference, you’d better have a low price.”
And, the latter simply isn’t viable for everyone!
While your purpose makes people believe in your brand, it should also influence the pillars of your brand. These pillars are the key standards you hold your business to and the filters through which you run every decision.
Your pillars should influence who your customers are, who your suppliers are, who you hire, how you expand your market share – everything!
It’s also important that every member of your team is on board with these pillars and is aware of them. Cohesiveness as a business is critical, and the pillars quickly lose meaning if you pick and choose when they apply.
These pillars can also absolutely be communicated to your wider audience as part of your overall brand. This adds another identifying (and helpful!) factor in your point-of-difference.
These pillars help the customer feel like they know you and that’s how they can come to trust you.
Your promise is a condensed word-bubble version of your brand. It covers what you value in terms of product and in terms of overall value delivery.
Your promise can be either an internal statement or an external declaration, depending on what your goal is.
An internal statement is obviously great for getting the whole team on board and clear on what you do. External statements are great for getting customers to really believe in you and to pull people in.
We can’t help but feel connected to someone with a powerful message.
Considering that it’s belief in your brand that truly builds its value and its ability to contribute positively to your business, this faith customers will have in you is essential.
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Your vision helps get your team truly on board with your brand by setting a long-term goal for your business, in terms of what you, collectively, define as success.
Ideally, your vision should be created in consultation with members of your team but overall it’s about working out what you want your success to look and feel like.
The goal should certainly not be easy – challenge is what gets people moving and innovating which is what you need for growth – but it should also be achievable enough to inspire them to confidently work towards it.
We already mentioned that your brand is the voice your business presents to your audience: the more human your business feels to your customers, the more invested they will become in you.
Your customers’ emotional attachment to your brand is what builds your business.
Your pillars can feed into this by giving your business a more human aspect but this can even come through in your marketing content.
How do you write? What are your graphics? Do these graphics feel too slick to be meaningful? Does your content truly and authentically connect with people?
Without some humanity and authenticity, your brand remains cold and won’t have your customers relating to your business.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to build a kick-butt reputation for your business.
Serve the world in a way that only you and your team can. Let’s go!
Are you tired of doing it all yourself? Do you genuinely want to build a dream business and take some time off? Join my upcoming free live webinar Rapidly Grow Your Dream Business.