3 Fiercely Competitive Ways To Transform Your Business Into A Brand
Before we jump to how to transform your business into a brand, let’s start with a few questions.
What does being a brand truly mean?
What are some words that you would use to describe yours?
Here are 4 good ones to get the juices flowing…
Cool or maybe even…
Great companies exhibit all 4 of these, or some combination.
My guess is that your business (along with most business) may not have invested enough time or money in building these adjectives into the mindset of your audience.
Before you even get to that point in understanding how your market views your company, let’s discuss what I believe to be the most important aspect of your business:
Creating an aspect of your business that you do EXCEPTIONALLY well.
Not good or okay, but exceptional.
A major reason people flock to certain brands is that there is the perception, or reality, that they are the best at what they do. Better yet, they are the only ones that do what they do. Think the Beatles, Tesla and Apple.
As a consultant to small and midsize companies my question starts off by asking, “What does your company do exceptionally well,” and I’m always surprised by the answer. They are always able to discuss what they do, but not what differentiates them from their competitors in a significant way.
Understanding this concept is the biggest step you will take once you decide to transform your business in a brand. If the Beatles didn’t make music that deeply connected with their audience, would they have the sustainable value they still have today? Of course not.
If Apple didn’t create a transformative integrated system of exceptional products and services, how would we view them today – would they even be relevant? No chance.
An Electric Experience
Tesla, a maker of premium electric vehicles, distinguished themselves by making beautiful and efficient cars. An article in the LA Times interviewed a BMW engineer (a competitor) and he explained Tesla like this:
“Tesla’s presence has helped reinvigorate the spirit of automobile innovation that was beginning to run stale, further testifying that BMW will be a stronger company long term because Tesla is around”, he said
Powerful statement wouldn’t you say?
They got the “ Exceptional” part right and have now built powerful and connective adjectives around their brand.
And I could go on and on …but you get the picture.
The Antidote to Being a Commodity
Connective associations are a powerful elixir to have in a competitive market that is crowded with similar products. Apple’s “1984” television commercial was the epitome of creating a dynamic association that forced people to ‘pick a side’ – either you accepted being spellbound by big brother (IBM) and archaic computers, or you decided to be a part of what the future of computers would be.
Their PC vs. Mac campaigns also made you pick a side – boring and institutional, or cool and geeky. And your choice came down to whom you wanted to be associated with.
Decide what your company is going to stand for, and make sure it clearly builds associations that are opposite of your competitors – make them pick a side.
The old business paradigm of continuous improvement should be replaced with continuous simplification. People like simple and convenience. Think about it, we live in a mobile society where everything is at our fingertips – in general it makes life simpler.
We are in the age of ‘done for you”, meaning that brands are doing what they can to make everything one click away or a one step process.
Ask yourself, how can I simplify my business with the perspective of it being extremely valuable to my end customer?
A good example of this is Amazon’s “1-Click” ordering service. No entering password or username info – just 1-Click and the item is purchased.
None of these strategies are easy, and in some cases you won’t receive the benefits of their implementation in the short term.
Creating what your company will be exceptional at will take time and few trials to get right. Building the right connections to your brand is a soul-searching strategy – getting down to the essence of whom you are.
Lastly, simplicity is a hard idea to get your mind around – we would rather add than subtract – it’s our nature.
I believe these are 3 important cornerstones of a business, and I hope you invest in them well and reap the fruits of success.
Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Humble!
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