The way most companies “brand” themselves today misses the whole point. When most develop a logo that they believe represents what they do, and they even get excited about that brand… what they are missing is that if it isn’t clear, VERY CLEAR and EXCITING to their target market it totally misses the point. Here’s how to develop such a powerful, exciting brand, that your target market will beg to jump into your shopping cart.
What Is Branding
Maybe I should have said that differently. What is POWERFUL BRANDING?
I’ll answer the first question first, What is Branding? Then it will be easier to understand what makes powerful branding?
Branding is “implanting an associative memory” in our target audience. Something that reminds them of what you want them to think, or feel. Frankly, I want them jumping up and down with excitement over what they’d get from me. I want a brand that doesn’t just sort of make them think of what I want them to think of. I want them feeling it, getting excited about it, and that’s the brand I want to be known for.
Branding is not really anything new. Remember Pavlov’s dogs?
Clear back in 1904 Pavlov would rub the flavor of meat on the tongues of several dogs and ring a bell. He was training those dogs that to associate the bell ringing with the taste of meat. He was developing “an association” between the two events.
I want my target audience to feel the excitement of what they’d get from me if they did decide to hire me. I want their mouths watering like Pavlov’s dogs when they think of me. That’s more than seeing a logo.
Now, just imagine what it would be like if we had something that our target market would clearly associate not just with you personally, but with some kind of powerful, exciting result that he would get from working with you. In other words, we want his mouth to water for what he’d get from you.
Branding Is More Than Just a Logo — Make Them Feel It
And that’s where most marketing falls short. Most logos, or other forms of branding barely instill any kind of memory, let alone something that is mouth wateringly excitinging and powerful.
There is yet another point frequently missed, it’s both the type of memory (mouth wateringly powerful and exciting) and how long it takes (how much it costs) to implant that associative memory.
Let’s take a look at McDonald’s and the Golden Arches as one example of branding, and why big business branding doesn’t work for small businesses.
You Don’t Have $4B to Throw at Developing an Association with Your Brand
Small businesses have to have extremely effective marketing. They don’t have $4B to throw at developing that associative memory that McDonald’s throws at it. Why?
Let’s assume that you are driving down the road before you knew anything about McDonalds, or the fact that what they deliver is “fast food” and “hamburgers.” You pass a billboard with a picture of the “Golden Arches” on it, or even drive buy a building with the Golden Arches outside. Since you’ve never seen this before, nor have any previous association of the Golden Arches to anything it certainly doesn’t make our mouth water for what they have. In fact, it’ll probably be totally ignored as you drive right on by.
How did McDonalds develop that association in your mind? By Spending $4B a year, year after year until you now see the Golden Arches, and if you are hungry you will likely wheel right in.
You, a small business, don’t have $4B to continuously rub meat on your target market’s tongues while ringing a bell, or, in this case, showing them the Golden Arches.
When it comes to developing “an association” you could take something totally unrelated to the sensation you want your target market to feel, or to get really excited about, and can make a weak association after rubbing the dog’s tongues while ringing the bell hundreds of time, or, maybe thousands of times to get it to stick, and have a weak association. Or you could develop a picture of something that in itself can generate that mouth watering sensation, the excitement and then make sure that that sensation is related to you, your company, or something you do. In this case, we don’t have to do it very many times before they KNOW that’s you. The cost will be significantly less than $4B.
For instance, I want to be known for “doubling” or “multiplying” my client’s businesses. That’s the image I want to leave. I don’t need to develop a logo that has nothing to do with that. I’d rather have “multiplying” be directly associated with me.
So, I use a story, a testimonial, to establish what I want people to think when they think about me. Jenny, a Mary Kay rep told me that she had only one call a year from the Mary Kay national website when we met just about a year ago. Within two weeks we had implemented an internet marketing plan that had delivered 72 people to her website, and 10 sales. She has done that consistently every two weeks for the last year. In other words she is now getting 250 times more sales within a year than she had previously.
Speaking of branding. Now she goes from networking event to networking event excitedly bubbling So when I speak of “doubling” to a small business owner, or even my new brand “$100K Programs” they have no problem associating that with what I do for clients.
What MEASURABLE results have you provided to your clients? By helping your clients associate with a measurable result we help them associate the VALUE you bring to them with you. It’s clear, it’s valuable, and if it’s valuable enough it’s mouth watering. Now they now very clearly what they are buying from you. And it becomes not only easy to do, but plain mouth wateringly compelling, and powerful.