Brand Consultant & Coach, Published Business Writer, Brand Author & Speaker, Harpist, Composer, Mom & Wife, Spiritual Student, Educator ... and that's just on Monday. A blog about brand leadership, innovation and anything else I want to write about.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brand Marketing 101 for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, to market successfully you have to define the basics of your brand and really KNOW what makes up your brand positioning in order to market it on- or off-line. It's surprising how many entrepreneurs gloss over this part, but skipping or skimping on the foundational basics will only lead to inefficient, ineffective marketing results.

Coming up with your brand positioning really can be as simple as answering the big W questions: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN

So let's begin...

WHO: Who are you? What's your brand name? Your descriptor? Your tag line? What visual design/images do you use? Do they effectively capture the next W of WHAT?

What do you do? What is it that everyone else in your industry does and is therefore a commodity? What do you do that is absolutely unique in your market?

WHERE: This is a trick W that means geographically where are you marketing, and who are your target audiences? Also, where/how do customers find you?

WHY: Why does your business exist? What void are you filling, and how would the world be different if your business didn't exist?

WHEN: The final W of WHEN is invaluable for managing marketing. If you want to achieve this goal on this date, back up from there to track how you're going to accomplish that goal task by task and how long that will really take.

When you answer these questions, be sure to answer them in regard to how things are right now in time as well as project out three years. Are there changes? Do you have more markets? More products and services to different types of customers? Be realistic about right here, right now but vision as well to what you aspire to be within a reasonable time frame.

Now take all of the above answers and formulate a few sentences that describe what you do - this can be both an elevator pitch to speak to someone as well as crafted into a polished statement often referred to as a POSITIONING STATEMENT.

I love this classic elevator pitch exercise. You're on an elevator, your ideal client/customer has just walked on to the elevator with you. You've been dying to reach this client/customer and now can speak to her with no interruptions for 5 floors. You have less than 60 seconds. What do you say to her? Go!

Ideally, what you just eloquently said in less than a minute encapsulated the answers to your W questions AND just made you a major sale.

Most entrepreneurs I've met over the years actually have a very hard time answering these basic questions. Without them, though, any type of brand marketing/brand building becomes inefficient and, more often than not, ineffective. And guess what? As an entrepreneur, you don't have the time OR money to waste on either!

While brand positioning can entail much more than the above, starting with the basics will give you the solid foundation required for building your brand to success.
blog comments powered by Disqus