Why should you listen to me?
As background to who I am, I ran a brand consultancy for 22 years and won many awards for my work, but I became disillusioned with the way we had to sell studio time that I didn’t always feel was necessary in order to allow the business to thrive. There was so much focus on creating the logo, we forgot many of the more important things that really mattered to create an actual brand.
How to create a brand
If you want to create a brand then you need to follow some basic rules. These are incredibly easy and logical, but over my many years of building brands for others, I’m now able to share all of the secret tools I use to make life much, much easier and create brands without help or support from brand consultants.
This will be a step-by-step guide to the tools and techniques I use to create a brand from scratch. If you want to read some of the background to branding, you can get a copy of the Blaggers Guide to Branding on Amazon here http://geni.us/FtVD
Or save your money and watch these four videos instead.
1. Understand who your customer is
In all my years as a brand consultant, this was by far the most useful insight I ever worked with. Without a really clear picture in your mind of what your customer looks like, you can’t expect to deliver a product or service that meets and exceeds their expectations.
Conversely, if they are alive in your mind, you are more able to think like them, get inside their head and start to make decisions on what they would do and how they would behave, all of your decisions become far more logical and consistent. I’ve always used a checklist of questions, to begin to build this picture and I call it my Audience Profiler.
Here are the questions:
Real Age/living age
How old do they act – they could be older in years, but young at heart
Where they live
City/country/suburbs, house type, mortgaged/rented
What they drive
Car type, big or small old or new or do they use public transport
What they watch on TV
Saturday night specials, cable channels, box sets or serious sports fans
Where they go out
Into the city, theatre, local pub, cinema, dinner, or local pub
Where they work
Do they work, full time, part-time, managerial, clerical or blue-collar
Where do they holiday
US, Europe or adventure holiday. Package or independent travel
Kids, empty nesters, married, divorced or singles
What they eat
Cook from fresh, ready meals, eat as a family or alone on the hoof
What they dream of doing
Do they dream of being more creative, retiring early, writing their own book or painting full-time or whatever?
Who they look up to
Who are their heroes? David Beckham, Nelson Mandella or Donald Trump (or who is their hero?)
Other brands they hang out with
What would they wear, who would they ‘like’ on Facebook, Apple or Dell, Bon Marche or Abercrombie & Fitch – ie how aspirational are they?
What is their favourite book
What would they read more than once and what did they read growing up?
What is their default music
What do they listen to in the day, or in the car alone?
How do they buy? – Are they a bargain hunter, research and buy, or impulse purchaser?
What matters to them
Causes, issues, passions or fears And what do they want to be seen as mattering to them
Now visualize them. Who do they remind you of?
Get inside their head and consider things from their viewpoint
What would you call him or her?
Give them a real name that suits them to finally bring them alive
2. Create differentiation for your product or service
Without differentiation, you are a me-too product and that means you can never charge a premium price. I’ll show you how to create differentiation, what works and what you can use to make your own products or services, one of one.
3. Brand values
Values can shape and control every decision you make on behalf of your brand. Get them right and it’s easy, get them wrong and it’s too bland to be of any use. I’ll show you what works, give you the tools to create and manage them on an ongoing basis.
Brand values allow you to have a real focus for your business as long as they are real and livable. Don’t just come up with some ridiculous aspirational words you like. They have to resonate with what you do, how and WHY you do what you do.
When you have them, use them to make every business decision going forwards. Does what I’m about to do support those values, or work against them? If it’s the former, then press on, you’re all good. If it’s the latter then you need to seriously think about whether what you’re thinking is the right thing to be doing. In other words, don’t do what undermines your values or they aren’t values, they are platitudes.
4. Keeping your brand alive and well
With all of this in place, you need to get your marketing going and then keep it going strongly. In this short video, I’ll show you how to do this. All of the hints and tips to deliver ongoing brand success. Plus a few howlers of when people got it wrong.