Question: Are you building your business on lasting stairs or simply with the easy next-meal strategies? You know those business formulas that turn your business into a shiny object that pulls the people yet invariably leave the customers. This is it when your first game is to get the word out.
It is very important to get the word out. Trouble is, a lot of persons will be drawn in, yet very few will stay. Why? Because people ONLY continuously do business with brands. Brands are NOT those fancy logos, or endearing names; the brand is the long term consistent experiences a person have of your business. It is HOW they are treated or served long term.
Clearly, what you should strive for with your business, be it brick and mortar or internet based, be it a product or service offering, in whatever field is to become a known brand. This doesn’t come easy.
Your brand is generally HOW people perceive your business overtime. This is a summation of the various experiences they get each time they do business with you. What defines these experiences? More importantly, what can you do right from the start of your business to put the best foot at making it to the ‘Evoked Set’?
Below are my top four Ingredients to building a successful brand:
- Your business’ purpose and core value. This is the WHY you are in business —your calling. What do you seek to do aside making money (hehehehe)? Your core value should never change. This is the very spine of your business’ existence. Some call this your vision/mission, but it is not: it is exactly what births the vision and mission of your business. Great companies define this part of them clearly and then move on to build products or services on this one theme. Facebook for instance, is basically focused on connecting people. The communities and groups, the Newsfeeds and all else are simply expressions of this one theme. Facebook just changed her mission, but the purpose is still the same.
- Your Vision and Mission. This is not news to you, I guess. A clear mission sets the stage for a good foundation and business system, such that in no time, your business becomes fun full time. It helps you put in clear perspective why you do what you do. You got this right if you continue to say NO to ideas or offerings that are inconsistent with your vision.
- The Value Delivery System. First, draw the channels ad points through which you deliver your business or value. Be definitive on How you get leads, how they interact with your business, how the buy from you, how they pay for your business, every HOW. This is where you consider automation. Automation here, means you have a clear design how you want people to feel with your business. I call it the A or B system. For instance, if you run a restaurant, what happens when a customer walks through your door? You can station a trained man at the door to politely usher him in. When he is settled in, wait some time, then someone goes to him with a friendly disposition to politely ask what he will be having. Let him feel he is the boss (because he is).
- The Experience Culture/System. Think carefully how you want leads/clients to feel after a repeat experience with you. For the restaurant example, the T.V blares great sound while the overall environment is cool and endearing. Even ensure a nice aroma wafts through to the dining hall. Someone can serve him chilled or cool water on the house. Then the scene should be very relaxing.
After defining all of these, it is time to open your doors for business. Call in the leads!
NOTE: The experiences you decide to give your audience from the day you open to business should be made consistent as much as possible. It won’t matter what business you are in. If the experiences are not consistent or even better, it will be very difficult to build a brand. Even when you, out of monopoly do, the moment a ready and worthy competitor surfaces, you its game up.