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Brand YOU(r) --7 Steps to Cultivate Your Brand and Bring Out
Have you ever noticed that some people exhibit a special or unusual quality, trait, or characteristic? And this feature or mark identifies the person and draws you to those people?
This is a 'brand.' And it is instrumental in helping you build your business and advance your career. Here are seven (7) secret ingredients to help you develop your own personal brand.
1. Assess Your Strengths and Key Competencies
What separates you and your business from the pack?
--The value you provide?
--Your unique experience and insight into the marketplace?
--Your ability to solve customers' problems?
--Reliability: Your ability to deliver on your promise?
--Your customer service?
--The purchase experience?
Make a list of your key standout qualities and expertise.
2. Study Your Market to Determine Which Benefits are Most Important to Your Target Customers
For example, consider the homeowner who buys a 1/4-inch drill; doesn't he actually want a 1/4-inch hole?
--What benefits do your customers value most?
--Which do they actively and vigorously seek?
Review major trade publications and search the Web for news and trends about your market and your customer base. Survey your customers to gather data.
Compile your findings in a list.
3. Compare Your Lists from Steps #1 and #2 Above and Circle the Matches From The Two Lists
When the benefits you offer match your target market's key wants, you have the Highest likelihood of becoming a 'call brand.'
This means your customers request your products and services by name.
Then you'll grow your business, especially repeat business.
Make sure your talents serve your market. And be sure to cultivate the talents and skills your market seeks but which you lack. In a free market, the buyers' needs and wants overpower the sellers' individual strengths; this is because the 'Market Drives All.'
For example, you could be the world's top 'Blue Widget-maker' but if no one buys Blue Widgets you'll starve.
4. Select The Top One or Two Benefits from Your List and Position Them As The Cornerstone of Your Brand
Many marketers call your key benefits and the way in which you structure your offering a 'Unique Selling Proposition' or 'USP.'
USP encompasses your special attributes, features and Talents--those particular qualities and traits that make you special and separate you from your competition. The secret to building your brand and your business is to define your USP and organize your offering around your USP, which then becomes your brand.
5. Bring Your Special Qualifications and Kernels into the Limelight with a Tagline
In other words, promote your USP & Your Brand to your market.
Give Yourself a Nickname and Name Your Products and Services!
--A nickname, tagline or slogan, similar to a newspaper headline, helps you stand out and position your offering in your marketplace...
--Make sure your name is memorable--pleasing to the ears.
Over the years, I've accumulated several choice nicknames: 'The Recovering Accountant,' 'Revenue Generation Specialist,' and 'The Gelberator' to name a few.
Given my past work experience as a CPA, you can guess how The first nickname began. As a marketing expert and copywriter, one client bestowed the second name. And one of my attorneys spawned number three based on my surname; 'Gelberator' sounds like an automobile's accelerator, and that meshes nicely with my goal of wanting people to think of me as a motivator.
Perhaps more important, a brand name or tagline makes you [more] memorable with your target customers and makes you stand out from your competitors.
6. Create a Domain Name (URL) that Highlights Your Brand
To establish our brand, we purchased the domain www.PublishingGold.com. To promote our brand and present a consistent image, we renamed our copywriting and marketing firm PublishingGold.com, Inc.
Our company name, including the '.com' appears on our business cards, publications, e-mail signature files, etc., which lure people to our Site.
Create a matching e-mail address, for example, Eric@PublishingGold.com
These tactics reinforce your brand and its identity and signal a professional and consistent image.
7. Feature Your Brand Name On ALL Your Materials, and Promote Your Brand Actively and Vigorously, 24/7
Broadcast your unique offering--your USP--to your target market. Make your target customers aware of The Benefits they will get when they make a purchase from You; this strategy entices buyers to purchase from you rather than the folks next-door.
Publicize your offering. In other words, 'Get the Word Out.' Write articles and special reports; get media coverage (not advertising); and organize workshops to present on your area of expertise--your unique brand.
Call attention to yourself and your offering whenever and wherever you can. Position yourself squarely before your [target] customers' eyes so they can't miss your offer and they are compelled to make a purchase. Be consistent and persistent. Then you will really make Your mark in your marketplace.
What steps can you take to develop your unique brand to catapult your business into overdrive?
Even a small yet novel approach, special trait, or standout quality will help you create your own distinctive brand, which in turn will set you ablaze in your marketplace. Then you'll truly multiply your business fivefold, tenfold, or more.
About the author:
Eric Gelb, MBA & CPA, is a copywriter, brand management consultant, and editor of the Publishing Gold e-zine.
T: 516.374.1387 or Eric@PublishingGold.com
Copyright © 2005 PublishingGold.com, Inc.