As I noted last week, I finished up my story arc on how to show Leadership when you were entering a brand new situation. This week we start the next one. I am going back to Branding with an emphasis on the messaging around your Brand.
The reason that I am choosing this story arc is that many of the smaller businesses that I work with have particular trouble with this part of the company. What I hear a lot of is that companies are having a difficult time differentiating themselves and fall into the category of commodity. There is some fear that associates with this and that will be a post unto itself within this arc. But I want to start with my definition of a Branding Message.
So, there are lots of bits to Branding. If you have read my posts in the past, I don’t place a huge amount of stock directly in the older notions of Branding like logos and tag lines. I am not saying that these have no value nor do I think they are unimportant. But I want these to be a result, not a cause. By that I mean that to me the most important thing is to understand the message and how you will propagate it. The devices that you attach to the message as a memory tool are of secondary significance.
So what exactly is a Brand Message? It is the communication of the reason and emotion that you want your prospects to feel when they consider buying your products and services. Remember Sales is an emotional process first backed up by reason. To put this in context, you need to describe to your customer how they should feel when they have bought your Brand. After that, you need to provide reasons for them to agree with this feeling and take it internally.
I used to work for a company named Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC). In its hey day, AFC let the small carriers in the US (the IOCs) know that they were very important to the company. It did so via many actions that were made to order to support that community. AFC had small carrier specific events all across the year and had internal organizations designed specifically to support them. It made sure that the product designs met the needs of the IOCs. If you go deeply back into my blog, you can find how this impacted AFC in other markets. This activity created a lot of good feeling in both directions in an (at the time) underserved market. That bred success and differentiation.
So, I want to explore how to create, understand, and execute your Brand Message and help you have that same kind of success.
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