As a brand, you have a spotlight. Yes, some are bigger than others. But all of them are bright. Intense. Attention-grabbing. And PR, marketing, branding, social media, word of mouth – all of those tools – have built it.
And the beauty of that spotlight is that you can shine it on anything you want.
Most of the time we shine it on ourselves as a brand. Rightly so, eh? After all, we built the damn thing. And it took a lot of time, money and effort to do so. Our latest sale. Promotions. Thought-leadership. Innovations. Messaging, messaging, messaging.
But what if we spun that sucker around one day and started shining it on our audience? What if we made them feel like the rock stars? What if we gave them all the attention and they could hear the roar of the supportive crowd? Maybe it’s a group of them. Maybe you ask them to step into the spotlight one-by-one. There are numerous possibilities. But they all have to do with sharing the stage and stepping into the background. At least for a while. So it’s not “LOOK! It’s a sale on product X!!” Instead, it’s “LOOK! This guys is awesome. And we KNOW him!!!”
Think about it this way: when a celebrity establishes a non-profit, they are essentially using their spotlight to highlight something that’s important to them. They’ve spent a lot of time working on their own brand and now they have the opportunity to say, “Hey everybody, I know you’re looking at me, and so now look at this, because it means something to me.”
Why can’t we do that as brands? We can show the world that customers – especially people that already love us – are important to us. That those people mean something to us.
Just a thought.
Yeah, it's a random image. But I like it.
There is a phrase that I’ve been hearing people say over and over and over again lately. And I think that a lot of them are saying it just because they heard somebody else blurt it out and it sounded smart. I guess this is the part where you want to hear it for yourself:
“What you say about your brand isn’t as important as what other people say about your brand.”
Okay, yes. I get it. I get that the voice of the customer is important. Especially with the new age of social media, blah, blah, blah. But I’d like to challenge the statement, or at least get us to think about it. I’d venture to say that what you say about your brand IS AS IMPORTANT as what other people say about you.
Stay with me here. You have to give customers a frame of reference. Something to react to. Yes, it would help out your cause if what you say about yourself is accurate. This is the classic struggle between brand and reputation.
Boil it down to your personal brand. You know, you. Do you want other people to define who you are and what you think? Um, I don’t.
I think the best way to interpret that saying is that what other people say about you brings credibility to what you say about yourself. That’s the handshake. And that’s what we should be aiming for when it comes to our client’s brands.
Just something to chew on.
From drgandy via filckr
That’s the question you should be asking. Not can your customers come out and work for you. Not can your customers come out and buy your stuff. But play.
Sometimes people just need not only to play, but a reason to play. And not have to give anything in return. There is a power in playing. People play because they want to, not because they are forced into it. Play brings people together. It allows people to let down their guard and come out of their shells. Play lets people get to know each other (and your brand, too).
Back when I had my Jeep (’97 TJ), I was invited to Camp Jeep, which was a course set up by Jeep out near DFW airport. I got to come and use their Jeeps to drive the course. I met instructors. I hung out with other Jeep owners. And there was no price of entry. There was no expectations for me to buy a new car. There was just play. And here I am telling you about it 10 years later.
Find ways to truly play with your customers. For no reason other than getting to know them and giving them opportunities to get to know one another. It doesn’t even have to cost you much if you really put your mind to it. And I guarantee that sales and awareness will be just a few of the byproducts you reap.
I was handed this business card on Friday night and stuck it in my pocket for several reasons, the foremost being that I liked the guy who handed it to me. But when I pulled it out again as I was emptying my pockets at home, it provided a nice refresher on some things that are easy to forget as we get bogged down in our daily workloads and putting out fires.
1) It’s the little things. Every touchpoint counts. Yes, everyone has a business card. Yes, they all have the basic info on there. But it’s just another chance to be memorable and provide a remarkable experience.
2) Don’t take yourself too seriously. As John Moore always says, “I don’t take myself very seriously, but I take what I do very seriously.” Eli gets that. Just look at the name of his company and the tagline. Which rolls right into:
3) Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Yes, times are tough. Yes, you need income. But when you being to dilute your offerings and go from specific to general, you’re only hurting yourself. You can’t do EVERYTHING well, so don’t try. This also goes for attracting kindred spirits. When you put yourself out there and really let your brand personality shine through, not everyone is going to like you. And that’s a GREAT thing. It weeds out the problem clients in the first place. So go with it. Don’t apologize for who you are. In fact embrace it, because it’s your greatest asset.
I know the above is basic. But sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves of the basics and be true to them. It can only enhance what you’re already out there doing. So consider this just a friendly little reminder…