How many branding opportunities have you passed on because you were afraid? Afraid to be different? Afraid to take a risk? Afraid to exclude, offend or disagree?
I’ll bet you can think of at least one decision you regret.
I tell you often:
Be the Brand you Want to See in the World
You can’t be that brand unless you make decisions that involve courage. Why? Because the brand you want to see in the world doesn’t yet exist. There’s nothing quite like it. And in order to create that, you’re going to have to step outside of the box, outside of what’s expected…outside of your comfort zone.
Build a Branding Strategy with Courage
Most of you have become accustomed to conforming. You spent your school days trying to fit in and your employment years trying to please your boss and coworkers. Now, as a business owner or entrepreneur, you’re focussed on trying to appeal to an audience. This is all viable, to a point; however, it will never prove as valuable as courage in branding.
The average brand builder’s audience is too broad—and that is largely due to a fear of losing customers. You’ve been there: There’s been something you believe in, wholeheartedly, and wanted to integrate into your branding strategy. It fit your corporate values. It supported your mission and vision. And yet, you passed on it because you feared offending a portion of your audience. Or you worried that it would be too radical or unique to garner profitable levels of acceptance.
And here you are: wishing for a more passionate, brand-promoting audience.
If you had exercised courage when your gut told you to move, you would probably have that ideal audience right now.
Here’s what a lot of business owners miss:
By choosing a branding strategy that speaks directly to your ideal customer (and demonstrates your corporate values) in the most honest way possible, you will exclude those on the fringes of your brand. And contrary to popular belief, this courageous behaviour is GOOD FOR BUSINESS.
Why? Because 10 clients who are passionate about your brand is better than 1000 half-hearted customers. You’re looking for quality, not quantity…and being courageous in your brand’s uniqueness is the best way to achieve this.
I have learnt to be courageous in my own brand, and have witnessed some brave moves by my B.R.A.N.D. Accelerators. Here are just a few ways you can use courage to fortify your own branding strategy:
- Talk to people who are “out of your league.” You have a dream client, right? When do you plan on approaching that person and others like him? Are you waiting until you get other, less prominent, business under your belt? That’s not courageous thinking. Have the courage to think big—to wear the mindset that you plan to have five or ten years into your business. Picture just how confident you’ll be in your skills, in your team, in your client list…and don’t just believe it, KNOW it. This courage will radiate from every piece of communication, and you’ll be working with that dream client sooner than you ever imagined.
- Move past your fear of rejection. In order to position your brand in the market, you will need to define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). And in order for this to differentiate your brand from all the others, you’re going to have move through your fear of being rejected. I have found that the more distinctive a brand is, the more people will talk about it, the more people will shy away from it…and the more you’ll realise that the people shying away from it aren’t your ideal customers anyway. As they move on, they’re making room for those who will act as loyal clients and vocal brand advocates. This approach isn’t the quickest way to build your list; it is, however, the best way to build it.
- Take a risk. A big part of getting noticed (and positioning your brand) is doing something (or a number of things) different than the competition. As a business owner who has invested a lot of time and money into your endeavour, you will naturally be fearful of making mistakes that could cost you. In order to move past this, I need you to understand that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is blending in. A risky move you’ve been thinking about already possesses more potential for success than the things that everyone else is doing. Stop rejecting ideas because they’re too “risky.” Instead, first ask yourself if the move fully supports and builds your brand; if the answer is YES, consider the level of risk as an advantage.
- Employ only team members who believe in your brand. Maybe you’ve made bad hiring decisions based on your budget. Maybe you’ve hired friends or family members just to do them a favour. No matter the surface reasons, the worst thing you can do when putting together a team for your brand is hiring anyone who doesn’t believe, 100 percent, in the vision, mission and values of your brand. Do not hesitate to look at their social media pages. Ask questions that will help to reveal their views—even though they may be difficult to answer or reveal things you find uncomfortable. Never fear saying NO. Your customers, the rest of your team, and your brand will thank you.
Are you starting to see ways in which you can be more courageous whilst carrying out your branding strategy? And how those acts of courage, no matter how small, will benefit your brand? I encourage you to review your branding strategy now, to integrate those things you’ve been too afraid to execute. Rigorously test each one, to ensure that it aligns perfectly with your brand’s mission, vision and values and then GET ON WITH IT.
Are you craving support as you move forward with your new, courageous outlook? The B.R.A.N.D. Accelerator programme may be just the thing you need. Learn more about it here and of course, contact me should you have any questions or concerns.