20 Steps To A Powerhouse Brand – Part 4 of 4

March 27, 2017

backpacking-brazil-mountain-top.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960.jpegThe end is in sight! We’ve reached the last leg of our four-part series on self-branding, offered in response to requests from small business owners and solopreneurs for a step-by-step guide to building a strong brand. If this subject is of interest to you, please START at the beginning. It’s important that you complete all the steps and in the correct order. If you’ve followed along through Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series, congratulations. You’re now very close to establishing a powerhouse brand. It’s all downhill from here. Let’s complete the journey.

STEP SIXTEEN Through what media will you communicate with your market? The choices are endless. With so much business happening online now, inbound marketing needs to be a part of every brand’s marketing strategy. It’s inexpensive and effective. But there are plenty of “old media” options that are still viable for most businesses – everything from door-hangers to network television advertising to skywriting. You know your market and you know your message. What’s the best plan for delivering that message? Write down your plan and stick to it.

STEP SEVENTEEN If content marketing is a part of your inbound strategy, as it almost certainly ought to be, do your best to make sure all your content is written with that same voice you developed back when you were writing your key messaging. Make sure you share content that is relevant to your market and is the kind of information that they, in turn, will want to share with their networks. Make it easy to spread the news.

STEP EIGHTEEN Be sure your messaging is topical and consistent. That is, you have to be current; your message has to be about your most recent offering or client development. But the messaging style can’t vary so wildly that the source of it (you) becomes unrecognizable. Think of Nike’s messaging over the years. You’ve seen many dozens of Nike ads, all promoting different shoes or apparel. But you never fail to recognize the ads as coming from Nike. They have a unique voice and appearance. That voice and appearance becomes familiar to the viewer and helps cement a strong attachment to the brand. It’s the same with market leaders in every sector. Emulate them.

STEP NINETEEN You must sustain your messaging. Don’t set up a booth at a trade show this year unless you know you can show there again next year and the year after that. Do only those things you can do repeatedly. It’s important to set your annual budget so you can plan for year-to-year, continuing messaging. It’s better to communicate once a year for twelve years than once a month for twelve months and then stop. (Having said that, if you find yourself communicating only once a year, you very likely have missed some superior communication options. Take another look.) It is better to communicate frequently and inexpensively than it is to blow your entire budget on a single Super Bowl ad.

STEP TWENTY Remember that no ship can sail straight to its destination. The current will always influence its charted course and, sometimes, that influence is so subtle it’s unnoticed until the vessel runs aground. The wise captain is constantly reviewing progress, checking position and making tactical adjustments that keep the ship on its desired bearing. It’s the same with any brand. Market currents, trends and influences that are beyond your control will tend to drive you off course. You have to make periodic checks on your marketing to determine if tactical moves are needed to keep your brand strategy on course.

Well, we’re done. Or I should say, you’re done. You’ve done all the work. You’ve built a brand! So take another step back and look at all you’ve accomplished. You’ve established a working brand that has all the attributes it needs to grow, in time, into a powerhouse brand. You’ve built a sturdy ship and piloted it out to sea. From here, you can go anywhere. Congratulations and Bon Voyage! And, while you’re on your way, you may want to check out some of our other publications.

Best branding reads – Week of March 27, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al
The court decides one issue. But not the one that had everybody confused. So not much is settled.

Bebe is closing all its stores and focusing online, report says
Bebe is yet another fashion brand that finds itself in a life-and-death struggle.

Virgin America will disappear into Alaska Airlines in 2019
Branded house strategy. Alaska Airlines decides one big brand is better than two smaller ones.

Google Admits Brand Safety Is a Global Problem
Online advertisers are beginning to revolt. They don’t want their brands appearing to “support” extremist content.

Mexico Just Made a Cloud That Rains Tequila, So Maybe We’ll Be OK After All
And, instead of thunder, you hear a mariachi band.

Average Tenure of CMO Continues To Decline
What do people expect a CMO can accomplish within such a short tenure? ROI takes a minute.

4 Ways Brands Use Psychology To Win Customers
Branding is all about establishing a presence in the consumer’s mind.

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Best Branding Reads
Week of September 18, 2017

Empathy, Distillation, Clarity: The Principles Of Brand Simplicity
A great article on branding written by the man himself – Alan Siegel

The Art of Conversation
How to convey the emotional truth of a brand at scale.

The License Plate on This Skier’s Arm Turned Out to Be One of Audi’s Cleverest Ads Yet
Audi gets millions of eyeballs looking for their missing logo. Brilliant.

The Real Value In Brand Vision, Mission And Values
Here’s a weekend reading assignment for owners and managers of brand assets.

Why Innovative Businesses Need a Brand Change Agenda
Innovation alone won’t change markets. You need a step-by-step plan for change.

New Logo and Identity for Petal
A new approach to credit card design for a different kind of credit card company.

How Budweiser Wins: By Wrapping Itself in the American Experience
A heartfelt appreciation of Budweiser – the brand, not the beer.