What’s your thing?

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Cheryl Sucharski, guest blogger

We often find that it’s difficult for businesses to determine what their ‘thing’ is. We always ask — what makes you unique? What do you want people to know you for? The answers to these questions are critical for branding.

Sock ManNow, if you haven’t known Marc Adler for long, you might think he is known for a few things, his quirky socks for one. If you have known him for a while, you might say it’s his ties — he must own hundreds of them. But they aren’t his brand, they are just his style — there to express a little of his creative side.

Marc Adler is known for his customer service — hands down. And as far as Why Not Marketing is concerned, he is the brand. Knowing and developing a solid relationship with each client and making use of a well-developed network, are the keys to his modus operandi for customer service.

Relationships. Why Not Marketing clients are visited on a regular basis. We make it a point to know our clients and their businesses inside and out. The most direct route to this knowledge is through listening and talking to clients regularly — and we prefer to do this in person, face-to-face. The more important word here, is listening. Through astute listening, we learn about clients, and that helps us determine what each client wants or needs. And this regular contact, coupled with the developed knowledge and understanding, helps us build and strengthen client relationships.

Networks. Building a network doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years. Every person you connect with can become part of your network. You just need to take the time to listen (there’s that word again) and learn about them, and then take it just one step further. Think about how you can connect that person to someone else. Networking isn’t just about knowing people; it’s also about connecting them to someone else, who can provide value. Every client becomes part of the Why Not Marketing network, which means they can be connected with other businesses that may be in need of their products and services. Networking is key; it’s about people connecting with people, and it’s part of Why Not Marketing’s client services.

Companies aren’t the only ones in need of branding or rebranding; that also extends to people. Everyone should create his or her own brand. Why are you special? What do you want people to know you for? The answers to those questions aren’t always easy to find. However, they are important. So, what’s your thing?

Cheryl Sucharski provides professional marketing services and project assistance to Why Not Marketing and other agencies and organizations. 

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Branding — Is it an overused word?

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One of the most overused words and, for many, misunderstood ones is Brand. Educators and Agency folks work hard to coin phrases which incorporate the word Brand — see thefinancialbrand.com/glossary-of-branding-terminology — in an effort to distinguish all the ways to explain brands to the rest of the world.  For the general businessperson this only makes things more confusing.

Simplify

What do people think of when they see the McDonald’s arches? Or hear the name Tom Cruise? Or see the color robin eggshell blue?  Or why they choose Wegmans over Tops?  Ask yourself these questions and what comes to mind?  It is with these thoughts in mind that you have the core concept of what Brand means.  What comes to mind when you see a logo, hear someone’s name, or see a particular color?  Are your thoughts the same as those of others? Of the majority of others? Of what is intended by the company or individual?  Companies and celebrities (they are companies, too, in reality) try to deliver or live a certain way so as to establish an image that they want others to think about when hearing (or seeing) their name. Delivering on that Brand (brand promise) is critical to them.

Personal Brand

You don’t have to be a celebrity or a big company to be concerned about your Brand.  What do others think of you when they hear your name? (Expert?, Thief?, Reliable?, Fun?)  What distinguishes you from others, in your mind?  Do you do enough to make people know enough about you so that they think what you want them to think? (Do you live your brand attributes?)  Is it possible to deliver a consistent message all the time? (probably not!)

I ask students in my classes about their attributes and many of them invariably say hard worker.  I suggest they live that way, if they want to be thought of that way.  (Of course, many of those same individuals show up late for class, spend most of the time texting, never ask questions, and run out the moment class is over.)

Marketers ‘r Us

Bottom line is that we are all marketers, whether we want to be, or not. Consider how you want people to remember you while you are alive, as well as dead (somebody is going to deliver that eulogy).  It is going to help in you in the short and long run.

 

Happy Branding!

Why Not Marc(keting)

 

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