“The more your marketplace knows your brand, the higher your sales and profiles will be.”
That powerful message comes from David Avrin, author of the book, It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You. His book contains a wealth of good, practical marketing strategies for small business owners. In this blog post, we’re going to cover four of David’s best common sense tips to keep your company ahead of the competition.
1. You can't control your brand
Try as you might, you can’t control every aspect of your brand—all you can do is influence it. Your customers will ultimately determine the shape of your brand since it’s determined by their feelings and what they think about your company, product, or service; and since the customer creates this feeling, only they get to decide what that association is.
To that end, your brand is the sum total of everything you do. For example, you dine out at a five-star restaurant and the food is great—but the bathrooms are dirty, the waiter is rude, and they get your drink order wrong twice. Unfortunately, the food may not be enough to get you to come back again.
2. Define what question you want to be the answer to
You’ve spent years perfecting your service and honing all of those fine details in your day-to-day operations—but have you ever wondered why? If you answered with some iteration of “because I want to be successful,” you’re wrong. What’s the point of your business or product? What message are you trying to convey—what are you the answer to? David asks, “What question am I the answer to?” If you can answer that, you’re already on your way to building a better profile for your company.
Narrowing down your target audience and understanding what problems you intend to offer the solution to is integral in relaying that information to the public. Just as Gatorade is the answer to quenching the thirst of athletes, the focus of your brand is something consumers need to understand before they can determine whether they want what you’re selling.
3. Acknowledge that marketing is not just a department
Marketing is about more than just websites, product copy, TV ads, direct mail, and email campaigns—and you might be surprised at how few people realize this. Ideally, marketing should infiltrate every aspect of your business, from the way you respond to emails, to what you print on the bottom of your receipts and memos. The key is to be intentional about how you interact with your customers, ensuring you fulfill your brand promise.
There isn't just B2C or B2B marketing anymore...there is H2H. We are dealing with humans, not just businesses and customers. The more you can engage and build relationships with others than the better your business will be.
4. Realize that being good is not good enough
Simply being good doesn’t cut it anymore, not with overcrowded niches and countless other companies offering exactly what you have but under a different banner. Being good no longer provides an advantage in the marketplace—it’s the bare minimum for doing business. You could probably name a couple of stores or restaurants that provide adequate service, but can you name one that really stands out among the rest?
You have to wow your audience. Make a name for yourself in your chosen field and strengthen those qualities that make you stand out (remember tip #3, that marketing should infiltrate every aspect of your business). Everything your company does should speak to its purpose, function, and greatness. Think of the old writer’s adage, “show don’t tell.” Don’t tell people how great you are—show them, and let them make up their own minds.
In reality, we only have so much control over how our businesses impact the world. We could label this the best blog post in the world, but that won’t make it so. Like this post, your product, service, or company is only as good at the recognition it receives from the consumer. It will be their praise, reviews, or even complaints that will set the tone for how others see your company or product.
Put these tips to work for you in both the short- and long-term plans for your business by being intentional and conscious of what image your company is putting out there. This will be the data your consumers use to form their opinions and judgments, so make sure it’s a good one.
If you need help flexing your perception-bending muscles, contact EZMarketing. We’re here to provide you with traditional and online marketing services for large and small businesses.