Why Looks Totally Matter: Embracing Your Brand
Everyone wants to be valued because of who they are on the inside. The same goes for your business. You want your potential customers to see how valuable you are because of your amazing products, your unbelievable service, and your great prices. But there’s one problem: If you can’t get them to look at you, you can’t get them to care about you. That’s why there are sayings that remind us to not “judge a book by its cover.” Because the tendency to give people and things value based on the way they look is so natural — we will never get away from it.
So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em right? In the world of branding and design, we say yes, yes, and yes.
Here are three secrets to embracing your brand (and getting everyone else to embrace it too!):
1. STOP PRETENDING YOU DON’T CARE
We all know you’re lying.
From retail business owners to underground musicians and everyone in-between, the phrase, “We want to get customers/clients/audience because of the quality of our product,” has become synonymous with, “I’m not really willing to do what it takes to build my brand.”
Of course you want people to believe in your product, value your customer service, rave about the skills you have in your trade, and bring in word-of-mouth business because of the content you provide or the value you add. But how will people ever find out about what you offer if they don’t even want to walk through your front door?
It’s perfectly adorable to think you can be valued purely because you provide the best services or products in your particular industry, but frankly, it’s not going to be enough. Why? Because when people spend their money, a great product/service and a reasonable price are baselines for them — they expect it every time. So if you spend your time trying to pitch yourself as the “most affordable” or “better than the competition,” you’re wasting your time. You have to build your brand by design and stop pretending that you don’t care what you look like.
If you pretend you don’t care, no one else will care either.
2. GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
You cannot do this alone.
For two big reasons:
1. You don’t have time
2. You have no idea what you’re doing.
It sounds too blunt, but it’s true. You know your customers very well. You know exactly what they’re looking for. But you can never really know how the public views your product because you already value your product. From the inside-looking-out, you know what you offer and you know what you can do. However, your personal perspective will never change. You need help from someone who knows how to get people’s attention and who will spend time (a lot of time) researching your industry to provide a branding plan that consists of constant research about the competition, felt needs of your customers, and reliable marketing techniques.
Branding is a combination of art and medicine. You need help from someone who can objectively look at your product and present it as a visually-striking remedy to your customers’ needs. It may seem very magical, so I’ll say it again, you cannot do this alone.
3. BE EMPIRE-MINDED
Make it last forever.
Expect a growth period. Once you find the right person to brand you properly and professionally, you’re not going to see results in a month. Plan on a one to two year cycle of researching, projecting, tracking, marketing, and evaluating. Anyone that promises two-week results is really just promising to take your money and leave you without a legitimate impact on your industry.
You want someone who is equally passionate about your brand, who will protect its integrity and your existing customer base while pushing the boundaries of New Marketing techniques and business development to propel your brand into a future-proof position.
This means two things:
1. They’ll continue to work with you as branding techniques change in the years to come
2. They will help you provide content for your customers that is timeless.
After all, no matter what you offer, the goal is longevity.