Keeping It Simple to Stand Out

Branding is more important for big corporate business right?

Wrong.

Branding is even more vital for small business, where there is usually limited time and budget available for promotion and you can’t afford to waste it on marketing that doesn’t work.

Without a brand. most businesses end up with WOFTAM marketing – a waste of flipping time and money, because they lack the simplistic yet clear message that a brand provides.

A brand is like a compass for your marketing, keeping you in the right direction, ensuring your message is on-brand and that you consistently stand out and engage with the right target audience.

And standing out is crucial when competition is fierce.

Without a strong brand a small business disappears amongst others in the industry, leaving you competing on price alone and that’s a race to the bottom. That’s especially important for service providers where you are exchanging your time for money.

Without a clear brand direction you tend to get a bit lost, you waffle and flounder when it comes to explaining why someone should choose you.

If your brand doesn’t communicate your single minded purpose it’s going to be hard work trying to convince someone to work with you.

And the last thing you want to be doing with your marketing is trying to convince people.

A brand creates an instantly recognisable, clear message your prospect needs in order to connect with you. You need to provide them with the one thing you want them to remember about you. A brand can do this for you because it forms the basis of a relationship your prospect can easily understand.

But it needs to be simple. And get the message across incredibly quickly.

In the 19’70’s it was estimated that the human brain was exposed to 500 branded messages a day. Today that’s closer to 5000, that’s four every minute. You have to cut through the clutter and create a single minded message.

So how do you create a stand out brand?

The first step is to learn a bit about consumer behaviour.

When you started in business, you probably learned all sorts of important business skills; finance, HR, accounting, contracting. You may have even achieved qualifications or invested in equipment or paid for premises. But no one ever taught you the basics behind why people buy.

You weren’t expected to know about consumer behaviour, yet it’s possibly the most valuable lesson you can learn when you are in business. Just being a human doesn’t qualify you to know about what makes someone buy from you and assuming you know what your prospect is thinking can get you into a lot of trouble.

So here is some insight to help you.

The consumers brain operates incredibly fast, making quick decisions based on memory and emotion when making purchase decisions. Although the brain is complex, when it’s in buying mode the brain requires some basic information in a particular order to decide if you are the right provider for them.

It’s extraordinarily good at processing information, but it really does want things simple.  In order to capture attention your brand must quickly and clearly communicate what you are all about. Using images and colours to tap into the emotions and drive the dopamine desire for your prospects to want to choose you.

Here are the three steps to help you keep it simple:

  • Know Me: The brain first wants to know what you do and if you can help them. Yes it wants to put you in a box and understand who you are, then most importantly exactly who you help.
  • Like Me: Next up it’s all about emotion, do I like the idea of working with you, spending more time in your presence, being around you?
  • Trust Me: Lastly it’s all about delivery, if you can satisfy the prospects brain that they can trust you will deliver on your promises, are you there best choice?

Ignore these steps and you run the risk of activating the fear centre of the brain, the amygdala, which protects us from making bad decisions. No matter how well you present your case, a fearful brain will find a way to shut you out and stop you before you go too far.

This is why the standard sales pitches never work. No one likes to be sold to, least of all the human brain.

If your brand can communicates exactly who you are, what you do, who you help and why you can be trusted, you are far more likely to attract perfect clients who love what you do.

Branding enables you to do that using shapes, colours, tagline and of course a clear core message on everything you use to market your services with.

It’s called Neurobranding and it’s a fascinating since behind branding that can make all the difference. Just look in the Fedex logo for the large arrow that indicates speed and accurate delivery. It’s a logo that instantly communicates a subliminal message to consumers and it’s simply brilliant.

If you can first think about what your prospects brain wants, you have passed consumer behaviour 101 and have a much better chance of building a successful brand that makes you stand out, no matter how small your business.

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Lauren Clemett is a Personal Branding specialist and best selling author of Selling You, a practical guidebook to Personal Branding. She is also a Neurobranding authority and has worked in brand management for over 25 years within world leading advertising agencies Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy & Mather, Clemenger BBDO, for International Corporate AXA and owning her own agency. For more information: www.ultimatebusinesspropellor.com