In a market of similar brands and products, standing out can be quite challenging. In this episode, Gerry Foster shares some tips on how you can make a brand of your own, market your product, and stand out from a sea of lookalikes. Providing value makes you unique, and Gerry lays down some examples from products like Gatorade and Coppertone. Start thinking about what you stand for and how it can benefit your clients as you learn from this episode how.
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What’s Your Brand?
It is great to have you here. For those of you who may be tuning in for the first time, the reason that I do this work is I show small business owners how to establish dominance in their industry by simply creating and capitalizing on the power of having a superior brand. The work that I do through my formula is to give you as an owner the playbook. That playbook is going to enable you to chart a whole new path, a bold new path to making more money, having more impact and ultimately giving yourself an advantage in the marketplace. With that in mind, I’m always intrigued by what the big brands do because what my work is about is showing you how to replicate.
This is the other portion of what I do, how to replicate the principles, methods and approaches used by the big branders combined with the best in entrepreneurial branding that you can indeed unlock the marketplace, rock it and have an impact. I’m always looking at what others are doing from a branding standpoint. I was looking at a list of some of the world’s most popular brands. These are the brands that people talk about. They’re the brands that people consider to be positive. They’re brands that people are most passionate about. They use words like, “I love this brand. This brand is all right.” There’s a lot that went into this whole ranking, but you’ve got brands like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google, Twitter, Apple and we can’t leave out Amazon. Disney, WhatsApp, Uber, Netflix, Spotify, Adobe, Nike, Porsche, PlayStation, BMW and on and on.
The list is quite something. It’s interesting because when you start looking at a lot of these brands and you can even extend it out to other categories. I don’t want to leave out brands like the credit card companies, American Express. I don’t want to leave out some of the perfumes and colognes out there like Chanel. We’ve got products and brands in all types of categories from Pepsi to Coca-Cola to Honda to Oracle and Louis Vuitton and on and on. These are beloved giant brands but the question becomes, “How do they do that?” One of the things that I’ve noticed that all these successful brands have in common and remember a lot of these brands started out small. They started off as a small business created by one person, maybe two or three in someone’s backyard or their living room or dining room or a garage or something. What they all have in common and how they went from small to scaling up to becoming these beloved, incredibly successful, prosperous brands are that they deliver unique value to the marketplace.
Creating A Brand: To stand out from the rest of the crowd, you must be able to convey that you have something different that your audience will want to experience.
Whenever you are looking to scale up and ramp-up, which is what this show is about, it’s getting clear on your part about the advantages that you offer through your brand. Remember, you can brand a product, a service, your company, a nonprofit or even yourself. Through whatever you are branding, Big Brand and I should say, you have to focus on discovering and delivering the advantages that your brand provides, but they can’t just be any ordinary advantages. They have to be the advantages that your buying public, your target audience, your marketplace for example, will find most unique, different and distinctive enough so that you have what’s called consumer preference. You want to have consumer preference because the brands that are doing deep, unlock the marketplace make an impact and sell are able to do because they harness the power of momentum. When I say harness the power of momentum, what I’m saying is that in any given market, there are people who are looking for something specific from what it is that you offer. You have to be relevant enough and important enough in their eyes and in their mindset to provide something that they want and then feel that they cannot get it anywhere else, so that you can achieve overwhelming success. It’s about you uncovering your buzz.
What is your buzz going to be? What is the sweetness of your brand that is going to drive people to you, like bees flock to honey? With that in mind, I’ll tell you what else these brands have in common and that is they have what I call a killer focus. When you’re out there competing like each of you are, the reality is that you are probably in some space and industry, a category, a field of expertise, whatever your specialty is where you may be perceived as simply a bunch of lookalikes. I call it the sea of lookalikes. In order for you to stand out from the rest of the crowd, you must be able to convey that you indeed have something different that your audience will want to experience and perhaps fall in love with so that you can indeed start having the number and type of customers you’re looking for.
It’s all about having a killer focus. When I was a little kid, I used to love taking a magnifying glass. I would get a piece of paper and then I will let the sun rays burn the pieces of paper. I didn’t go as far as to start killing insects, ants, worms or something like that. It taught me about the power of focus because focus is the name of the game now in this whole thing called big branding. Your focus must be to offer something that is fresh, original and new. In fact, you may have to offer something that is totally unexpected. Have you ever taken the time to think about in your lifetime up to this point, regardless of what your age is, some of the products or services or brands that have come along that were like, “Totally unexpected?” I remember when the microwave oven came up. I remember going as a kid and I was fascinated with the Barnum & Bailey Circus, and all of a sudden, Cirque du Soleil emerged. They combined the power of Broadway with the magic of the circus. Steve Jobs at Apple, when he came out with the tablet, the iPad.
What we’re starting to see amongst all these great successful brands is the owner, the founder, that man or woman deciding that they were going to offer something that the world perhaps had never seen or heard before. The first thing that got focused on was to get clear on what it is that their brand stands for. We can look at Microsoft. I’m not a PC guy. Don’t get mad at me, but Bill Gates realized that, “Yes, we sell computer software, but what we stand for and what we’re offering people is hassle-free computer operations.” You can laugh at that and I understand, but Bill Gates is laughing his way all the way to the bank. Apple, on the other hand, sells computers but what they stand for is thinking differently. Some of you may have a preference to go to Starbucks over Dunkin’ Donuts. Why? While Starbucks may sell coffee along with pastry and stuff like that, what they stand for is giving people a unique coffee experience. Nike may sell sporting goods, but what they stand for is enhanced athletic performance.
My point is that in this whole thing about harnessing the power of the unexpected and focusing and being different and all the things that I’ve been talking about, it comes down to this. What is it that your brand can provide that only you can give the customer? It usually shows up as some benefit to your customer. Your ultimate goal is to find a corner of the market that you can claim as your own because of the unique benefits that you offer. That becomes what your brand name is associated with. When I look at these top 50 brands and I can think of all types of people who are out there having an impact, being fulfilled, enjoying life more because of their brands. What they’ve been able to do is carve out that piece of the sky where they can flap their wings, separate themselves from the rest of the flock and have and enjoy the success they’ve been looking for. I want you to start thinking about this show of what’s your brand. I want you to start thinking about what do you stand for? What do you want to be associated with your brand name?
The Gatorade brand stands for helping athletes perform better. Coppertone, they built their brand by protecting your skin from harmful sun rays. Visine is about relief for dry, itchy, red, irritated eyes. Miracle-Gro will grow plants twice as big. ChapStick, healthy lips in extreme weather. The guy becomes this multimillionaire, Groupon, he said, “My brand is about providing huge discounts for local businesses.” The LegalZoom.com, we’re going to offer low cost online legal services. What’s your brand about? Who do you need to be? That’s where you start. Going into that unexplored territory that I talked about in episode two or perhaps you haven’t gone before and no one else has gone before, but it’s out there waiting for you to see this controller for your own success to have something that is truly distinct and valuable that the world is going to fall in love with. Until next time, take care.
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