There’s really no more powerful way to affect your own marketing, than to insist on the very best quality that you can offer – every time. With diminished budgets and increasing competition – how do you stand out. The first thing you can do and the only thing you can really control is the quality of what you do. It isn’t just the quality of the product or service either. Quality extends to your customer interactions on every level.
What is Brand Story?
Brand story starts out with that tiny kernel that is the original reason you went into business in the first place. Even if you went into a certain business by default – what is the thing today that keeps you passionate about your business? Is it the innovation? The feeling of helping people? A passion for music or gardening or building things? Whatever it is – that is the essence of your story and its worth knowing. Because once you know your brand story – you can inform the brand experience.
What is Brand Experience?
The brand experience is how you convey your brand story to your customers. It is that experience that a customer has on every level of interaction with your product or service – from your website to your packaging. What you do that is special becomes a part of that experience. And the experience is what your customers can now share with others.
Why Sharing Experience?
Marketing is really only a process of describing for people what their experience will be when they interact with a product or service. When your customers are happy and are having positive brand experiences – they are inclined to share that information with others. And that means, creating marketing for you. But, be forewarned, the opposite is true as well. When the experience is negative – customers share that too. Controlling the quality of the experience is key.
How’s Your Club Membership?
One way to look at all of this is to think of your business like a club – and your customers as your members. When you can make your customers feel appreciated, understood and comfortable being members of your club – you can increase your membership. Another funny thing about “clubs” too – once the word gets out, everybody wants to get in.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be A Little Weird
Why weird? Well, at the seminar we talked about the challenges of standing out from the competition and truth of the matter is – that’s pretty difficult these days. But, on top of quality and treating your customers as members of your club – bringing your own individual style to the equation accounts for a lot. Just like the example I used at the seminar citing Cirque du Soleil – being different can be very intriguing.
Which Brings Us Back to Quality
Being weird does not mean simply embracing odd behavior. Sure, don’t be afraid to be original and true to your vision but if you want your singular sense of style, unique customer service, sense of humor or funky sensibilities to be appreciated – you must do them well. Every time. Without exception.
Because Marketing is More Than Advertising
Once you understand all of these things and how they inform your marketing – then you are no longer advertising just a laundry list of your product or service benefits. You are marketing the experience of your brand, the uniqueness of that experience and the quality that implies and your customers are sharing that with their friends and associates.
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Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Marketing Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy. Leah’s experience has included campaign development and strategy implementation for multi-agency collaboratives, corporations and non-profits as well as entrepreneurs and small business clients. You can now meet with Leah at the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC provides low or no cost business assistance. Schedule an appointment today by calling 242-7630.