Tag: Small Business Branding

The Key Missing Ingredient in Your Marketing Messaging

Every business needs what is known as a “USP.” That stands for Unique Selling Proposition and it represents the single biggest benefit your business offers that your competition doesn’t. If you don’t have a USP, or you don’t articulate the one you do have, then you’re lucky if you get any business at all.

In fact, most businesses don’t communicate ANY benefits that differentiate themselves from their competitors. This is a HUGE mistake when they attempt any sort of marketing! When they’re trying to attract new customers, by not stating their distinctive advantage, they’re indirectly saying, “Give me your business instead of to my competitors, even though I have nothing special to offer you.” Why would businesses do that? If you cannot give your prospects a better reason to buy from you, they’re likely not going to transfer their business over to you.

Once you create your USP, it becomes the centerpiece for all of your marketing initiatives. It helps you stay passionate and focused on the objectives of your business, and, in the process, separates you from all others in your industry. When you can identify your target customers, understand how they think before they think it, create a compelling message that resonates with them on an emotional level, and compels them to take a specific action, you will be able to instantly increase the number of leads you attract to your business. And not just any leads, but highly qualified leads ready to buy what you sell.

You will attract these targeted prospects in droves, and begin to make more money than ever before. And maybe best of all, you’ll work fewer hours in the process. This is how you work smarter, not harder!  Now, I bet the lightbulbs are really going off and I have your complete, undivided attention, right?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The great thing about creating compelling messages is they come with a host of benefits for your business. It communicates to your target customer exactly what you do, and how you do it, in a highly enticing and more relatable way. Your message now emphasizes the benefits of your product or service instead of its features. Plus, your message now resonates with your prospects on an emotional level. And you immediately begin to attract highly qualified leads that convert easily into new customers who remain loyal to you FOREVER.

So what are you and your business known for? What makes your business and your products/services unique? Please share in the comments.

Lastly, and as always, please CONTACT US if you would like to have an exploratory chat on how we can help you devise or refine your USP and transform and turnaround your underperforming and copy-cat marketing messaging.

The Three Most Important Business Fundamentals to Thrive

“Forget about the crowds, the size of the school, their fancy uniforms, and remember what got you here. Focus on the fundamentals that we’ve gone over time and time again.”  – “Hoosiers” Coach Norman Dale played by Gene Hackman.

In the small business arena, there are three fundamentals every business MUST have in place to not only survive but also THRIVE.

First, your business must stand out from the crowd, and it must be “unique.” You MUST establish an all-important market-dominating position.

Second, your business must offer extraordinary and exceptional value. Your prospects, no matter who they are or what they’re buying, always want the best deal. However, that doesn’t mean the lowest price.  Again, that doesn’t mean the lowest price.  Rather, it means the most value for the price they pay. That is, they will gladly pay a higher price, as long as the perceived value is greater than the price. The keywords here, of course, are “perceived value.”

The third and final fundamental may be the most important of the three. You must have a compelling message that confidently communicates the first two fundamentals. You must be able to explain to someone quickly and succinctly what it is you do, and how your product or service will benefit them.

With these three fundamentals firmly in place, you instantly separate your business from your competition and immediately position yourself as the dominant player in your market. Your prospects will literally be thinking to themselves that they would be absolute fools if they bought your product or service from anyone else but you. These three fundamentals are absolutely crucial when you need to generate more leads, attract more clients, and make more money.

Is your business fundamentally sound and predicated upon these core business-building principles?

If not, and you’re serious about recovering, regrowing, and revitalizing your small business, please CONTACT US to schedule an initial strategy consultation.

It’s your time!  Focus on the fundamentals and reach new heights TODAY!

 

Protect Your Brand and Preserve Your Reputation or Else!

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, small businesses must be quicker, more agile, and far more creative to adapt, respond, and effectively meet customers’ ever-changing preferences and demands. Customers and prospects of the Digital Information Age are more knowledgeable than ever before. Unfortunately, customers are also more fickle, too. 

Did you know that an unsatisfied customer will tell 9 to 15 people about her bad, frustrating experience?  

One can only imagine how that number has increased exponentially as a result of the world’s newfound addiction to the social networking phenomenon…As you’re reading this blog, you better not have any of your social media sites also open! 

On a more serious note, be sure to turn off all your social media notifications if you haven’t already – they can be a huge distraction and time-suck!  You’re better than that and it’s time to focus (by the way, you only have 158 words left to read here)! 

As I was saying, the rampant sharing of a horrendous shopping experience or an unpleasant customer service encounter on social networking sites can instantly tarnish a firm’s reputation. Repeat offenders that constantly receive negative survey results or have angry, colorful diatribes hurled in their direction in chat rooms will certainly lose customers and market share.

By constantly updating and tracking customer interactions in a centralized CRM throughout all of its locations, small businesses should be able to better serve customers and respond more quickly to their questions, concerns, and suggestions. Thus, companies can mitigate the risk and likelihood of a viral smear campaign and maintain and even improve their reputation that they have worked so hard to uphold in the marketplace.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett said it best:

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Will you start to do things differently?

Your Brand’s Extinction May Be Closer Than You Think

You may have seen recently that Elon Musk’s Tesla will be joining the S&P 500 by the end of the year.  This announcement reminded me of a pivotal Executive Briefing that I had read entitled Creative Destruction Whips Through Corporate America by Innosight, a leading consulting firm focused on global strategy and innovation. 

This report came to mind because it reveals that the average lifespan of companies in the large-cap S&P 500 Index is significantly shrinking:

As far back as 1964, the average tenure of firms in the S&P was 33 years. Recently in 2016, that number shortened to just 24 years and it is predicted to shrink to just 12 years by 2027. Furthermore, Innosight’s research goes on to assert that 50% of the current companies traded in the S&P will be supplanted by 2027 if this current churn rate and turnover continue to accelerate. 

Evidently, large firms (really, firms of all sizes) need to take action and avoid the corporate hubris trap or they face the risk of severely underperforming, falling behind, and having their brand no longer be relevant.  

𝘎𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘺 𝘐𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘴

Where to Aim First if Your Market Share is Declining

No one wants to see their brand lose ground quickly or even get completely swept away by younger, hipper, and hungrier upstart competitors.

To prevent their demise and loss of market share, organizations need to become more in tune with their customers’ needs and more agile to improve the customer experience and enhance service levels.

Investing in a leading-edge CRM platform, that is scalable, flexible, and highly intuitive, is a great place to kick start this transformation and strategic initiative.

How CRM Can Help

Armed with a centralized CRM solution will improve the firm’s knowledge of its clients, prospects, and partners, thereby allowing deeper bonds to be forged. Having such a comprehensive 360-degree understanding of all existing and potential customers plus key strategic stakeholders will empower employees across the enterprise to make quicker, more informed decisions. The result will be a more collaborative environment in which marketing, sales, and service associates communicate more effectively and efficiently. Finding it easier to connect with clients and co-workers, employees will become more united, more engaged, more accountable, and more willing to go the extra mile to provide a unique, differentiated level of service that will lead to more satisfied and loyal customers, which in turn will generate more referrals.

With CRM, the company will spend less time struggling to find info to resolve client issues and complaints and more time segmenting, targeting, and closing higher-margin customers with much higher lifetime values to the firm. Moreover, CRM’s robust pipeline forecasting capabilities will help identify top-selling products/services and trending customer demands/requests. These real-time sales analytics tools will provide the insights and actionable intelligence necessary to not only shorten sales cycles and increase revenue but also enable the firm to make the necessary adjustments to overcome apparent product gaps or upcoming sales downturns.

All in all, CRM will serve as the framework and foundation for your client intelligence. With better organizational coordination and more command of customer info, CRM will become the growth driver of the firm. Plus, it will become much easier to thwart off rising stalwarts, maintain brand relevance, sustain one’s leadership and market share positions, and even avoid extinction.

Are you losing ground to competitors and experiencing a surge in client defections?

Are your sales and service teams handcuffed by lack of client intel, operational bottlenecks, and manual, inefficient processes?

Do you have a brand obscurity problem?

Don’t risk becoming further irrelevant or even extinct…CONTACT US to speak with one of our tenured turnaround specialists or seasoned strategic marketing consultants.

Stop Wasting Your Marketing Budget!

Today you’re going to learn how to find a target market of potential customers so you aren’t wasting precious resources on blitz marketing. So, the two questions you have to ask yourself are:

  • What do people really want to buy from me?
  • What related products are they already buying?

Once you figure this out you will know who is more predisposed to purchase your products/services. Then, you find other businesses with the same customer base who you can customer share with. Come up with an incentive and great arrangement to encourage both of your customer bases to shop at both of your stores.

The basic concept is this:

You want to find existing businesses who have the customer profile that you are looking for to market your products/services to.

Then strike up a relationship with those business owners to work out an incentive for customers to purchase from both businesses.

As a result, you have an audience to market to and they generate an added value from their current base.

So, how do you figure this out? There is a great formula from Jay Abraham you can follow with great success.

LV = (P x F) x N – MC

Here’s what it all means:

  • LV is the lifetime value of a customer
  • P is the average profit margin from each sale
  • F is the number of times a customer buys each year
  • N is the number of years customers stay with you
  • MC is the marketing cost per customer (total costs/number of customers)

Once you know how much you need to spend to attract a new customer, you will know how much of an incentive you can offer to a business to help attract new customers.

So, here’s your step-by-step process:

  1. Find companies who already have the customer base you are looking for.
  2. Negotiate an incentive for them to share that customer base with you.
  3. Focus your marketing resources to this group of predisposed customers.

If you need help working through this process, check out our FREE test drive for the most comprehensive system of small business marketing tools and resources.

Lessons I Learned from Kim Kardashian

Today we’ll talk about shameless self-promotion. That’s right, I said it! Shameless! After all, we are learning from Kim Kardashian here.

It’s all about self-promotion! Self-promotion comes in many forms and you can use different tactics to get your name out there. Look at politicians! Talk about self-promotion and in some not so discreet ways, at that. But, seriously, consider some of the major superstars and public figures we all know. Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Oprah, Elon Musk, and LeBron James, just to name a few.

We all self promote. Did you raise your hand in class to show the teacher you knew the answer? Of course! That’s self-promotion. This is the kind of self-promotion we are talking about. With dignity, class and the knowledge to back it up. If you self-promote only to prove you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re going to lose business.

Natural self-promoters are the former and I want to tell you about the three major traits they have and use to build themselves and their businesses.

  1. The first is position. You need to position yourself around people who can make a difference in your life. You need to do this frequently. You need to wake up every morning and ask yourself “Who can I meet today who will make a difference in my success?” In fact, go a step further, write it in big, bold letters and tape it on your bathroom mirror.

Also consider:

Who can help me meet my goals?

Is it a prospective customer/client? A colleague with contacts? An association with key members who may become prospects?

Don’t settle into interacting with the people who are the easiest to access. You need to reach outside your comfort zone and there you will find a wealth of new connections that will bring you great success.

  1. Now, let’s talk about Style. No, this doesn’t mean you need an Armani suit to bring in more business (though, let’s be honest-it wouldn’t hurt). What this really means is how are you different from your competitors and others in your industry. What makes you memorable with customers?

If you are meeting a lot of people and they don’t remember you once you leave the room, you have a serious problem! This means you have an opportunity to present yourself in a more memorable way.

There are lots of little subtle changes you can make. Reassess your:

  • Business cards
  • Company message
  • Your picture
  • Your wording

Maybe even, your hairstyle (of course, now we’re back to the expensive suit, but it really works!)

You get the idea. There are lots of little ways you can work on making your image and business more successful. Also, consider how you sound on the phone and how you greet people at meetings or other events. Think about your 30-sec elevator speech.

  1. The third trait of natural promoters is repetition. You can’t say it once and leave it at that. Successful self-promoters say it as many times as they need until they get a response. Would you remember a commercial for Coca-Cola if you only saw it once, no! You see it over and over and eventually you head out to the store.

You, also, have to make multiple impressions on those you are networking with in order to build brand awareness. Repetition is in direct connection with positioning. Once you find people to network with, reach out and find hundreds more who can help in your success as well.