Is that what your message, company, and website represent? Why do some business brands fall flat while others are over the edge exciting, compelling, and intriguing? Don’t you want to be considered exciting, compelling, and intriguing? Don’t you want to create an identity that draws in consumers and prospects? What are you communicating?
The charisma contained in your marketing material directly impacts your bottom line. It’s time to move away from bland, and build your brand.
Think about what we do when eating a meal. Do you automatically add salt and pepper without tasting the food, expecting that it will need more flavor? Do you anticipate bland? Or do you taste the food first and then add something to spice it?
Here are 5 tips to help you create a “brand buzz” in the marketplace:
1. Look at the first few sentences of your website, blog (if you have one) and marketing material. Would you describe the initial message and visuals as relevant, creative, and forward-thinking? If you worked with a focus group five years ago, you’re long overdue for a branding and marketing facelift. If you’re too entrenched in this, hire a consultant. It’s that important.
2. Consider the colors, layout and design. Are the graphics and visuals effective, stimulating, and congruent with your written words? What would draw people to your site and content? Does your material reflect positive energy? In our “crazy busy” world, it’s a race against the clock for you to quickly grab someone’s attention and keep their interest. Bland pushes people away–in droves.
3. Identify the writing style and language. If it’s all about your company, your history, and your experience, then it’s bland. People visiting your site don’t give a rat’s ass about where you went to school or your stuffy mission statement. That’s bland and boring because they don’t care about you—they care about themselves. Position yourself as a business that focuses on being the solution to your customers. It’s all about them- their needs, challenges, issues, and success. If you don’t believe me, look at Zappos and Nordstrom.
4. Stay current. We’re moving at warp speed. A blog post that’s dated three weeks ago is bland. An article or press release that was printed in 2007 belongs in the Smithsonian. Build your brand by staying on the cutting edge of your industry and trends. Be sharp and bold. Brand yourself as a leader in your field. Become the “go-to guy”. That’s not bland.
5. Create and know your brand personality. What mental images and perceptions are conjured up when someone sees your logo, tagline or company name? Does it inspire, bring a smile, a sense of comfort? Does your message generate excitement? Or is there confusion over acronyms, mixed messages and your own identity crisis? Clarity is critical.
You don’t have to be in the travel industry to build a buzz that’s attractive and engaging. Funeral homes also have to effectively brand themselves to welcome prospects into their pipeline. What kind of first impression and experience are you offering to the public?
Successful brands distinguish value and build loyalty. Have you built bland—or brand?
(Photo Credit: almostbunnies)