A Global Positioning System for Your Brand

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Module 1: How to Position Your Brand to Sell
Section 4: How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Post 4: Putting It All Together

Wow! It’s been intense. You’ve come a long way. And now you have the equivalent of a Global Positioning System for your brand. We call it your Brand Positioning System (BPS). It includes:

  • Your ideal customer persona
  • Your brand name
  • Your tagline
  • Your what/why statement
  • Your sound bite
  • Your elevator pitch
  • Ultimate experience
  • Your HIPODs and a first focus

Your BPS helps you understand your place in the world. So you’ll stay focused and make better decisions faster.

It also helps you build a culture and communicate what makes your brand special. You’ll attract the right people naturally – from customers and employees to partners and funders.

Now you’re ready for the next step…

Next Step

Congratulations! You’ve completed the reading for Module 1. Here’s what to do to complete it:

  • Complete any parts of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook which you haven’t already. (Hold off on Module 1, Part 4 for now.)
  • If you haven’t done so already, schedule your first personal coaching session with us. Just click here and select 3 times. We’ll respond vial email to confirm one of them. If you have scheduled a time with us already, please let us know you’ve completed this module so we can review your guidebooks.
  • After that, you’ll complete Part 4 of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook so you’ll have a single place to see your BPS.
  • Then you’ll be ready for Module 2.

Of course – if you have any questions, email us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com with “BTS QUESTION” in the subject line.

The Secret to Creating a Free Sales Force for Your Brand

You are here:
Module 1: How to Position Your Brand to Sell
Section 4: How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Post 3: The Secret to Creating a Free Sales Force for Your Brand

Let’s quickly review – our last post was about the most critical factor in building a brand that sells: delivery.

It’s easy to make promises. It’s not always so easy to keep them.

Simple stuff, right? So why do so many business people fail to do it?

They forget a cardinal rule: If you’re not sure you can keep a promise, don’t make it. Life is so much simpler

Of course, we’ve all heard stories about the entrepreneur who said “Yes” when a customer asked if they could do something. They weren’t sure if they could do it. They’d certainly never done it before. But they found a way. It was a major moment in the history of their business.

So yes – sometimes it may pay to break the rule. But we’re not thinking about those kinds of situations. We’re talking about every day business, telling customers what you can do and then doing it.

Promises kept creates trust. Trust builds your brand. Your brand is the foundation of your business. Your business will give you the life of your dreams.

So keeping promises leads to life on your own terms. BIGG success!

But you can do it even faster. Remember “promises plus” as we said last time.

Keep your promises and you’ll satisfy your customers. Go a little bit beyond and you’ll thrill them!

The BIGG value of small improvements

Let’s say you have 100 customers. You focus on finding a way to serve just one more customer every week, without sacrificing quality or profit margins.

Under this scenario, you would be serving 52 more customers by the end of the year. That’s over 50% more than where you started. Since we assumed you held your margins, your profit would also be up over 50%!

So you can create tremendous value from small improvements. It’s true for sales and profits. It’s also true when serving customers.

It’s better to be consistently mediocre than inconsistently great.
But it’s best to be consistently great getting greater.

Remember talking about your ideal customer experience last time? We saw a great example of this in action….

We visited a company who had their entire process mapped out on the wall of their conference room.

It included all their touchpoints – from the first interaction with the customer to following up after the sale. But there was something even more intriguing…

They had all these sticky notes up on the wall.

They were all over the place! Upon closer observation, you could see that they each one had handwriting on it.

We were so curious that we just had to ask: What are the sticky notes for?

We learned that each sticky note highlighted one small thing they wanted to test – the “plus” in “promise plus.”

They would pick off one sticky note at a time to see if it improved results. If it did, they kept doing it. If it didn’t, they scrapped it and moved on.

These suggestions had been made by customers and employees. That’s what makes this concept so useful.

It’s a great tool to get employee buy-in. They get on board because they can see that their suggestions are being considered.

More than that, they may get tested. The test results may call for full implementation!

It makes your employees feel like they’re a significant part of something bigger. They feel valued. They’re happier. And happy employees stick around and produce more.

Not a bad use for a conference room wall, huh?

The key to finding plusses with impact

When you think about your ideal customer experience, you’ll get the BIGG things right. But it’s the little things that turn ordinary customers into extraordinary evangelists of your brand.

How will you discover these little things? Ask!

Talk with your customers every chance you get. Ask them what you could do even better. You’ll find this customer wants this thing while another wants something else.

Observe your competition. What are they doing that you’re not?

However, here’s what you’ll find in most cases – when you deliver that little thing, ALL your customers love it! They may have never mentioned it. They may not have even thought of it. But they’ll notice it!

Of course, you can only do so much. Bite off these tasks as you can. But always be seeking feedback from your customers.

With social media, you have a focus group at your beck and call every day. Take advantage of it. Ask your fans and followers for their opinions. Use a service like Survey Monkey to query the people on your list.

A surprising experience at a restaurant

A friend of ours told us about her recent experience with a nearby restaurant. She went out to lunch with a colleague. Neither of them had ever been to this restaurant – it had just opened a few weeks earlier.

The food was great. The service was even better. They had a wonderful time.

About a half hour after our friend got back to her office, her assistant buzzed her to let her know she had a phone call. It was the manager of the restaurant where she had just eaten.

What’s this about, she wondered, as she picked up the phone and said, “Hello.”

“Good afternoon. I just wanted to call to make sure you enjoyed your lunch today,” the manager said.

She said, “Yeah…everything was fantastic.” She paused, wondering what was coming next.

“So glad to hear it. And I just want to let you know that we really appreciate your business.”

“Well…thank you,” our stunned friend replied, barely able to form the words.

“Have a great day.”

With that, the call ended. No pitch. No nothing. Just a question about the experience and a note of appreciation.

And did you notice what naturally happened as a result? Our friend thanked the manager!

Have you ever had a restaurant call you just to say thanks? How about other service providers?

This is a great example of a promise plus. Our friend was satisfied by her experience at the restaurant. But she was thrilled with the follow-up.

And guess where she always suggests going for lunch? We can’t tell you how many people she’s introduced to this place.

She almost never goes anywhere else for lunch. And she’s not shy about sharing the story we just relayed to you. It’s why we found out about it.

She may very well be their best salesperson – and she’s not even on the payroll. In fact, she pays them!

Yet if we asked 100 restaurant owners if they do follow-up thank you calls, how many do you think could honestly say “Yes”?

We don’t know the answer. However, we’d be surprised if 5 of the 100 actually did it. We wouldn’t be surprised if it was only 1 or 2.

Why so few? Because it’s so hard? No, it’s really pretty easy.

Is it because they’re scared they may prompt a complaint? Perhaps, but remember what we said about people who complain – they can quickly be turned into brand ambassadors if treated right.

But in most cases – the real reason is because it just isn’t a priority. They may intend to do it. They may like to do it. But in the rush of everyday business, it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. And the list keeps growing so the bottom gets pushed lower and lower. In the end, it never gets done.

So the few who invest a small amount of time to do it reap BIGG dividends.

What opportunities can make you shine by making something simple a priority? Look for touchpoints which make a difference with your customers and your competitors ignore.

It’s the secret to thrilling your customers. They are a selling force, unequalled by any team of the best people salespeople who could ever be assembled. Even better, they’ll do it for free. And you’ll reap the rewards!

Next Step

Take your pick: You can go to Part 3 of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook or go on to the next post. We recommend going to the Guidebook.

And if you have any questions, email us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com with “BTS QUESTION” in the subject line.

The Most Critical Factor in a Brand That Sells

You are here:
Module 1: How to Position Your Brand to Sell
Section 4: How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Post 2: The Most Critical Factor in a Brand That Sells

As one of our coaches constantly reminds us – There are many undiscovered geniuses in the world. But there are no undiscovered marketers!

For that reason, we’ve spent our time so far talking about creating communications which connect with your ideal customers.

It’s something many business owners struggle with. And by “many”, we mean most!

Communication is crucial. But there’s another side to the coin: delivery.

If you can’t deliver what you say you will, the best communication will accomplish nothing.

Okay, it may do you some good in the short run. But you won’t build long-term relationships with customers.

And research shows…

It costs 5 to 7 times more to get a new customer than retain a current one!

Yet the funny thing is – most businesses are constantly on the prowl for new customers. They put all of their resources into it. And they forget about the customers they already have!

You’ll make more money, more dependably if you build on your base of existing customers. You do that with a promise plus.

The best way to build your business

Delivering what you promise is the most critical factor in a brand that sells. If you do it, you’ll satisfy your customers.

But that isn’t good enough – deliver a promise plus a little bit extra and you’ll thrill your customers.

Thrilled customers buy more, buy more often and tell others.

Can you think of any better way to build your business? It’s the most cost-effective way to build your business:

Your average sale increases because your customers buy more every time. They also buy more frequently. And they readily endorse you among the people they know. You don’t even have to ask!

You just have to deliver a promise plus.

A little secret about creating lifetime customers…

But don’t worry about the plus at first. Just focus on the promise.

So you understand this, we’ll let you in on a little secret. Very few business owners know this – the ones who do create lifetime customers.

Are you ready? Shhh! Remember, it’s a secret…

It’s better to be consistently mediocre than inconsistently great.

Kemmons Wilson took his family on a trip to Washington, D.C. Traveling from their home in Memphis, he was astounded at the inconsistent quality between the mom-and-pop motels along the highway.

Couple that with a major change – the advent of the interstate highway system – and he saw a BIGG opportunity.

He revolutionized the hotel/motel industry on one BIGG idea – no surprises.

It resonated with travelers. They counted on Holiday Inn to deliver a consistent experience, no matter what city they were in.

Note that as an outsider, he built his franchise on the inconsistent delivery of an entire industry. It highlights differentiating on experience, as we discussed earlier.

4 keys to consistently satisfy your customers

  • Manage expectations when you can, meet them when you can’t

Let’s say a new grocery store just opened up. When you go there, what expectations do you bring with you?

After all, this isn’t your first trip to any grocery store. It’s just your first time at this one. While you won’t know where things are, you still have ideas about what the experience should be like.

Now think about hiring a coach. What expectations do you bring with you? Most people have none. They’ve never hired a coach before. Even for those who have, it’s not something they do everyday.

Is your business more like a grocery store or a coaching service?

If it’s the former, you have to meet the expectations. Even first-time customers bring pre-conceived notions.

But if it’s the latter, it’s important to manage expectations. Lead them through the buying process. When they buy, reinforce it. When you provide the service, be sure to explain your limitations.

Here’s an example: “I’ll answer your e-mail by the next business day.” Then make sure you do it.

But create an expectation for less than you know you can deliver. And don’t change that deliverable until you know you can do it every time.

  • Log your promises

Many promises are made. Many are forgotten.

But not by the customer who they were promised to!

Here’s a simple example: When we develop new programs like this one, we always write the offer first. (We learned this from one of our coaches).

It helps zero in on the most important benefits for our customers. Now, we could stop there. We could let the copy be the copy.

Instead, we use it as a “promises log.” As we develop the materials for the program, we make sure we’re fulfilling every promise.

But it’s not always that simple. YOU may not be the person making the promise!

[George] I ran into this problem with my service businesses – we sent technicians out to homes and commercial properties. For the most part, they dealt with our clients. But occasionally, we would get an unpleasant surprise – generally from an unhappy customer. Our tech had made a promise but didn’t record it. They hate paperwork. Our office staff was great with paperwork. So we had the techs call in after each call so we could record the promises made. All the tech had to do was tell us. It helped us fulfill our promises almost 100% of the time.

So if you have staff, make sure you find a way to capture the promises they’re making in addition to the one you make yourself.

  • Map out the ultimate experience

Think about all your touchpoints – from the time a potential customer becomes aware of you, to the first communication, to the purchase, to the customer using your product or getting the service you provide, to the follow up after the sale and how you get them to buy again.

This is just an example of common touchpoints. Your industry may be slightly different.

Now think back to the vital moments and your HIPODs. What can you deliver which would thrill your customers?

If you’re in business, forget about what you’re doing now. We’ll get to that soon enough.

For now, remove yourself from reality and map out how you would like it to go every time with every customer. Fully describe what you would like to happen.

If you have staff, get them involved in this exercise. We’ve found that they will make significant contributions on things you would never think about. Plus it’s a fun way to engage with them.

  • Determine where you’re at now

Now we’re ready to establish your baseline. What’s the experience look like now? If you’re just starting, what do you know you can deliver?

Don’t worry how it stacks up against the idea. The point is to document where you are (or plan to start).

With all of this in place, we’re ready to focus on thrilling your customers. We’ll take that up in the next post.

Next Step

You’re now ready for Part 2 of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook. Of course, you can go straight to the next post if you prefer. We recommend the former.

Email us any questions you may have. Put “BTS QUESTION” in the subject line and send it to bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

This Twin Force Drives the Most Successful Brands

You are here:
Module 1: How to Position Your Brand to Sell
Section 4: How to Create Your Brand Strategy
Post 1: This Twin Force Drives the Most Successful Brands

So far, we’ve talked a lot about the psychology behind your brand. Now we want to shift slightly and look at your brand philosophy.

We can’t think of a better illustration than Ingvar Kamprad. He grew up on a farm called Elmtaryd near Agunnaryd, a small town in Sweden. (You’ll soon see the reason for all the detail here.)

When he was just five years old, he started selling matches to his neighbors. He bought the matches in bulk from Stockholm so he could give his customers a great deal while still pocketing a profit for himself.

At seven, he expanded his territory. His storefront? His bicycle!

He was so successful that he branched out into other products – greeting cards, decorations for Christmas trees, flower seeds, pens and pencils.

In all cases, he had a single focus: find the best deal and pass the savings on to his customers.

When he was 17, his dad rewarded him for doing well in school. He used the money to set up a business.

He named the business by using his initials (IK) along with the first letter of the family farm (E) and the nearby village (A).

IKEA was born!

At first, he sold pens, picture frames, table runners, watches, jewelry and nylon stockings. He expanded beyond his little town and started selling goods by mail order.

He was doing great. Five years passed. But he was always on the lookout for more things to sell. That’s how he found his BIGG opportunity…

He noticed a number of furniture manufacturers were located in and around the forest near his hometown. So he tried selling their goods to his customers.

The response was fantastic. So he expanded his line of furniture. And expanded. And expanded.

Today, IKEA is the largest furniture retailer in the world! They are known for modern designs coupled with eco-friendly simplicity at a great price.

They convey it all to the world with a simple statement: “to create a better everyday life for the many people.”

Ten words – one or two syllables with one exception (“everyday”), no confusion, no words which give pause, no jargon.

Yet it instantly sparks curiosity. Who are “the many people”?

They’re glad you asked! Here’s their explanation:

“Beautifully designed home furnishings are usually created for the few who can afford them. From the beginning, IKEA has taken a different path. We have decided to side with the many.”

They continue, “It’s not difficult to manufacture expensive fine furniture: just spend the money and let the customers pay. To manufacture beautiful, durable furniture at low prices is not so easy – it requires a different approach. It is all about finding simple solutions and saving on every method, process or approach adopted – but not on ideas.”

Do you see the power in these words? IKEA is a hero!

They don’t serve rich people. They serve regular people.

They don’t do what’s easy. Oh no – they tackle a challenge, and their customers reap the rewards!

So what can we takeaway from this IKEA example?

You need a “what” powered by a “why”

Brands that succeed have a “what” powered by a “why”.

Your what is your vision. It touches hearts.

Your why is your mission. It touches souls.

Here’s a quote we picked up along the way which describes why a what powered by a why is so important to the success of your brand:

Touch Me
Touch my mind – you have my thoughts.
Touch my heart – you have my love.
Touch my soul – you have my passion.
Touch all three and you have me.

If you want to build a brand that sells, you must win all three – mind, heart and soul. You do that with your business philosophy, coupled with the other topics we’ll discuss in this section.

We talked earlier about answering the most brutal question in business – what do you do? Your response to that question starts the conversation about your brand. It helps you get customers.

Now we’re moving on to the BIGG picture – your what and your why. They’re the glue which makes people stick to you and your brand.

But that’s just the beginning – they also turn loyal customers into dedicated ambassadors for your brand. But it goes beyond customers…

Employees want to feel connected to a BIGG cause. Sure, they want to do a good job and make a decent living.

But we all spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Your best people – the kind of employees you want to attract – want to:

  • feel like the work they do serves a bigger purpose
  • know it makes a difference in people’s lives
  • see they’re making the world a better place

THEN they buy in. They take ownership of their jobs:

  • They’re more productive because they’re driven by a cause, not just a check.
  • They remain loyal so you save the time and money wasted by turnover.
  • They manage themselves so you can work on more important things.

You see, your brand is just as important for internal marketing as it is for external purposes. So you need a simple, stirring statement of your what and your why.

Do you want a statement that sells or a wall decoration?

Note that we said “a simple, stirring statement” in that last sentence. The reason is you have to make a choice. You can:

  • try to “get by” without a statement
  • create a statement which is nothing more than a wall decoration
  • craft a compelling statement

Sadly, most business owners choose the first one. Let them do it – they’ll work too much and make too little.

Many choose the second one. They suddenly become some sort of robot which spews forth platitudes, jargon and buzz words. The end product is printed, framed and placed on the wall where everyone can see it.

Unfortunately, everyone ignores it because it is meaningless garble. Here’s an example:

Mission Statement

Your third option is to create a what/why statement. It should be simple, so it’s easily understood. It should be short, so it’s easy to remember. It should evoke emotion, so people are compelled to act.

The statement we just showed you doesn’t score on any of these three points. On the other hand, IKEA scores 100%.

You don’t have to tell your whole story in one sentence. So don’t try. Instead, you can supply more information when people are interested. In other words…

Your what/why statement should be intriguing enough
to make people want to hear the rest of your story.

Most of all it should be intriguing to you! It should be personal. IKEA focuses on keeping costs down. It’s a philosophy its founder has had his whole life.

Your brand is a reflection of you, coupled with an opportunity.

Trends and fads, opportunities and threats

The world moves too fast to predict the future. However, you have to try…just a little bit.

We won’t ask you to look too far down the road. We’ll look at something that’s doable – five years.

What will the world be like in five years for your ideal customers? How will your industry be different?

Separate the fads from the trends. Fads come and go. So while you may be able to profit from one short-term, you can’t build a brand on it.

On the other hand, you can ride a trend to BIGG success!

Trends are to entrepreneurs what waves are to surfers – they can create a fun ride or they can send you flying into the deep sea!

So you want to look at trends as they relate to you, your customers, your industry and the world at large. For each trend you identify, ask:

Does this trend present an opportunity, a threat or both?

To discover the answer, think about what’s driving the change. It may be economics, demographics, technology, regulation or some other factor.

We talked about your strengths and weaknesses earlier – yours and your competitors. It’s time to think about them again, as it relates to opportunities and threats. Ask the following questions:

What role can you play? How can you care for your customers in light of the trend?

How could you compete? Think about your HIPODs and how the trend relates to them.

Are people demanding a better product or service? Is there an opportunity to deliver a better experience? How can you build your relationships by helping your ideal customers navigate the changes?

And here are the ultimate questions…

  • What difference will you make?

This is your what. By taking a different approach, IKEA makes fine furniture affordable. This vision impacts every part of their business.

Your what will do the same for you. It helps you find and maintain your focus.

  • What difference will your difference make?

This is your why. IKEA makes everyday life better for “the many people”. It’s a cause you can get behind.

Your why isn’t self-serving – it’s not “create wealth” or “be the leading provider.” It’s about serving some greater cause, some group of people.

It’s not platitudes like “to change the world.” It’s practical, yet emotional.

When you have a what powered by a why, you’ll touch the minds, hearts and souls of the people you want in your business. Money follows.

Next Step

Take your pick: You can go to Part 1 of the Create Your Brand Strategy Guidebook or go on to the next post. We recommend going to the Guidebook.

And if you have any questions, email us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com with “BTS QUESTION” in the subject line.