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What Makes Your Brand Stand Out?

What attracts consumers to your brand and turns them into loyal customers are the unique qualities your products and services have to offer. You provide something that no one else does or in a way that no one else does. Otherwise, why would you be in business?

Pivotal - what makes your brand stand out?

Your Brand Is Not a Cliché

Your products or services are unique, so make your marketing as unique. Don't package your marketing messages in clichés or overused phrasing that has lost its real meaning. It's not enough to say that your brand is "the best widget maker around." You have to dig deeper than that and get to the core of why your brand makes the best widgets. That why is what consumers are interested in and what will keep them coming back to your brand time and again.

Find Your Brand's Standout Power

Because you spend every day with your brand, it may not be obvious to you exactly what makes your brand so great. You just know it is!

Here are some questions to help you brainstorm what gives your brand its standout power:

  • How are you making life easier for your customers?
  • What follow-up or customer service do you provide?
  • Why do you stand above your competitors? Why would customers choose you?
  • What proof do you have that your brand is standout? Customer ratings or testimonials?
  • What stories can you tell about how your brand has worked for others?

Don't just ask yourself and your staff. Ask your customers! They can be the best resources for true insight into your brand. Send out surveys to your current base and see what they have to say. A lot of times companies are taken aback by the critiques and praises they get. You can use this data to mold not only your website language and images, but also your ads and the way you sell to you people. Remember to look for common themes within the surveys to address the biggest pros or cons of your business. Don't try to fix it all at once.

Remember: in creating your brand's promise for marketing messaging, don't just describe what your brand does. Describe what your customers get every time they choose your brand. Highlight the value you will bring to them with every interaction with your business. Remind them of this every time you get off the phone with them, obviously in a non cliché way, and your call backs or order times will improve.

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Branding Ph.D.: The Secret to Becoming the Top-of-Mind Expert on Your Topic So Prospects, Media, and Publishers Call You!

Howie JacobsonWhen you hear “futurist,” who do you think of? What about “marketing expert,” “leadership guru,” “motivation authority” or “customer service specialist”? Would you like to be on the short list for your expertise?What are you known for?

If you’re ready to be one-of-a-kind instead of one-of-many, you’re ready for this teleseminar.

There are hundreds of speakers, authors, consultants and trainers on the subjects of leadership, sales, motivation, customer service, conflict resolution and communication. What are you saying that’s different? What are you offering that hasn’t been heard before? How are you standing out in the crowd of “experts” on your topic?

Sam promises no platitudes. This is not Branding 101, this is Branding Ph.D.

You will learn:

  • the “Triple A Approach” for mining your experience to identify how and where you're original
  • how to corner a niche by creating your own niche
  • the secret to coming up with a trademark-able brand that helps you build a business empire
  • how to create the Next New Thing by creating a Eureka Moment
  • Contra-Brand: the power of introducing something that flies in the face of current wisdom
  • to “ink it when you think it” so you tap into your “Intellition” (intelligence + intuition)
  • to capitalize on POP! Culture so you are perceived as current and contemporary

Discover for yourself why Sam’s techniques have helped hundreds of infopreneurs catapult their career and income, and why her book on this topic POP! Stand Out in Any Crowd has been endorsed by Jeffrey Gitomer, Ken Blanchard, Mark Sanborn, Joe Calloway, and Seth Godin. As 4-time Pulitzer nominee Fawn Germer says, “You don't have to be a creative genius to use Sam’s techniques; however, using her techniques can make you a creative genius.”

Details here

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Your Brand is Being Created With Or Without You

Guest post by Laura Lowell

Brands are dynamic. Customers use our products and services. They like or dislike their experience and they say so, publicly. This type of customer engagement directly impacts your brand. In this way, your brand is being created with or without you. You can't control it. What you can control is how you deal with it.

You've probably heard the saying "feedback is a gift". It's also a gift that you can't return or exchange if you don't like it. It's yours to deal with whether you like it or not. Since most brands have some sort of an online presence today, customers have a very public option when providing feedback. They can leave their comments on your 1-800 customer feedback line or send their concerns to some anonymous email. More likely, however, they will post their issues to a website, blog or user group.

When customers provide this type of public, direct feedback, we basically have two options:

1. Engage - and hopefully influence the nature of the discussion

2. Remain passive - and let the discussion continue without us

I encourage companies to engage in the discussion. That's the point of the internet, social media and online communities. We have the capability to have these discussions in real time with many more customers than we could have ever have done in the past.

Yet, there are hundreds of examples where companies have had negative comments appear online about their products and they chose not to engage, or even acknowledge, the feedback.

In most cases this sort of "head in the sand" approach doesn't work out very well for the companies involved. They appear aloof, disconnected and uncaring. Customers post comments on corporate blogs and social media sites, and the damage is done. Companies then spend a ton of money and time trying to "manage their online reputation" - which usually means feeding good content into these sites in order to push the negative stuff off the first few pages of search results.

While this may work in some cases, it seems to be that it is a lot more effective, not to mention efficient, to just engage in the conversation to begin with! Here are some ideas to help you proactively manage your brand online:

Pay attention: create Google alerts for your company name, brand names, etc. Monitor where you brand is being mentioned and in what context. It's next to impossible to influence how the brand is being represented if you don't know where you're being mentioned.

Be active: identify the key places where your brand is being mentioned and get involved. Participate in discussions relevant to your brand but not where you are directly mentioned. You will get insights into the tone of the conversations and understand more how to position your brand appropriately.

Acknowledge feedback: when someone posts something negative, acknowledge their issue. Let them know you heard what they were saying. Explain your response, but don't try and justify your position, as you will only serve to annoy them further.

ABOUT LAURA LOWELL: Laura has been building brands and businesses for over 20 years. She writes about marketing and branding in her blog "The Rules...According to You" and has been featured on Oprah & Friends, ABC, The Huffington Post, and more. As the President of Impact Marketing Group, she helps entrepreneurs and small businesses build their brands and businesses with consulting, tools and training. Learn more at http://lauralowell.com

Laura and her family are currently living in Malaga, Spain. They will return to their home in Los Gatos, CA the summer of 2010.