How to build and manage a BRAND

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How to build and manage a BRAND!

The following issues are important to consider when building a brand, even if that brand is called YOU, Inc.

1. Great Brands tie into our emotions.

It is crucial that this link be present and underlying all brand building efforts. If your brand efforts don't touch people at an emotional level, their power to leverage and attract is nil. If your own brand building efforts (You, Inc.) are not emotionally driven then your power to sustain your brand building efforts will be weak!

2. Brands are never-ending stories!

Branding is a journey. The path that a brand takes is always a bit unknown. This is a key point. We do not always know what lies in the "implicate order." Therefore branding is both recognition and management of the present as well as creating the space and opportunity for emergent possibilities within the context of the journey.

3. Brands have lasting value and transcend fad.

While it is be cool, what matters is what lasts. Moving our brand into a position where it has to be cool to survive is sounding a death nell. Coolness is a result of the brand acceptance not the brand intention. It will pay to remember that!

4. Great Brands are consistent in appearance.

WYSIWYG! Everything you do to promote your brand needs design consistency. Continuous management of appearance is critical to creating brand equity and leverage. The biggest part of attraction that many people forget, is that people need to know you're there! Brand consistency must be seamless and transparent...the effects are clear, the intention is subtle elegance.

5. Brands re-create categories!

Look what blockbuster did for video. Boston Market for fast food. Nike for sports. Starbucks for coffee. Each and everyone of these great brands have one thing in common, they became protagonists in view of a simple goal, to reinvent the entire category.

6. You can brand ANYTHING, even You!

What makes people desire one thing over another? How does one brand attract people over another? Anything can be managed as a brand by following simple rules and by consistently outperforming the other items in the category. This performance doesn't have to be validated only accepted!

7. Great Brands have a clear identity!

Successful brands know themselves and what they are about. They have become clear regarding their own boundaries and the need to position themselves for success considering all the possibilities in the whole. Sometimes knowing what NOT to do is the key to brand identity.

8. Brand building is a marathon not a sprint!

In today's world of possibilities and global exchange, the only thing is brand. Price has been shown to be superfluous in the presence of a strong performing brand. People want dependability...a known quantity that differentiates itself from the pack of also-rans. People want to feel important and they leverage that through brand identification. Building a brand is a constant and continuous journey...a long-term approach.

9. Brands are involved!

Brand builders consistently show up at the right time, in the right place and in the right way. A knack for great brand building is precisely knowing when to say when. Consider your brands identity, your branding intention and your brand investment and make continuous deposits towards building brand equity.

10. Brands benefit the consumer!


What is your feature-benefit ratio? If people are not better off having used your brand, you're in big trouble! That takes two loci of action, one being, that you as a brand manager place your brand in a position to succeed or don't do it; and two that the benefits appear to the consumer in a holistic way. It's kind of like the brand that keeps on giving. Buckminster Fuller is credited with saying that "when you flush a toilet, it goes somewhere." When people use your products and services, the same thing happens. If you sacrifice the long-term value in a holistic sense for some short-term gain, you are endangering your brand equity!






How to Improve Your Sales Proposals

Do you create sales proposals or sales presentations to potential clients? These 10 ten steps will improve your effectiveness.

1. Thank you.

Sounds obvious, huh? You'd be surprised how often the words are overlooked. Be sure to thank the potential client for the opportunity to present to them. Tell them you respect how valuable their time is and that you appreciate them giving some of it to you.

2. Provide an outline.

Prepare an agenda of what you will be presenting. This gives the potential client an idea of what to expect.

3. State your expectation.

Let the potential client know up-front what you expect they will get from the proposal. This lets them know how you want them to respond to the proposal. You may say something like, "after I have completed the presentation, you will be able to see how my services give you much greater value for less money."

4. Sell yourself along with the product or service.

Don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Come prepared with a resume of your qualifications or summary of your experience or accounts you personally manage. People buy from people and because of people - not the services or products sold.

5. Be needs based.

Don't try to propose what the potential client doesn't need. Be realistic and check in with the potential client. Otherwise, don't waste your time or their time with the proposal.

6. State the results.

Often sales people leave this step out and expect the prospect will "get it." State the results that your product or services will deliver. Be careful not to overstate and be honest about the outcomes. Underpromising and overdelivering will pay off.

7. Use media.

Make your proposal interesting by painting a picture of your product or services. Do a hands-on demonstration, or use charts, graphs, etc. Get your prospect involved and imagining their use of the product or service during the proposal.

8. Talk about the money.

This is where salespeople get uncomfortable and hesitate. State the cost and explain all costs. Don't keep anything hidden. Don't be embarrassed by the pricing. Expect the client will not be scared by the costs. Don't judge their pocketbooks.

9. Follow up.

Don't leave the presentation without agreed upon follow-up. Select the next logical step and get the potential client to agree to it. It may be meeting again, visiting a customer using the product or service, or coming to your office for another presentation of some sort. Choose the date and time and make a firm commitment before you walk out the door.

10. "No" doesn't mean it's over.

Some of my proposals have been rejected by the prospect the first time. I don't pout. I just continue my relationship with them. I keep in touch through calls, mailings, newsletters, and invitations to seminars. You never know when the right time may be or the mood may shift. Many initial "no's" have become "yes" later on. Keep in touch.


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