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Branding Archives - Sales & Motivational Speaker – Sean McPheat

Tag Archives: Branding

Tips For A Better Branding Strategy

One of the best ways to get your business noticed and growing is to have an effective branding strategy and it turns out that the more thought you put into your brand, the more successful it will be. That is why using the right strategy is important if you want to be successful. The good news is that because it is more about planning, these strategies don’t have to be expensive to work; all you need is a good company to help you build your brand and you will be set. Here are some tips to get you on your way to creating your brand.

Simplicity

A big part of any brand is the branding message that you create. While it may be tempting to try to explain everything about your business in this message, that is not the best idea as too long of a message may lose people’s interest. Instead, make your message clear and concise. If you keep it simple by breaking the idea down and getting to the point, it will not only keep customers’ interest, but it will still get your point across. Don’t feel the need to add filler information; instead let the product do most of the talking.

Pay Attention

You want to make sure you pay close attention to the impact every aspect of your branding is having on your customers. You can do so with surveys, by listening to feedback or looking at online discussions. The important thing is to use the information you get to figure out if your brand works. If it seems to be doing its job, make sure to keep pushing it. A brand that doesn’t work, however, will just end up wasting your time and resources so don’t be afraid to change any aspect that needs correction.

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What Is Branding & What Can It Do For Your Company?

When you start a small business one of the most important things to understand is branding and what it can do for your company.

You should not undermine the importance of a brand name and you should never shortcut the process. It is true that giving your company a brand may look just like icing on the overall cake, but it is a lot more than that. Your brand name will ensure that the entire cake does not fall apart. Without going through this process, it can be very difficult for a new business to grow as the brand name will tell your customers a lot about your company.

Connect With Customers

By getting the branding process done correctly, you will be ensuring that you get in touch with your customers; not only on a professional level, but also on a personal one. You are telling them about what you do and how you do it by simply using a brand. A customer can know your personality as well as the company’s identity. You should think of this process as a great investment in the company you worked so hard to create. Even so, it does not have to be complicated as most people prefer to keep it simple.

Talk To An Expert

While you may have an idea of how you want to go about the branding process, it is always a good idea to talk to an expert. As stated earlier, this is an investment that you are making so in order for the investment to pay off, you have to do it right. An expert will help you in things like customer outreach, logo and even slogans which you can use to get more customers to your door. The entire process can be done quickly if done correctly and a professional is the best way to go about it.

Happy Marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

(Image by Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Celebrate Your Sales Success

We spend a great deal of time learning strategies and working long hours to achieve a measure of success as a professional in the sales and marketing industry. When you take the time to think of how many hours, in any given week, are devoted to ROI and a nice paycheck, how much of your time is devoted to your work? It is so easy to get caught up in the routine of getting leads, calling numbers, creating content and finding how to make various marketing methods work for you. We quickly get caught up in this routine and before we know it, it’s been years since we have had a vacation. Has this happened to you? When was the last time you had some quality time to sit and reflect and reap the benefits of your hard work?

We all need to take moments to celebrate and enjoy the efforts of our hard work. There are many ways to accomplish this task. The thing to remember is that you should never feel guilty for celebrating. If we don’t celebrate and take time to spoil ourselves, we will never realize why we are working so hard. If you can’t remember the last time you took a weekend off, you need to schedule the first open weekend off. Get off the grid. Unplug your computer, shut off your phone and get out of the house. Trust me, you won’t miss a ‘golden opportunity’ simply because you are taking 48 hours to get in touch with the world that is surrounding you.

If you are able, take a vacation to a place you have never visited. Take a weekend at a day spa or a retreat. You will be amazed at how refreshed and revitalized you feel when you plug back into the world Monday morning. You will have newfound energy and a clear head. In truth, you will do better with your sales and marketing after you have had some down time. We don’t realize it, but we do not always do our best work when we continually push through walls. We let things slip through the cracks, we aren’t at the top of our game and our potential customers and leads are aware of this when we talk to them.

We spend so much time devoted to our jobs that we get caught up in the hours and rarely take time to relax and enjoy the benefits of our hard work. As soon as you can, take a weekend for yourself. Spend time with your family and loved ones and give your brain a rest.

Thank You!
Sean
(Image Creative Commons)
Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

Are You A Marketing Magnet?

We are in the business of marketing and sales. In this business, we work very hard to attract the ideal client, have this client purchase products and/or services and have this client be satisfied with their purchase. We invest a great deal of time in learning the right sales techniques, discovering what marketing strategies are optimal and utilizing every skill set we have to bring in a constant stream of new customers. One area where many marketing and sales professionals do not devote a lot of time to is the area of repeat business. You have invested so much energy into getting that sale, isn’t it worth the time and energy to maintain that client for years to come? Repeat business is directly related to your style of follow-up. Here are a few ways to provide flawless follow-up.

Be Committed
You should be extremely committed to your current clients. They have invested their money and trust in you. By continuing to provide great service, you are showing them that you care about them as a person, not just as a paycheck. Being committed is a key part of the follow-up process. You will know right away if they are unhappy with their product or if they are beyond thrilled with their purchase. Either way, you are investing time in building a relationship with your client. By taking this time and investing this energy, you will reap positive results. Your client will continue to purchase goods and services from you and they will refer you to new clients.

Offer Incentives

Everyone likes to get a great deal or a kick-back for their investment. Customers like to feel valued and one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by offering exclusive incentives to your current customer base. You can keep these incentives simple. For example, 10% off their next purchase with you or offering something for free if they refer a new customer to you are popular ways of achieving this. You don’t want to make the incentive seem like a gimmick. Show your customers respect by offering them exclusivity and quality as a thank-you for their support.

Communication

Communication is important in all aspects of sales and marketing. Make it a priority to be honest with all of your communication. If your customers are unhappy with something, fix it. If your customers are referring people to you, reward them. Take the time to get to know who your customers are and value them as individuals. Remember things like their birthdays and their anniversaries. Take a pro-active approach and send them cards on these important days, and on special holidays. You will find that many of your customers will become lifelong repeat customers if you treat them well.

Sales and marketing all come down to building a relationship with your customers. When you build a good relationship and value each customer you have, you will find that many more are waiting in line to do business with you.

Happy Marketing!
Sean
(Image Creative Commons)
Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

Is Your Brand A Trusted Resource?

One of the most difficult things for business owner’s is to accomplish is establishing themselves as the trusted resource in their industry. Notice I used the word “the trusted resource” and not “a trusted resource”, this is extremely important. Information about companies is very accessible to consumers seeking a professional to solve their problem. Therefore, you need to spend more time setting your brand above the rest. How can you accomplish this?

Think like your customers
Have you taken the time to think like your customers? When you do, you will notice that the following occurs. You will begin to engage with your potential customers without self-promotion. This does not mean that your potential customers remain ignorant of the business that you own; it simply means that you are not broadcasting your products and services 24/7. Begin by creating content that offers a solution to your audience’s problems. By providing powerful content that is not centered on self-promotion you will gain a following. This following will eventually turn into paying customers.

Provide Value
Do your content and your advice provide real value? Simple ways to provide valuable content includes: white papers, e-books, blogs, email newsletters, Facebook status updates, tweets, video and audio. This does not mean that you have to utilize all of these outlets to produce valuable content that your audience can use. This does mean that you need to produce and provide content, using at least one of these mediums, on a consistent basis.

Expert Endorsement
One of the best ways to show that your brand is a trusted resource is through endorsements. Have you connected with thought leaders that are willing to write down a few sentences that endorse your brand? I don’t suggest contacting every thought leader you admire and beg them to endorse your product or service. I do suggest that you utilize professional relationships that you have developed. This can be accomplished through networking, commenting on the blogs of these thought leaders, joining them in groups online and building a rapport. You must be willing to have a give- give relationship with these individuals. As quickly as a thought leader can endorse you, they can just as easily tarnish your professional reputation if you abuse the professional relationship.

Every brand must establish itself as the trusted resource of your field. Becoming the trusted resource is not something that occurs overnight. It takes time to develop relationships, build trust with your current customer base and have your target demographic trust you as well. This is an investment that is well worth the time and resources. You will find that once you are established as the trusted resource, it will take less time to turn a curious prospect into a loyal customer.

Happy Marketing!
Sean
(Image Creative Commons)
Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

How Accountable Is Your Brand?

In a perfect business world, your customers would hire you based on the quality of your products and services alone. However, we all know that the business world we operate is far from perfect. The brand that we are judged by not only encompasses our business brand, but our personal brand as well. You may be saying to yourself, “My personal life is private and my customers have no right to want to know about me outside of my work.” Unfortunately, as marketing efforts have evolved into an explosive digital landscape, your personal brand is now entwined with your business brand. What does your personal brand say about you?

Personal Brand
Have you Googled your name recently? You may be surprised by what you find on those first few pages. Google has a way of digging up every major mention (and even some minor mentions) and making those tidbits of information easily accessible. While you can’t control what search engines dig up regarding your personal brand image, you push those not so flattering mentions past page 10. Simply create good content about your personal brand. A good way to achieve this is by having a personal blog, using your real name. Create some fun and positive content on a regular basis. Pictures, laments, business tips and even family stories will help make the initial things that those who are searching for you quite positive.

Business Brand
The same method used to give your personal brand image a boost is used for your business brand. The only difference is that you want to be very vigilant with your business brand. Bad news travels fast and it only takes one negative comment or review to give you a really bad day. Content. Content. Content. Good Content. By creating consistent positive, relevant and interesting content, you can make sure that your image stays positive. Be proactive, I can’t stress that enough. The digital world will never say that your personal brand or business brand is 100% perfect, but by being proactive you can stay ahead of what the digital world is saying about you.

The only way to keep your personal life completely private is by not having profiles on social networking profiles. Even if you do not engage on Facebook or Twitter, your current customers and potential customers will be searching for you personally and your business online. With this in mind, beat them to the chase. Create an online image that reflects you, your business and your ethics. By being proactive about your digital reputation, personal and business, you can rest easy knowing that you are in control of your image.

Happy Marketing!
Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

Building Your Brand: Improving Company Reputation and Positioning

Think about the most successful products and companies that you know. Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, or McDonalds. Chances are, the majority of the most successful companies you know are very good at branding.

Now, in the case of Apple; contrast that company with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Chances are the majority of people have never even heard of Foxconn, despite the fact that they manufacture a significant portion of the components that go inside of every iPhone, and are responsible for putting the whole thing together.

So what is the difference between the two companies that allows Apple to sit pretty and rake in 50%+ profit margins, while Foxconn is scraping by with razor-thin profits? Although there are several factors at play here, one of the biggest ones is branding. Apple, along with many other companies that enjoy dominant market positions, have branded themselves well. And as a result, they now enjoy market dominance, fat profit margins, and untouchable products.

So how you make your company into the equivalent of Apple? As the title suggest, building the brand is all about improving company reputation and improving your market position.

Building your Reputation

Building your reputation is the key to branding, and is a difficult, drawn-out process. Hence the reason top global brands are valued in billions of pounds. But the process begins with you. Make sure that you brand is aligned with your company vision, and share that vision with your employees, customers, and personal connections.

Create an image for your company, and make sure that that image is one which delivers time and time again in terms of quality, price, and effectiveness. Over time, new and existing customers will begin to associate you, and your company, with effectiveness and quality, and you’ll see the beginnings of an improved brand image.

Market Position

Position is a bit more of an abstract concept, and goes a bit beyond the breadth of a single blog post. It refers essentially to what position you occupy in the minds of your customer and potential customers. Upmarket or not. Whether they think of you as more of a Tesco or a Harrod’s, so to speak.

 The key to market position is getting away from competitors, and finding an industry niche that you can occupy exclusively. Once you do this, you put yourself in a market position where you can control pricing, and build a quality reputation.

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Marketing ConsultantSales Expert - Motivational Speaker

 

Think about the most successful products and companies that you know. Companies like Apple, Coca-Cola, or McDonalds. Chances are, the majority of the most successful companies you know are very good at branding.

Now, in the case of Apple; contrast that company with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Chances are the majority of people have never even heard of Foxconn, despite the fact that they manufacture a significant portion of the components that go inside of every iPhone, and are responsible for putting the whole thing together.

So what is the difference between the two companies that allows Apple to sit pretty and rake in 50%+ profit margins, while Foxconn is scraping by with razor-thin profits? Although there are several factors at play here, one of the biggest ones is branding. Apple, along with many other companies that enjoy dominant market positions, have branded themselves well. And as a result, they now enjoy market dominance, fat profit margins, and untouchable products.

So how you make your company into the equivalent of Apple? As the title suggest, building the brand is all about improving company reputation and improving your market position.

Building your Reputation

Building your reputation is the key to branding, and is a difficult, drawn-out process. Hence the reason top global brands are valued in billions of pounds. But the process begins with you. Make sure that you brand is aligned with your company vision, and share that vision with your employees, customers, and personal connections.

Create an image for your company, and make sure that that image is one which delivers time and time again in terms of quality, price, and effectiveness. Over time, new and existing customers will begin to associate you, and your company, with effectiveness and quality, and you’ll see the beginnings of an improved brand image.

Market Position

Position is a bit more of an abstract concept, and goes a bit beyond the breadth of a single blog post. It refers essentially to what position you occupy in the minds of your customer and potential customers. Upmarket or not. Whether they think of you as more of a Tesco or a Harrod’s, so to speak.

 The key to market position is getting away from competitors, and finding an industry niche that you can occupy exclusively. Once you do this, you put yourself in a market position where you can control pricing, and build a quality reputation.

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

Show Your Customers That You Care

Valentine’s day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still show your love. After all, each day is an opportunity to show the people who you care about how much you really appreciate them. And when was the last time that you really showed your customers how much they mean to you?

Alright, timely-holiday references aside, there are some serious benefits which come with making your company one that customers think of as something more than just a product or a brand. Besides engendering increased customer loyalty, you’ll also see a dramatic increase in valuable social media references and word-of-mouth referrals.

In short, by showing your customers that you care about them, you’ll see that they start to care a lot more about you in return.

Fortunately, there are a handful of quick and easy ways to show your customers that you care.

Exclusive Offers

Some business owners like to tout every offer as an exclusive offer. Hopefully that is not you. And that’s not what I’m talking about here regardless. Create some real, valuable, exclusives that make your customers feel appreciated.

If you’re developing a new version of your most popular software, let a few valued customers test a beta version. Or offer them a special discount only available to long-term customers.

Get Feedback

Beyond engaging your customers and making them feel appreciated, this one gives you legitimate business building advice. No one knows your business better than your customers.

But more importantly, everyone likes to have their opinion valued. And what makes you feel like your opinion is more valuable than having a company whose product you use regularly come to you and ask you how you think they can improve the product? You’ll create a life-long fan.

Reward Your Best Customers

Rewards programs are another great way to show your best customers that you care about them. The classic was Subway’s Sub Club. Every time you bought a sandwich, you got two stamps. 12 stamps got you a free sandwich. Not much money out of Subway’s pocket, and it created a lot of customer goodwill, and a lot of customer loyalty.

This is easiest to do with restaurants, but there are plenty of other ways you can implement a rewards program. For instance, if you offer a subscription service, you could provide a certain number of points with each month’s subscription. When your customer accumulates enough points, perhaps let them upgrade to a premium subscription for free.

These are just ideas to get your thought process going. How you can show your customers that you really care about them depends on your specific industry. The key is making your customers feel appreciated, and making them feel like their relationship is more than just a plain old buying and selling relationship.

Do this successfully, and you’re sure to reap the rewards.

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

3 Major Marketing Mistakes to Avoid This Year

Nobody is perfect. Similarly, no small business is perfect, and some are very far from it. However, some fixes are easier than others. These three marketing mistakes are commonly made by small and large businesses all over the UK. If you find that any of these describe your marketing strategy; consider making some adjustments.

Trying to Please Everyone

The biggest advertising mistake that I see these days is small businesses trying to attract every customer under the sun. Identify your target customers, and advertise only to them. There are people who don’t need your product, people who don’t want your product, and people who will never buy anything from your company for reasons that you may never know. Don’t advertise to these people. Define your niche, stick to it, and advertise to your market. You’ll cut your marketing costs while driving up your conversions.

Trying to Beat the Competition

This sounds bit misleading; of course you should try to beat the competition! But not directly. The key to running a profitable small business is avoiding your competitors, especially if they are larger or better-funded than you. Engaging them in an advertising war or a price war will only drive your advertising costs through the roof while crippling your bottom line.

For analogy, consider an actual marketplace. If you walk into the market planning on selling oranges, and see that everyone is already engaged in a brutal price war over organs, you don’t enter the market and try to eke out a meager profit. You differentiate. You sell organic oranges at a higher price point, or you go to the next town and sell oranges, or you sell apples. You find your niche, and your customers will come.

You should apply the same reasoning to your online marketing efforts. Don’t engage your competitors directly on their soil – find your own soil.

Losing Focus

Amidst the structural and technological changes currently buffeting the marketing industry, it’s easy to lose focus on what you do best. While I constantly stress how important it is to embrace new technologies and get in early, don’t let them take you away from your business.

In other words, if your core business is selling blinds door-to-door, then a blog or a social media campaign might help to increase your visibility in an industry that is perennially plagued by low consumer awareness. However, don’t get so caught in trying on every new social media outlet that you forget to actually sell blinds.

 

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com

Developing a Marketing Strategy

A marketing strategy is like your roadmap to marketing success. Every small business owner should have an effective and detailed marketing strategy to consult as needed.

Whether you’re embarking on a new marketing campaign, improving your web presence, or simply sending a sales letter to a group of customers, every marketing move you make should fall under the umbrella of your marketing strategy.

Here are a few tips to help make your strategy as effective as possible.

Know the Market

The first thing your strategy should consider is your market. Who are your customers? What do they want? What do they want for free, what are they willing to pay for, and how much will they pay for it?

When you are rolling out a new product, you should have a picture in your mind of precisely who is going to buy it. If you don’t, then you should be doing a lot more research ahead of time.

Find your Niche

Every product and service on the market should be there as an answer to some need or problem. Moreover, what differentiates your product from your competitors’, and why should your potential customers choose you. Your marketing strategy should attempt to answer these questions.

Define your Goals

This is perhaps the most significant part of your marketing strategy. When you’ve identified who you are going to sell to, and on which basis you’re going to promote your product, you need to define a plan to move people from conviction to action.

In other words, convincing your potential customers that your product is the best product on the market is one thing, but how are you actually going to get them to open up their wallets and buy your product?

There are a number of ways that you can do this, including directing customers to your website, or getting them on the phone so that you can drive them to action personally. Whatever option you choose, it needs to be defined in detail beforehand. All the advertising in the world won’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t leave people with a definite channel through which they can buy your product.

Test your Results

Testing is the final key to any marketing strategy. You will never get everything perfect ahead of time. Your marketing roadmap should ideally be in a constant state of flux. As you implement new marketing campaigns, you should be testing what works and what doesn’t work. Improve on the good, and get rid of the bad.

Happy marketing!

Sean

Sean McPheat

http://www.seanmcpheat.com