most people see branding as being a onetime only decision. you pick a business name, a logo, some colours, maybe an icon or symbol and voila you are done. moving on to the next item on the ‘business to do’ list!
but if you want to build trust & recognition (which, by the way, are things you need to generate sales) then you should be revisiting your brand and using it to create your strategies for selling your products. you need every aspect of your business to be consistent with the brand you have created.
so before you decide to add a new sales strategy to your business plan, or make changes to the plan you already have in place, take a moment to consider the message you WANT to send out to the world about your business (i call this your brand message).
what sales strategy can you use to help you send that message?
here are a few examples of types of strategies you might employ to match the brand message you wish to send about your biz:
- easy/simple – an e-commerce site/website shopping cart that even your 7 year old could figure out, storing information to make subsequent purchases even quicker, phone orders for people who find online shopping intimidating, not too many options or choices to consider
- speedy/quick – products in stock, products packaged and ready to ship, the fastest delivery options available, instant downloads, next day service,
- exclusive – limited edition stock, available to purchase by invite only or members only, priced at the high end of the scale, wholesale to a limited number of shops
- custom – in person consultations, no items in stock/all made to order, priced higher than readymade stock
- funky/unique – local artisan markets, wholesale or commission to only certain types of boutiques/indie retailers, online marketplaces/collectives with other similar brands
- helpful – pre-order consultation, instructions/guides/tips included with purchase, 24 hour on call assistance, post purchase check up
- elegant/classy - clutter free, beautiful online shop/website, stunning professional photos and well written product descriptions, gorgeous packaging, personalized customer service
obviously these are just a few examples of the types of messages you could send out about your brand – you may have completely different ones!
the bottom line is this: before people will buy from you they need to trust you; in order to build trust you must tell people the same message with every aspect of your business. this means your products + your pricing/packages + your sales methods + your brand message must all match!
so right now go have a look at the places & strategies you use to sell your products, services & information. what message do you send with those methods? if you are not sure pair up with another little biz builder and offer each other a fresh set of eyes. it is important to consider what sort of message a new (or returning) customer would get when coming into contact with your biz. is that the message you mean to send?
one more note about sales strategies that are commonly used by people who are trying to build a little biz.
strategies such as these ones all send the same message...
- putting up flyers at the local community centre, school or shopping centre bulletin boards
- having a facebook page as the only location & method for sales
- generating sales by word of mouth but not being able to direct those people to a website, business card or other professional ‘face’ to your business
these say you are… in the hobby stage/portfolio building/product testing/just starting out/an amateur.
if you do not intend to send that message, don’t sell your thing as if you are! just saying. =)
do you need help figuring out what your brand message is? have a look at the build a brand blueprints - this is a step by step workbook for creating a stand out brand message. you can read more about this blueprint here and you can read the contents and the introduction here (to get a taste of what the workbook is like.)