11 Pipers Piping!
It’s Day 11 of the 12 Days of Branding. If you missed any of the series thus far, you can find them here. In today’s installment we look at what needs to happen in order to get people talking about your brand.
If you know me at all, you know that I’m a huge fan of Seth Godin — and in particular his concept of the Purple Cow.
Getting folks to talk about your product or service isn’t something you can force. People will talk about things that are remarkably good, and shun things that are remarkably bad (if you’re lucky. If you’re remarkably bad, they might also tell everyone they know).
In between those two extremes, you just get ignored. (Let’s not end up there, okay?)
Word-of-Mouth marketing can be defined simply as:
Any business action that earns a customer recommendation
I’d also add, that in my experience, word-of-mouth is usually responsible for more than 50% of ALL new customers and clients — no matter what industry you’re in.
And in the marketing realm, it’s always best to go where the money is and do more of what works.
Okay – so how would you go about creating a remarkable brand? Something that folks can’t stop talking about? Here are some great suggestions.
11 Tips for Creating a Remarkable Brand
1. Find your Weird Intersection. Some folks talk about this in terms of creating your niche. (Sonia Simone over at Copyblogger just talked about this yesterday.) Other might frame this as the place where your unique talents, skills and passions overlap (Emilie Wapnick over at Puttylike talks about this a lot, too). The point is — find a way to bring two or more unlikely concepts or ideas together. Where those intersect, is where you’ll find something weird enough to be remarkable. For me, it’s cooking and marketing.
2. Exaggerate your Voice. Remember that you’re not trying to market to the whole freakin’ world. Just with your ideal customers. So, don’t tone down who you are and what you stand for. Turn that volume up loud and proud!
3. Do the Opposite of What Everyone Else Does. My dad used to ask me (when I was whining for permission to do something everyone else was doing), “If all your friends were playing on the freeway, would you follow them?” It’s a natural, human impulse to follow the pack. Look at the phenomenon of social proof in marketing! But, if you zag when others are zigging, you might just find a tiny bit of remarkability. Sometimes this means doing things differently first (e.g., If you’re a hair salon, consider staying open on Sunday and Monday). And sometimes this means going back to the way things used to be done (e.g., If you’re a doctor, make good old fashioned house calls.) Some folks refer to this as “The George Costanza Principle.” However you label it, examine the ways you’re doing business and see if there aren’t alternate paths. Don’t be afraid to break from the pack.
4. Empower your Customers. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing says,
Find logical ways to get your clients to reveal their goals, and then work on ways — even if they’re seemingly unrelated to your business — to help them reach those goals. In the process, you’ll add value in ways that will be hard for competitors to understand. (Read the rest here…)
5. Create your own Vocabulary. Go beyond generic product names and create new words and phrases to explain your philosophies, processes and more. Carol Roth does this extremely well. You could, too.
6. Find and Nurture Evangelists. Whether these folks are influential in your industry, or just extremely loyal customers, they are the ones who will talk about you most. Influence Marketing is a method of finding and marketing to your brand evangelists. Put simply, it puts an emphasis on looking for, and building relationships with, those who are most likely to influence the rest of your target market.
7. Give Extreme Value. After you’ve calculated all the costs of your product or service and come up with a price you think is fair, brainstorm other ways to double or triple its value. When you provide extreme value, you make it hard for people to resist talking about the deal they got with you. Note: this doesn’t mean you should discount your offerings. When you position something at a discount, your product is seen as less valuable than it really is. Charge full price, but add free “gifts” like free support, free video tutorials, free trials or extremely long guarantees.
8. Be Transparent. Show your prospects and customers the real you. Give them a behind-the-scenes look at how you work, how you create your product, or how you make decisions. Be human. Show a little vulnerability every once in awhile. Let your audience see the challenges you’re facing — and how you overcome them. And if that’s too scary, just be sure to inject some of your own life and personality into your business. Folks who work with corporations or other businesses often find this really hard to do. It’s not. You may be marketing B2B, but that decision-making process is handled by a human. Don’t forget that!
9. Go Above and Beyond. Even if you “just” have a blog, there are things you can do that people don’t expect. With this tactic, the element of surprise is what works in your favor. What pieces of your customer intake and follow-up could you tweak to surprise and delight someone?
10. Build a Community. When your loyal customers get to know and interact with each other, the resulting conversations can really gain traction. Enthusiasm and passion are contagious — create opportunities for that to happen. It could be with a customers-only in-person event, or a private Facebook Group. Jeff Goins has some ideas about this. So does Seth Godin:
11. Make it Easy for People to Talk about You. Your customers, clients, readers and fans will all have different preferences for sharing you and your fabulousness. Some are big on social media, so make sure you’ve got social sharing buttons all over your blog posts, web pages, etc. Even if you feel like your business is hyper local, don’t ignore the web — it’s vital to have a presence and connect with the parts of your audience who are online (they’re usually the ones who like to share!).
What would you add? Leave a comment below and share!