Your branding is failing.
If you’ve read any of my books, 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Start-up Success and The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, I talk about branding. I talk about marketing not being optional, and branding is pivotal. It’s the cornerstone.
If you’re looking at an engagement ring, it’s that big diamond sitting in the center. You can have all the other things look really good, but if the diamond is kind of small, the ring doesn’t get any attention.
So why your branding is failing?
There are typically six reasons why it could be failing. I would tell you if you’re not good at branding, you’re going to struggle as a company. You’re going to just be average. I think that’s the biggest problem I find with small businesses. They’re just so average. In one of my businesses, I have the opportunity to meet a lot of business owners just through estimates, and there are certain ones that I go on. I want to make $1M dollars a year. That’s what I like to make. I want to work 20 hours a week because I spend 20 hours a week studying and writing and doing the podcast, things like that, that I don’t expect to get paid on or gets paid later on. I have to make $1k an hour. That’s what I make. If I do that, then I make $1M in a year. It’s pretty simple math, $20k a week, 50 weeks in a year with two weeks off, or whatever the case may be. It comes out to a million. If I can make $1k an hour, I can make $500 in 20 minutes.
So $500 for 20 minutes. $1k for an hour. And some of them are looking at very complex estimates. We can take something from the dirt and turn it into a dream home if you wanted to and anything in-between. I have a construction company that in eight divisions within it.
I will meet with business owners, and I look at their house and their cars, and I’m like, what are they missing? They have a decent business, but why hasn’t it gone to the next level?
It’s typically because their branding and marketing are just so below average. We’re just good old people. If I hear “integrity” one more time in an ad….I guess what, now I expect you to lie to me?
We’re just good old folks and we can bring honesty and integrity.
Just so you know, honestly and integrity are kind of like the same thing…
We’re just a family-owned business.
Great. So is Walmart. So is Chick-fil-A.
Why is your branding failing?
You’re Advertising is Not Promoting a Brand
You don’t have a brand position. There’s nothing that makes you unique. There’s no one consistent theme that it’s pressing.
A brand clearly allows people to know what it is you stand for. People have personal brands and companies have brands, and you’re just trying to stand for something. The problem is your advertising doesn’t stand for anything. It’s yelling in a crowd. You’re just yelling what everybody else is yelling and nobody can find you.
Your Name is Bad
Sometimes just so generic. You would think these would be great names, but these businesses did not do well. Pets.com. You would think that would be a great name. Mortgages.com, toys.com. These are in fact names of companies that don’t well.
It’s kind of like having a book you wrote and you call your book, “Book”. I’ll tell you a book that did really well, it’s called You Skinny Bitch. It’s a diet book, but it got your attention. It could have been called The Diet Book but no, You Skinny Bitch will definitely grab attention because I’m willing to bet the heavier girls call the skinner girls “You Skinny Bitch”.
Names matter. So don’t be so generic in your name.
Your Brand is Too Similar
Sometimes your branding position is too similar or you’re trying to ride off of a national brand and it’s just too similar and it just has no uniqueness in it.
So your name has to have a little thought put into it. Obviously, Google and things like that can defy logic. Amazon is massive. We know it, the Amazon. So that had an end game and no limits to it, which was a great name.
- Can you pick a name that reflects your branding position?
- Is it unique?
But you don’t want it to be too similar to something else.
You Fail to Connect an Emotion to Your Brand
This may surprise you, but Pepsi wins taste tests against coke, but it doesn’t sell near as many. Coke tries to create an emotion. A Coke and a smile, the real thing. They try to try to parallel coke with happiness. Good things are happening. Your brand needs to connect an emotion to it. Can you connect an emotion to your brand?
Your Brand Has Too Many Messages
Sometimes you try to put too many brands within your brand. Microsoft has done that. You think putting Microsoft on all their products would be good, but no, because some of the products don’t do well or they’re not as committed to them, and so they’ve watered down their brand where Apple was great. Their branding position on their products is so simple: iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.
When McDonald’s got going and became the company they are today, they had nine things on their menu, and that positioning has worked. Sometimes you just have too many messages.
If you haven’t figured out the one thing, you’re trying to tell them five reasons to buy from you. Find the one thing that connects to emotion. That’s the most important reason why your target customer would want to buy you have.
You ever notice at Nike never talks about the quality of its shoes? Have you ever noticed that? No, what they promote is the greatest recognized athletes in the world wear their shoes. They’re not saying they’re the most durable shoe. They’re not saying you’re going to run the fastest in them. But what they are saying is the most achieved athletes just happen to have our clothing on, our shoes on. They’re not getting into the quality game. They don’t ever talk about it. They don’t tell you how it’s made.
They’re creating an emotion, right? They’re trying to tie you to great achievements. Do you remember when this athlete did this? It creates a great emotion, and the idea is if you wear their shoes, maybe you’ll perform at that level.
You’re Not Committed to Your Brand
You’re not putting enough money into i. The branding should start from day one. It should be in your business plan. You should build everything around your brand. It costs money, and it does not happen overnight.