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8 Steps to Go From a Wannabe to a Powerhouse Brand That People Will Love

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In today’s digital world, consumers are navigating up to ten thousand ads every day. Brands are how consumers decide where to pay attention – they help us make decisions about what products we buy, the restaurants we eat at and where we go on vacation. For this reason, developing a brand is essential for the health of your business. Building a brand won’t happen overnight, but by pursuing the following eight steps, you can create a brand that will help your business stand out and put you on the right path to sharing your story with the world.

1. Answer 3 Questions

Creating a brand should begin by asking yourself three questions about your business: 

  1. Who are we? 
  2. What do we do? 
  3. What do we believe?

These questions provide clarity and help you to focus on what it is you want to talk about. Once you’ve determined your answers to these three questions, you’re ready to take the branding process a step further.

2. Personify Your Company

A fun way to create your brand is to personify your company. There are two approaches you can take. The first is to pick a celebrity. Are you hip and current? Maybe your brand is Bruno Mars. Or, if you’re in a rural part of the country, maybe your brand is Miranda Lambert. The second approach is to answer a series of questions about the type of person your business would be, such as: What’s your age? What car do you drive? What’s your house look like? In doing this, you’ll create a person who represents your business.

“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” – Howard Schultz

3. Ask for Input

Getting an outside perspective on how your employees or customers see your business is a great way to refine your brand identity. At this stage, asking for input also enables you to make sure that your notions of the business align with how others perceive you. You’ll know right away if any branding you’ve done thus far has resonated or if you have a lot of work to do in better communicating your message.

4. Consider Mission, Vision & Values

If you have mission, vision, and values, jot them down. Never been through this process? Start with a blank piece of paper. An example of a mission statement is: Our mission is to provide comfort to all through the products we sell and by serving people in our community. As for vision, this relates to where you see your company going. For example: In five years, we will be the number one seller of mattresses in our market. Lastly, values are what you stand for. Examples: Integrity. Honesty. Creativity. Service.

5. Define Culture

Evaluating your culture is critical to defining your brand. To identify your culture, talk to management, employees, and customers to understand how they view the business and the current state of your culture. Another option is to conduct surveys among your employees and customers. Gathering anonymous feedback online can make respondents feel safer, making it more likely they’ll be candid. An important thing to remember while collecting feedback is to listen. Fight any urge to become defensive or disagree. Hearing the views of others is essential to defining your culture in an authentic and honest way.

6. Identity Your Position 

A strong brand position is the first step to differentiating your business. Begin by asking yourself, in what category can you be first or best? Answering this question will require that you evaluate the competitive landscape. You’ll need to consider where your strengths and shortcomings are compared to your competitors. What can you offer that others can’t? Is there an opportunity for you to create the first of something new or to be the best at something that already exists?

7. Create Brand Pillars 

Once you’ve identified your position, you’re ready to create your brand pillars. Think of your brand pillars as the fundamentals of how you want to conduct your business or how you wish to make decisions. Defining your pillars allows you to align your team around ideals that tell you where to go and sometimes what to do. You won’t have to fight to figure out if a merchandising decision or advertising piece fits. Filter those ideas through your brand pillars and you’ll often get easy answers to questions causing you to stall out.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin

8. Bring It to Life 

Once you’ve completed the previous steps, you’re ready for the final stage: bringing the brand forward. All the deep work you just did is designed to bring your brand to life in its messaging and visuals. This process will enable you to create cohesive brand messaging and imagery. Your store and your website will hold hands. Your marketing materials will look like they belong with your website, and your social channels will have a voice that fits your culture. Done properly, these things all work together to form an identity that deepens your connection to consumers.

This article was adapted from the book, “Come Back to bed,” written by Mark Quinn and Mark Kinsley.

Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos,The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast, with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.

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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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