When we’re at work, we want to believe that people think about our business all day long. In our minds, we’re the FIRST company a customer or prospective customer considers when a particular need arises. But you and I both know that’s not how it works.
What does it take for your business to stay top of mind?
This work we’re talking about is called branding. And in the old days, that would mean thinking up names and logos and colors and what have you and you’d call it good.
Kit Kat candy bar wrappers are red. They’re the ones with four “fingers” of crisp wafers surrounded by chocolate. There you go. That’s what they are. They compete with other candy bars by being crispy, easy to share (who shares their candy bars?), and beyond that? Who knows?
Your business isn’t a candy bar (unless it is). And even if you’re a candy bar, that’s a massively competitive space. Anything like this: candy bars, chips, and soft drinks are seemingly easy to brand and sell, but it’s actually a lot of work. (Later in the week, I’ll interview Eric Plantenberg about what it took to bring Humm Kombucha not only to the average soft drink consumer but also onto the shelves of Target and Walmart. He’s their chief strategy officer.)
To stay top of mind, you have to make it utterly clear what you solve for your buyer. There’s an easy starter recipe to build this kind of thing. Want to hear it?
The four levers you can adjust to improve brand awareness and retention
I have four simple ways to look at helping a customer or prospective customer remember your business and your brand (no matter how big or small your copmany). Think of this as a recipe you can work with.
What’s in the mix?
Goal – Any time you intend to reach out and connect or communicate in any form (advertising, bringing attention to the business, reaching out to customers, etc), be VERY aware of the goal of your customer/buyer. Why would they look for you in the first place? What’s THEIR goal that you help them achieve?
Clarity – Any time you talk about your business, be clear. I help companies use tech to improve customer interactions. It’s taken me ages to land on that. Clarity is about making what you solve utterly simple and straightforward. How can you make what you do for people super easy to understand and straightforward?
Simplicity – Clarity almost covers this, but sometimes you can be clear but you might get fancy. Simplicity is just that. Keep the menus brief. Make everything succinct. Don’t over-extend. That sort of thing.
Repetition – Say it. Say it again. Make it tweetable. Make it rhyme, maybe. Make it stick. Repeat. This right here is my biggest miss. I tend to create and release, which lets me brag about my big brain or something, but this doesn’t help STICK into people’s heads the easy story of how I help people.
You can’t be top of mind if you’ve already been forgotten.
The recipe is simple but not easy
Solve their goal. Be clear about it. Keep it simple. Repeat the story. That’s really “it,” but you already know there’s more to “it” in the long run.
And yet, have you mastered this part about your business? Probably not. When you’re not around, would someone you’ve spoken with know how to sell you/your product or service? Not the way you’d WANT them to, at least. Right?
If you want to stay top of mind, this is the work. Build something memorable in service of your customers’ goals and you’ve got a chance. Make it easier for them to buy and easier for them to get what they need, and you’ll stay in the story longer. But for now? Ask yourself how well you handle those four simple ingredients.
And if you need help, I’m here for you.