What makes a great brand? What creates loyalty? What makes you want to keep coming back time and time again to buy from a brand?
Picture a brand you truly love. Why do you love it so much? I bet you could list a number of things.
I've spent some time thinking about this lately and have come up with a lot of signs of a great brand. But, after some further thought, I was able to distill things down to 4 signs that signal a great brand and are always present in great brands.
1.) The brand engages you on an emotional level
Great brands stir our emotions. We absolutely love them and are major advocates for them to them point where we will even stand up and defend them when others disparage them. Some may saying that getting emotionally involved with a brand is going a little too far, but think about your favorite brands - the ones you know, count on, and love in your life - you are emotionally involved with them. That is OK and perfectly normal. It also means the brand has done a good job in creating a relationship with in addition to #2, #3, and #4.
2.) The brand provides a truly unique and incredible service to it's clients
Think of your favorite brands and how good they service their clients, including you. Their service may be one of the reasons you love them so much. They aren't perfect, no company is, and they know it, so they go above and beyond to provide service to their clients and make sure they have a great experience.
3.) The brand takes care of you
To go along with great service, the brand actively works to take care of you - not just when you have a service issue, but as a customer in general. They may give you special offers. They may check in on you from time to time just to see how you are doing. They reach out in unique and creative ways. They show genuine gratitude for you putting your trust in them. They go above and beyond to take care of you and make you feel like part of their family.
4.) The brand listens to you
Lastly, on top of service and going above and beyond to create a great relationship and take care of you, a great brand will truly listen to their clients and work to serve them in the ways they want. They will take the feedback, both good and bad, and use it to create better products, services, customer environment, and tailor things to what people are asking for. And they will prove to go above and beyond in doing so and not just say they do it. They will show it and they will keep their clients engaged and updated on the progress.
If you look at those 4 signs of a great brand and think of your favorite brands, they no doubt have them and if you embrace them in building your business and commit to them, you will develop deeply loyal customers who are raving fans and great advocates for all you do.
Every should an advisor or mentor for themselves. You do not have to pay for these services, although when you do pay, you are much more apt to take it seriously because your money is on the line.
It is important to seek out the right advisor or mentor for your needs - not just someone with experience. You need someone who understands you and were you are on your journey of development. You need someone who understands your business and it's needs not only now, but in the future. And you need someone willing to work with you on a consistent basis.
Once you find someone that fits the criteria, do everything possible to work with them. The benefits will be tremendous.
For example, I mentor a young entrepreneur that has a fast growing startup. This entrepreneur is very good at a few things in the business, but crafting professional communications is not one of them - at least not yet. Recently, there was a client contract dispute in which the entrepreneur needed to get an attorney to represent the business in a specific state. They had no idea what to do and were just going to fire off a couple sentence email that would not have gotten a response. They knew they needed help.
So, they reached out to me and we crafted the message together. I shared with them how to address an attorney, how to lay out the facts and desired outcome from retaining their services, and craft a professional message that would get an attorney to respond and work further to potentially represent them. I saved this entrepreneur hours of time and headache and taught them how they need to approach professionals for their services. I also walked through the situation with them to see the client's point of view and come up with a plan and solution that when communicated by the attorney would most likely resolve the matter and cost a few hundred bucks at most.
This type of mentorship can be priceless. I know it was for me when I started out (how do you think I learned to craft professional messages!)
No matter what stage you are in for your growth and that of your business, you should seek to bring in the best people you can around you to fill your gaps and help you become better in these areas. Remember, the bigger you grow yourself and your capabilities, the bigger business you can have.
Reach out and seek an advisor (or two), today!
I get to meet, speak to, and work with a lot of top entrepreneurs. I am always impressed by their ways of thinking, success routines, and the effort they put in to be the best in their business and in serving their clients/markets.
But, still, as good as these people are, they aren't perfect and have to overcome challenges. Many times, those challenges are self-imposed. I was thinking about this the other and I started to look at the most common ways I've seen that entrepreneurs sabotage themselves and hurt their success. Here are 6 of the most common ones.
This is probably the most prevalent. Everyone goes through periods of doubting themselves and their abilities, especially entrepreneurs, but the key is someone's ability to pull themselves out of it and not let self-doubt create unnecessary destruction in your life and business. The first place I always start when I feel self-doubt creeping in is to stop and ask myself if what I am feeling is really true or just an emotional reaction to current events, a bad day, etc. Usually, it is a temporary outside event or influence that is short lived and in understanding it, I can change my thought patterns and gain perspective so that I don't let it sabotage me. You can do the same.
Taking on Too Much and Not Delegating
It is sometimes tough for entrepreneurs to truly let go and remove themselves from the day to day tactical needs of their business - but they will not grow or scale unless they do so. The hardest part is knowing that you can do all of these better and/or faster than those you delegate to, but that is OK. You will never be able to have the business run for you unless you realize that there is only one of you and that is OK. Others can get the job done. They may do it differently, but they will get it done. Trust in that and empower them. Let go!
To go with above, one of the biggest sabotaging habits of entrepreneurs is not trusting the people around them and questioning everything instead of empowering and trusting. I've see another of great businesses ruined by an owner who could not and would not trust those they have worked hard to bring in to help them. And typically either ends with good people quitting or leaving or the business owner taking the business down. If you are going to have a business and grow, you must be willing to trust those you bring into help you. There is nothing wrong with checking in and verifying things are being done how they are supposed to, but that is leadership, not lack of trust. Don't fall into this trap.
A lot of business owners are incredible at creating and selling their product, but horrible at managing their finances. I understand. Financial education is not taught in any real good way in formal education. Understanding cash flow and how to read a P&L, or how to understand the trends happening in a business is a different kind of financial literacy. Entrepreneurs need to invest the time to understand the numbers and what they are telling them. An accountant can easily help educate you on these things and you should self-educate. I've seen a lot of businesses who are "killing it" fall apart because they could not manage cashflow. Just because you sell something doesn't mean you have the cash yet and not understanding the expenses required to deliver what you sell can sabotage you very fast. Get financially literate.
Understanding and Managing Risk
Great entrepreneurs, understand risk and how to use it well in their business. They practice "asymmetric risks." These are risks that when taken have a tremendous upside, but small downside. In other words, if it doesn't work out, the business won't fail. Many entrepreneurs do the opposite. They take huge risks where almost all of the risk and consequences are on them if they fail. They "bet the farm" and many times don't last because of it. As entrepreneurs, we will always have and many times must take risks, but the key is to make sure they are asymmetrical and that the consequences can be mitigated or overcome if the risk doesn't pan out. I'd rather take a number of risks and have a few workout very well than take one big risk and it bring me down. I think you'd agree.
Lack of Focus on Two Key Areas
Another thing that sabotages entrepreneurs has nothing to do with the business itself. It is a lack of focus in two key areas: Physical and Mental Health. You cannot be your best in your business if you are not at your best physically and mentally. You need to have the stamina to keep things going and pushing forward in your business and you need the mental capacity to handle all of the things that come your way. The best entrepreneurs have a daily fitness routine and a daily mental health routine. And it doesn't need to be anything crazy. For me, it is my Ironman training every morning and my 10 minute prime that I do where I write our 3 things I am grateful for and my 3 most important things to do for the day, followed by a prayer. This keeps me grounded, focused, energized, and healthy. Everyone is different, so you need to figure this out for yourself, but you must figure it out and put it a physical and mental health routine into action in your life.
Avoid these 6 ways of sabotage and you'll find you reach goals even faster and will have a better business for it.
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