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.
I admit it. I'm still not good at doing what I am about to share with you. But, by sharing it and putting my thoughts down, I hope it helps you in your life and business - and selfishly, me as well.
What do you know of in your life right now you should be doing? What is it that is in the back of your mind, your gut, that you know you need to do? What is it that is constantly there, eating at you?
Even knowing it is there is tough, because you think of all the ramifications of what would happen if you followed this thing that is pulling at you. What would be the consequences if you did it? How would it affect others, your family, your business(es), your business partners, employees - those that rely on you. How would it affect you? How do you know it is the right decision and not just some stupid impulse that if acted on could ruin everything?
I'm talking about when you know you need to make a change or at a crossroads. You gut, your intuition is telling you where you need to go and what you need to do. It gnaws at you. It is there day and night - and you know you need to act - but all those potential consequences, right?
I've had these moments many time over the years, and as much I fight them, I ultimately give in and follow my intuition and it has served me well when I did. I have also missed out because I didn't act when I knew I should - only to do it later and things still turn out well, but not as good as they could have.
I learned over the years to trust these instincts and "my gut" in life and business, but sometimes I'm too stubborn to give in for a while or let a lot of potential made up consequences/ramifications rattle around in my head keeping me from acting for longer that they should.
I haven't yet quite figured out how to best manage these situations, but I am getting better.
One thing I have found is to be open and talk through them with others that you trust and that you know have wisdom and experience. They should challenge you, but also help you to see through the jumbled mess to get to the core of what really matters and help you see the benefits/detriments of the decision.
Sometimes you need to just talk it through and it's best not to do it with those that are close to it or in it with you. For example, when I have one of these situations in my businesses, I won't try to solve it with just my business partners, but instead reach out to those I trust and know will can help outside the organization and that are not close things. I have found that the perspectives and new ideas that come forward have helped me the most in making the right decision - which the majority of the time is going with the pull of the intuition.
If you are in one of these times in your life, I really understand the struggle - these things can eat at you and consume you. Get some help and don't go it alone. Reach out to that person you know is the right one to help you see things the right way and that will help you think about it differently. You'll find that once you do, a weight will be lifted off you and it will be easier to proceed forward.
The times I have made the biggest strides in my life and work have always come when I put an intense focus on my personal growth and development.
I am always reading and studying something - most of the time because I enjoy it and it keeps me learning new things, but there is a difference between passively learning something and being intently focused with a goal.
I have found that when I set a goal to learn a subject to use the information to generate true results in an area of my life; I learn it better, I use it better, and I retain it better.
And the periods I have been able to do this best are when I have slower times or downtime in my life. Times when I don't have as many distractions and obligations taking my time and I can focus better. For example, when I am working on a product launch over a 6-8 week period and am reiterating with my teams and working late hours seemingly up to the last second to get it right; it is not a great time to set a focused personal growth goal.
But, when the launch is over and we've celebrated our success and things calm down - I find it a great time to immerse myself into learning a new skill or subject.
One thing that the Coronavirus has done for most people, is slow things down. It has given many people a great opportunity to focus on personal growth in their lives. In fact, now is one of the best opportunities in years to focus on learning new skills and subjects, not just because we have, but also because there are so many great resources available to us.
If what I just shared makes sense to you and you want to make a commitment to your personal growth, here is my advice to you.
Now is the THE time to grow in your life. Don't waste it!
One of my favorite scenes in the movie Ocean's 11 is where Rusty (played by Brad Pitt), explains the "art of conversation" to Linus (played by Matt Damon). It is a short scene, but it offers some great business lessons.
The biggest one I take from it, is that less is more. When selling, don't say more than you have to close a deal. When leading people, don't push people past their breaking point when inspiring them. When setting targets, keep them simple, short, measurable, and easy for everyone to understand. When reaching for new levels in your success, don't take on more than you can handle.
Less is more. Simple is simple. And simplicity, executed well, leads to great results.
Watch the clip below and see what lessons you takeaway from the "art of conversation."
Sometimes we just need to be reminded of reality and the facts of life. No matter how much we keep them at bay or seek to change them, there are certain truths that will win out over time. And there are certain truths that when we live by them have proven to make us more successful, happier, and free'er in our lives.
I was thinking about this the order day in the midst of much of the chaos around the world and started making this list. While it's not complete and something I will probably noodle on for a while, I wanted to share it with you. I hope it will spur you to think critically and differently and question what is being hailed as "normal" in our lives.
Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration and a good video with a uplifting message is one of the best ways to get it. Below are 3 of my favorite inspiration videos I want to share with you. Enjoy!
Les Brown - You Gotta Be Hungy
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