Growing Your Brand Is A Process Not A Destination

Don’t rush towards something you know nothing about.

Finding your “groove” takes time and effort. Just like dating.

So you are in a relationship and you’ve finally reached the stage you’ve been dreaming of but just when things are great — it starts to become a routine, you forget what it took to get to this stage, you stop being cute and become irritated by every single thing that goes awry.

Your customers are no different.

If you stop being consistent and provide no value to their lives, they will go out looking for someone that will. Your job is to keep them satisfied and to be intuitive with their needs/wants/desires. You need to ask them how they are doing and if you’ve been satisfying their needs. You need to be a good friend and hangout with them. This includes going to the places where they like to hangout and sometimes giving them gifts on special occasions. Remembering anniversaries like the first time you met and first beach day.

Consumers have relationships with brands. Nowadays, it’s more personal than some are willing to admit to themselves. Is it okay? that’s subjective to the person.

From my experiences with building brands and working with consumers, I can see when brands can go too far or participate in events/partners they see no correlation for association. One of the popular reactions to such times is reducing thoughts to “Oh they are just doing it for the money!” and who is to say they aren’t or are? Sometimes it’s an inevitable necessity and other times it could be a stretch for both parties to make some easy cash.

Many others times I see a healthy mutual and beneficial relationship amongst great brands and consumers. It’s still rare but things have been looking up for brand experiences since i’ve started 7 years ago. The emphasis on events and in-person experiences has been exciting and intimidating. Now more than ever, you have steady access to live video entertainment and events across a range of categories. It’s about what you want. The competition is fierce but that’s where you can get lost in the mix.

Focusing on the competition alone (speaking only after you’ve achieved product-market fit) is a trap. Looking at what “everyone else” is doing and following their lead is the quickest way to stay in the shadows.

Finding your own groove is essential to growing a strong brand.

Here are a few examples of utilizing your competition to grow:

  1. Check out where all their site traffic comes from.Yeah —  I challenge you. Utilize that data to benefit from that traffic too. It’s research, lots of data cells, signing up for free trials, and then targeting.
  2. SetupArchie to target their followers or their hashtags
  3. Look at their engagers on social media and start hanging out with them — invite them to come hangout with you.
  4. Participate in their events/podcasts/tweet storms
  5. Using their own data you’ve found — target a demographic that differs from theirs (missing puzzle piece for the market)
  6. Grow brand presence/community — partner with competitor to re-allocate lost lead resources (lost customer lead because it wasn’t the right fit but better for your competitor — can get $$ from referral fee) See below for example:

What Do You Mean Lost Customer Lead

  • Leaving money on the table is foolish and can come in many different forms.
  • Giving money to other people at the table is desirable for all parties and should be considered in more ways than one.

Leaving money on the table

  1. Customer inquires about your service/product
  2. They have “x” need/want.
  3. You can’t provide what they want/need
  4. They leave. You lost a lead.
  5. Your competitor just got all the profits.

Giving money to other people at the table

  1. Customer inquires about your service/product
  2. They have “x” need/want.
  3. You know of a friend that can help.
  4. You provide the intro/referral link. (You’ve negotiated terms prior with your competitor)
  5. You + your competitor = growing together

Some growth strategies are more favorable than others.

I want to share a few steps I take to grow brands.

  1. Get to know everything I can about a market before growing
  2. Make sure I have an interest in the brand/product and it fits my own morals
  3. Look at my competitive landscape to make sure there is a product-market fit. If they haven’t determined their “place” in the market, I look at opportunities they can take advantage of to reach that piece of the market in an accelerated manner.
  4. You can start off with a simple “SWOT”.
  5. I like to focus on opportunities when I experiment. You can do it DIY here or you can apply for an invite with
  6. Another favorite of mine to create a competitive analysis
  7. I’ve always found Porter’s Five Forces analysis to be helpful when you need to think deeper across various avenues.
  8. Here’s another exercise to understand your target market in a broader scope.

Hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to drop a comment or donate your “heart” ;)

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