Think of these as resources and strength training for your journey!
Might be a wee bit hard at first, but as you exercise these marketing muscles more and more, the road gets so much easier. I recommend doing one of these a day rather than one long marathon session. And try them more than once if you like before our next session. We'll go over all the answers together.
1. What is your BOLD Cocktail Party Line?
Your expert positioning is the foundation of your entire brand. Do you know what it is and how to actually say it out loud - and be very memorable (NOT FORGETTABLE)? Well, if you can't tell what makes you and your business vastly different, neither can your customer.
I like everyone to start by writing, then by saying out loud to everyone they meet, what makes you different.
It sounds easy, huh? Try it. Harder than it looks.
Fill in the following using the form below and hit send:
Hi, I run (enter business name). We help (enter desired client type) by (enter service or product). We are different from other (enter same business type) because (enter how you are positioned differently - be very specific and dramatic if you can - you want to be memorable and make a bold stand - it's a cocktail party after all!).
Here is an example from our own business:
Hi, I run 16 Hoops, a strategic design firm. We help photographers who want to grow their business. We are different from other design firms because 16 Hoops is the world's premier business training and design firm for creative professional photographers.
If this has been done right, the person you are talking to should immediately not only be interested in hearing more (oh, really, "the worlds premier" - tell me more...), but they should be thinking of at least 3, but up to 20 people they personally know who could use your services. (oh, you know I have a niece who is running a successful photography business who might be interested..." and so on).
PSSST...don't stress on this too much. Just give it a stab. We will "exercise" this muscle more together during the roadmapping,
2. Who is your "Dream Client?"
I want you to think about ONE dream person or client from now on. JUST ONE.
Give this person a name.
You might be thinking: "But wait, Geneve, isn't this going to limit who will want to work with me?"
It actually does the opposite. Rather than limiting who could be your client, it will make your brand MORE memorable, more strong, and more visionary. It's not possible to market to everyone. And the more detailed you get, the more clear your messaging and marketing will be.
Read this article about how Anthropologie created a single dream customer to give you an idea of just how powerful this exercise can be in the long run (they wrote this article in 2002 - and look at them now).
3. What is your Brand Promise?
Most people call this a Brand Mission. And I like that too. But I heard business guru Marcus Lemonis call it a Brand Promise and that struck me as more concrete and pointed way to think about it. It's what you will deliver to each customer. Pure and simple.
It's also a great exercise to do as you begin to create a memorable & meaningful tagline.
So how do we create a Brand Promise?
- You must be able to deliver it to every customer or project, every time. If you cannot, then back to the drawing board.
- It can be your tagline, or it can be an internal compass (not necessarily made public).
- Make it 1 part inspirational and 2 parts realistic. Avoid too much "hand-wavy" sloppy generalist words like "we do it better." That has no meaning to anyone.
- Don't use vague or generic language. Be very specific. Esp at first while you are starting to craft it.
- Unlike a mission statement, be short and sweet. 1-3 sentences total.
- Get the soul of the outcomes you produce for your customers, avoid language that describes features.
Examples of some successful and engaging Brand Promises:
To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.
Why this works: this is specific (cup, neighborhood), inspiring (doesn't even mention coffee, because we all know Starbucks is way more than a coffee shop anymore - it's a lifestyle), short, deliverable, and shows outcomes. Also - hard to see this working for any other company, so it's also unique. It's a winner. And it's an anchor that informs every decision they make from marketing, to what the barista says to design of the stores and way beyond.
To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
The asterisk is the brilliant part of this. The asterisk is "if you have a body, you are an athlete."
Why this works: they mention their customer specifically - anyone who is or WANTS TO BE an athlete. It's short on specifics, but mentions innovation which is unique in the athlete apparel world.
Everyone is creative. Everyone is welcome.
Why this works: Once you swing the door wide open and say "everyone is welcome" then that will guide all the decisions you make as an organization. It's about being inclusive, not exclusive.
Our continuing mission...to boldly go where no photographer has gone before.
Why this works: You can decide if this is meaningful since your a photographer who is either considering, or using our services! It encapsulates nicely how we feel about the work we do: it's a mission to help photographers think and do different. We believe in and encourage risk taking and bravery. When photographers read this, they will either run the other way, or boldly go. Oh, and we are stardust geeks too. So bonus points there.
Bentley's Pet Stuff
Shop Local. Feed Better. One of the most important ways we can show our pets how much we care is by feeding them all natural, nutrient-rich food that promotes lifelong health and longevity. We choose to only stand behind pet foods that are free of by-products, corn, wheat, soy & chemical preservatives.
Why this works: It's a little bit wordier, but this brand promise to their customers guides every product purchasing decision they make. When they look at a new brand of pet food or toy - they need to ask "does this contain by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or chemicals?" If the answer is yes, they can't buy it. If they answer is no, then they can consider it. They even have a "Bentley's Promise" area on their website. Do you think this builds loyalty with Dream Client pet owner and guides all their messaging? You can count on it.
So now let's start to build yours.
Try this a few times. It takes time and lots of stabs, and it may evolve several times before we are done with your RoadMapping. No bad answers here!
***You may want to first write these out on a separate sheet of paper and then enter your edits here. But don't edit too much! I want to see your attempts too. Sometimes our very first answer is the best one. Bonus if you text or email me an image of your chicken scratched up sheet too! Just for fun and 100% confidential. ;)***
Oh my. That was hard.
But you did it! Well done. It will get easier and easier the more you think about this and write it down and say it out loud. This is called RoadMapping for a reason - it is indeed a journey. I'm glad we are on it together.
Feel free to email me any questions.
PS - if you want to see any of your answers, just let me know and I'll send them to you. See you next week.