“Start selling a lot more” is what most CEOs, brand managers, entrepreneurs and startups figure is the answer to almost any business problem.
That’s true but unsustainable unless you tackle something that is the foundation of all growth.
Find Out Where Your Brand REALLY Lives
Gary Vaynerchuk said:
“Every human being is a media company.
“Truly great marketers and salespeople don’t ‘sell’ like most people do …
“Instead, they become media companies.
“Start thinking of yourself as a media publisher in your space (i.e. Inc, Wall Street Journal, ESPN, etc) instead of an advertiser on those platforms. Think of yourself as the TV show, not the commercial on the TV show.
“You’ll start selling a LOT more.”
How the hell do you do that?
Total Ownership: Where Does Your Brand Live?
Like Gary said, you need to BE the publishing platform.
In other words, you’re no longer the side dish. Now you’re the entree.
How much do you need to own your space? 100% percent X 10.
It’s not enough to “do an incremental shift.”
- You need to BE the publishing platform.
- You need to BE to source of breakthroughs.
- The reason people change their minds.
- The spark that starts the fire.
- The rev in revolution.
The great brands and great leaders own the broken thing they’re attacking, and then become the answer.
Part of this is knowing WHERE your brand is going to show up (which I show below. Keep reading.).
Before you get to that point, you MUST tackle any glaring misconceptions your brand has. Any places where your brand is going on “autopilot” and not being properly organized where people really understand it, which is what I tackle in this episode of One Minute Wednesday:
Establish the channel or the shelf or the backdrop or the culture your brand will exist on.
It’s no longer good enough to look at it from the outside.
You need to step INTO that space and DOMINATE it.
All the way.
Own or Be Owned
To give you an idea of owning that experience customers will have, you need to take inventory of what you can own:
- Brand story
- Brand differences
- Touch and feel
- Package design
- Where your product is seen
- And so much more…
To give you an idea, here are some recent brand projects that display how much in you have to go.
For this Hot Yoga studio in California, we needed to know every place this lifestyle brand would live. And one place was on the arms of its members carrying their gear and clothing around displaying the studio name and the tagline which captured everything in three words: “cultivated. invigorated. validated.”
For this all-natural beauty product (using their own herb and plant formulations grown from their family farm), besides the obvious places of packaging and its online presence, this brand lives on the box that arrives at the customer’s door.
For this community-empowerment initiative to help get kids off drugs, this required a name and a brand identity that would have an immediate impact when meeting community leaders at dinners and community meetings. Who says a card can’t take your breath away?
One of the most revered annual awards programs in the space of educational technologies, this brand now lives in offices of the recipients worldwide with these stunning statues:
And for a Silicon Valley-based advisory that elevates team performance in the epicenter of technology, here’s where this brand lives:
For an employee selection startup, I developed the name and its slogan on 1) 15 core metrics they use that crush all industry averages for employee performance, employee skill fit, and employee longevity, and 2) the pain point of every HR person, “No more guessing.”
Why is this important? Because to a company investing in an employee equates to millions of dollars on the part of a company.
So when a startup needs to use design and naming and impact in the HR industry, here’s where that brand lives:
And to come full circle with the Hot Elevation Studios, the ubiquitous symbol of hydration demanded we own that space as well:
In every example, we OWN the language, we OWN the look, we OWN the dialog, we OWN the story.
NOTHING has dictated the story or the brand except us.
How far will each brand go?
As far as they OWN their brand and its dialog with the “outside” world.
Stop being a side dish. Start being the entree.
And it all starts with you, with your decision to own it.
THAT is how you stop being the side show and, like Gary Vaynerchuk said, start selling a lot more.