On October 19th, our home office in St. Cloud held its annual BrandsFormation® seminar. Led by author, speaker and business consultant Chuck Mefford, he shared his tried and true system for branding local businesses to create top of mind awareness, and tell their stories.
Over one hundred area business owners and marketing professionals gathered at The Grands at Mulligans in Sartell for half a days’ worth of training and inspiration. Chuck started the day with a top-of-mind awareness exercise. He named a product type - toothpaste, and asked the group to write down the first brands that came to mind. There are dozens upon dozens of toothpaste varieties available. However, as Chuck successfully illustrated, the human mind is only capable of remembering up to seven brands, and really, the first three are all that matter. In this example, they were only a consistent two: Crest and Colgate. That’s what 99 percent of the audience had listed as the first two on their list! Coincidence? Not at all, Chuck told us. Crest and Colgate have top of mind awareness, or as Chuck said, mental real estate.
He went on to uncover how big national brands use logos, slogans, colors, and spokespeople to successfully differentiate themselves from the competition. Then he answered the million dollar question: how did they do it?
By telling their stories strategically, being consistent, and having a dominant frequency in advertising.
It Can Work for You Too
Guess what? Your small, local business can have that same top-of-mind awareness if you do the same thing as the big brands. In fact, that’s what makes up the four tenants of the BrandsFormation System:
- Strategy-based Message
- Dominant Frequency
- Consistency in Media
It’s called a system because it works across the board, for any business, of any size, in any location. So long as they follow the system.
Can any business do this? No. This system isn’t for any business. It’ll only work for good businesses. If your business is broken, no amount of strategy or consistency can fix it. Actually, if you have a broken business and start using the BrandsFormation System, it’ll help you go out of business faster. That’s because consumers will hear your message, then come visit your store and be unsatisfied that their expectations – which were set up in their minds from your advertising - were not met.
This is why it’s so vital that good businesses use the system. Then, and only then, can BrandsFormation transform your good local business into a great local brand.
Is Your Business Broken?
Don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to have a perfect business to start branding it. Nobody has a perfect business. We all fail at customer service from time to time. We all have employees who make us look bad from time to time. We all have a messy physical appearance from time to time. Those are just a few of the touchpoints a business should be working on regularly, regardless of whether they want to build their brand.
The Marketing Bridge
This concept aligns your customer’s experience of interacting with your business and with what your advertising messages are promising to them. It keeps your business working cohesively, as a single unit, instead of separate departments functioning independently – and blissfully unaware – of each other.
We created a free tool you can download to determine where you rank in several key areas:
- Consumer Perspective
Each area has a list of items you can rank on a scale from one to five so you can see exactly which areas of your business are lacking and which are excelling. The tool then gives you space to list the top three areas for improvement along with a space to create a game plan to change and improve them.Most of our branding clients start with this, and they’re encouraged to make their marketing bridge as fluid as possible before a single ad ever goes over the air. As your marketing consultants, we want your advertising efforts to be as successful as possible. Ensuring that your business is the best it can be, before we start an advertising plan, is an easy way to do that.