I wish I could cook scrumptious meals effortlessly like my grand-mum. Well, if wishes were horses…
However, I learnt some things about cooking from my grand-mum which can be translated into the branding and business fields.
You may be in the kitchen of your brand, cooking what you hope to be one of the best meals – delicious, mouth-watering, yummy and nutritious. What would be a good spice for this meal?
Today, we are using the kitchen and cooking as analogies for building our brand, drawing from everyday life.
Here are the 3 ingredients to spice up your brand.
Branding is about differentiation, and without differentiation you have no brand. You will just be like any other without a brand, a commodity among the lot. However, if you creatively find ways to set yourself apart from the masses, your brand will gain the needed attention. Creativity is a key differentiator factor of brands.
Building your creativity comes in at various stages and forms – from visual representation, to your brand, to the intangibles – storytelling strategies, et al. The first thing to do is to identify which area that you can easily stand out. Then you capitalize on that as a differentiation factor. Once that is done, you don’t settle, you work on other areas creatively. To stay top of mind and top of your game, you need to have at least 3 key areas of differentiation.
Ask yourself, what three main areas or things would people find different and attractive?
Granny’s tip and lesson: I wonder how granny can make sumptuous Jollof from leftover stew. Sometimes, she just combines herbs here and there, adds some vegetables to make a great meal.
Her secret: “Keep experimenting, never be afraid to try uncharted paths”
Tips to help you creatively:
– Sometimes, just go against the tides; do the opposite.
– Listen to the pains and problems of your audience (there lies a solution in there).
– Ask your audience of best ways you can help them (sometimes they have all the answers).
– Simplify, less is more.
– Have fun; play along with your thoughts.
– Sample the best in your field and pick cues from them.
– Read books and blogs.
– Try ideas from totally unrelated fields (e.g. Applying Snail farming ideas to Fashion Bags).
– Crowdsource for ideas, ask Facebook, Quora, etc.
– Ask weird questions.
Trust is a very relevant ingredient that has stood the test of time. There may be new ingredients to add in the future but this has become the salt of brands. Without trust, you have no brand and no business. You can afford to fake everything, do all the nice things to get traction, grow followers, and make a name but, if your trust quotient is broken, your brand will come crashing down.
In an age where people are quick to use things about them for fame and name, brands that desire to stay relevant and make more impact must be trustworthy. Let your products and services be of premium value and nit to embellish them with ads, social media posts, and sleazy sales tactics. If you win the trust factor, your brand will thrive. Trust triggers word of mouth marketing for your brand.
Granny’s tip and lesson: Even when we didn’t know what granny was up to at the kitchen mixing various ingredients, we were assured that something spectacular and tasty was being prepared. She had earned our trust. She said: “I may not always cook the best meals but I will offer you the best I can.” She admits when her meals occasionally don’t turn out as expected. We grew to trust her beyond the kitchen.
Tips to help and prove credibly online:
– Deliver what your brand promises (over-deliver).
– Don’t project and promote what you don’t have.
– Say what you mean and mean what you say.
– Take feedbacks gladly.
– Get testimonials and reviews for your products and services(brand).
– Have a contact number you can be reached on.
– Respond to requests/questions and orders promptly.
– Avoid ambiguity, be clear on what you offer.
– Share success stories of your clients.
– Engage your audience.
– Stating/showing a physical address(location) increases trust.
It is one thing starting something and another sustaining it. Several people start with great ideas, strategies, and designs for their brands then soon after, fading into oblivion. One of the many factors that leads to a brand’s failure is a lack of consistency. The ability to take one thing, hold onto it for a long time till it thrives.
Let me make this clear, consistency doesn’t mean holding unto one idea foolishly for a long time without improving, and no results. Consistency demands bettering your best, updating, oiling your wheels, growing steadily, implementing proper feedback. The currency of consistency fuels your brand’s success. Brands that become top of mind are relentlessly consistent. They consistently deliver on their brand promises; they are consistently improving. Consistently marketing, consistently listening for feedbacks and consistently adapting to relevant trends and charges that will help the brand and its audience.
Remember to consistently stay relevant if not you will be relegated.
Granny’s tip and lesson: Sometimes I wonder how she picks all the different ingredients into her soups & stews without any sort of measurement but still ends up having the same delicious taste. She said – “consistency”. To perfect your brand be consistent, keeping track of that which works.
Tips to help you stay consistent
– Monitor your progress and document that which works.
– Consistently repeat what works.
– Keep your communication channels open 24/7.
– Keep improving gradually.
– Don’t implement a sudden total change.
– Be accountable to your clients.
– Focus on your niche.
– Stick to your delivery timings (online or offline).
Lastly, grandma told me that to perfect that art of cooking takes time. It’s a process that doesn’t need to be rushed. Finally, with this, you can go back to the kitchen of your brand to prepare that spicy food for your audience and never forget the three (3) must-have ingredients: Creativity, Credibility, and Consistency. Make the best meal!
Feed your audience with nourishing content and they will always come home to feast. Hey! haven’t you missed your granny, mummy, and or wife’s kitchen already?
Her brand is mmuah! 🙂
The writer is an Author, Speaker, and Corporate Trainer. Africa’s foremost author[City] on Personal Branding and Digital Book Publishing. An Amazon bestselling author of over 40 published books. As a speaker & trainer he has been known to simplify complex ideas about branding and life and present them to audiences in clear, actionable steps. He has over a decade of experience in digital publishing and has globally consulted for entrepreneurs, pastors, and people like you to write books and build brands. He hosts the number one ranked Career & Business Podcast in Ghana. Bernard is a brand strategist at BKC consulting and runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass