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How to build a successful brand

I have lived and worked my whole life in and around business owners; even when I was in marketing for Ansett and Apple, my role was working with business owners. One campaign I ran for Apple was about how as a business owner, you need to be a jack of all trades: bookkeeper one moment, sales director the next. In my case, it was the cleaning lady too…

Here I am many decades on and life has not really changed. As I speak to, meet with, and present to other business owners — the question remains: how can I ‘get more customers’?

How to build a successful brandLast week while I was presenting at the Remarkable start up event, I was posed two separate questions that were asking a similar thing…’What did you do to build your brand?’ and ‘How do I learn what is best in social media’? My answer to the first question was ‘consistency of brand voice’ and my answer to the second was ‘it is difficult to be the world’s best at everything — so you need to choose what you want to be an expert at’.

When I first left corporate life I started my entrepreneurial journey as a freelance marketer — a hired gun to develop marketing plans and execute them. Most of my referred clients came from one business owner to another… I had a lot of work, and everyone was very excited when I was engaged. I’d produce an extensive marketing program that spanned over years. Building a brand takes consistency over a long period of time — even in the days of social media (and Insta fame).

After about 18 months of building plans for others I realised that what they really wanted was for me to ‘just send me some customers’… they would have been very happy with that outcome.

RedBalloon was born in 2001 with a wonderful consumer proposition of giving amazing experiences — for people to share. And that is what it is famous for. Now all these years on, we have delivered 3.6 million customers to our small business partners. What I did was aggregate an industry of small businesses, give them a brand, a voice and do the marketing on their behalf. I solved the problem of small business marketing and branding in a different way.

As I travel the country and meet other business owners, I consider how can I really help. I ask myself how can I deliver lots and lots of customers to each and every one of them… I have not quite come to the solution — but watch this space because that is my mission statement, my purpose. I know that when business owners are successful (all 2 million of them) then our community is growing and successful too.

My contribution: Building Your Business Brand Course

I wanted to do something that spoke to my brand too. So we put some real love, attention and capital producing an online course Building Your Business Brand. I made it in bite size pieces as I know every single business owner is BUSY! I am encouraging people to put 30 minutes, 3 times a week in the diary to do the course…

Now, I had to charge something… we all know that it will be valued more if people are ‘vested’ in it. Besides, there are real production costs that sit behind it. But I did price it to make sure that it was not much more than a dinner for 2 or a month of coffees…

I’d love to know what you think. I have done my bit and have shared what I learned, and now you can have that and turn it into your own… now it is your turn.


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