The 10-Minute Brand Manager

Objective: Get quick, daily focus on the core habits of top brands with this quick checklist—in under ten minutes.

 

“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” — Bill Gates

It’s hard to argue with Bill Gates, and like Gates himself, successful brands focus on one thing: solving problems for optimal clients.

The 10-Minute Brand Manager is designed to help directors of marketing, entrepreneurs, and small companies daily make sure that they are focused on solving problems for their best clients and customers on a daily basis, although you can use it weekly, or even periodically.

Use The 10-Minute Brand Manager to check your focus, tweak your fundamentals, and hone in on exactly what makes your optimal clients really love you: solving their rational problems in emotionally endearing ways.

Good luck and happy managing!

Peter

 

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Brand Focus — Optimal Client Burning Problems

If you are not focused daily on solving the specific one or two main problems that your optimal target clients are experiencing, then you might need to re-calibrate Brand Focus.

◻︎  1. FOCUS on client burning problems today. Ask yourself, “who do we really want to work with, and what keeps them up at night?”

◻︎  2. CREATE innovative ways to solve those problems today.

◻︎  3. SOLVE those problems better than the competition today.

Brand Promise — Ponder your commitment to optimal client

Your optimal clients resonate strongly with folks who are clearly committed to helping them solve their problems—that’s your Brand Promise.

◻︎  4. REVIEW your brand promise today. How should you map your day such that it is focused primarily on solving client problems?

◻︎ 5. THINK about your brand promise today. What does it look like, in very practical ways, to keep your brand promise?

◻︎  6. KEEP the brand promise today. Once you have an idea of how to keep the promise, renew your commitment to do it.

Brand Impact — Help your organization keep the brand promise

◻︎  7. HELP colleagues focus on your brand promise today.

◻︎  8. PROMOTE strategies for monitoring how well people in your company keep the promise.

◻︎ 9. ASK your optimal clients and customers if they know your Brand Promise, and if they do, ask them if think your are keeping it.

 

Be sure to print this out and post it next to your desk for easy reference.

The 10-minute Branding Dictionary

Objective: Minimize the overwhelm and complexity of branding your business by learning key branding terms—in about ten minutes.

I felt completely overwhelmed as I sat on the floor against a bookcase in Seoul’s Kyobo Bookstore ten years ago, gazing at the mass of books on branding. I knew I needed to help my clients understand how to leverage their brands, but wow—what a challenge it was to sort it all out at the time.

Fast forward over ten years, and I have my own branding methodology that helps my clients effectively focus and reach their ideal customers and clients.

The basic terms you see below are foundational to that methodology. This list is neither exhaustive nor definitive, and entire books have been written about each term, but anyone who wants to understand branding must understand the basic terminology.

Think of this as your online small business branding dictionary. A cheat sheet. A strategic (unfair?) advantage.  Bookmark it and refer to it often. It will be updated on a regular basis.

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BRAND

A BRAND is the way that your ideal customer or client thinks and talks about the sum-total of their experiences with your company. It is not a concrete object, but a way of thinking and talking about you when you are not around.

Note: A brand is not a logo, a business card, an advertisement. These are marketing tools that contain the brand, and deliver the brand to the optimal client or customer.

BRANDING

BRANDING is the management of the delivery of your brand using key marketing tools, like your logo, business card, social media, or website.

Note: the term “branding” is also used more broadly to mean everything related to a company’s marketing and branding, but I define branding more specifically as the verb form of a brand—the action part of a small business brand.

BRAND EXPERIENCE

The brand experience is a concrete event, a moment that your ideal client or customer has at one of your many touchpoints, such as a website, social media, or networking event.

BRAND GRAVITY

The attraction that is created when your ideal customer or client is deeply convinced that you can solve their burning problem better then your competition.

BRAND POSITIONING

How your brand is mentally perceived by your optimal client in relation to your competition.

BRAND PROMISE

A BRAND PROMISE is the BRAND POSITIONING in the form of a commitment. 

MARKETING

Marketing is the activity of managing and creating concrete vehicles that communicate your value (contained in the brand promise) to your optimal clientele. There are many different kinds of marketing tools, from social media, print media, advertising, identity, packaging, etc.

TOUCHPOINT

Any number of ways that clients or customers come into contact with your company and experience you as a brand. There are many kinds of touchpoints:  your website, business card, a support call, an email, the corporate identity, uniforms, interior design, color palette, etc. Touchpoints are where the “rubber hits the road.”

 

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