Getting A Brand Mindset
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Feel that? The crisp tingle in the air? It's fall. Fall ushers
in the promise of eating, seeing, and getting. It's my favorite
time of year. By now, kids are settled into school, sweaters set
free from mothballs, and it's an amazing time to... BUY.
I don't know about you; but for some reason this time of year
lowers my normal customer resistance to retail and turns up my
desire to buy, buy, buy. And not just anything. Products I've come
to know have reliable value to me. You too?
Think about it. It starts with buying Halloween candy. Do you
reach for the no-name orange cellophane wrappers of chocolate dots,
or do you buy the mini packages of M&M's? I know! Me too! Why
is that? It's the same thing! But, the brand of M&M's
represents a certain quality that we have come to know as valuable.
And left with candy at the end of the evening, that's what I want
to be gobbling on. It doesn't matter how long the product has been
on a shelf, an M&M is still an M&M.
A favorite thing I like to do in fall is cruise through the
stores and see what "they" think "we'll" buy. This past weekend, I
stepped into Crate & Barrel (a personal favorite) and went weak
in the knees!
I walked from beautiful table setting to even more beautiful
table setting and I thought about the perception that Crate &
Barrel had created in me. As I drooled over the dishes, I imagined
how the quality of my life would change if I brought them home. (A
little bubble appeared to the side of my head. I saw an image of me
overhearing holiday guests comment about how beautiful my table
was, and subsequently how great I was.) The bubble faded as I
dissected how Crate & Barrel created that impression in me. How
did they get me to think that?
I passed through living room settings that I would give my left
pinkie toe to own (it's okay, I'm right footed). I ran my hand over
the fabrics and textures. Rich leathers. Deep colors. Luxuriant
fabrics. All things I'd spend my money on to give my 10-year old
living room a facelift. They established in me a certain quality!
And somehow they knew what areas I needed to fix up... my boring
dining room dishes, my tired living room. Hmmm... Hmmm... a
specific quality and knowledge of my problem.
At each display was a sign that had a certain look. A color. A
typeface. Even the way it was laid out on the page! It all matched
the quality I got from the home dicor items I so desperately
wanted. (By the way, I never knew I wanted an orange pear-shaped
leather vase before.) I picked up their holiday catalog. Lo and
behold, not only did it show the picture of the coveted pear-shaped
leather vase, but the typefaces and colors matched the signs in the
store. Hmmm... consistent communication and imaging. I started to
As I passed the jewel-toned velvet pillows, I thought, "Crate
& Barrel is no different from the companies and small business
owners that we help." They are no different from YOU. Or are they?
* A product or service that is every bit as good and valuable as
Crate & Barrel.
* You fix a problem or change the quality of life for your
clients as much if not more than Crate & Barrel.
After that, it can break down for small businesses and
You may not have:
* Consistent imaging (e.g., business card, website, brochures,
leave-behind, product packaging, etc.)
* The deep understanding of how to communicate "the brand" of
your business that can translate to your entire support team/staff.
(This is easy and affordable to do with BrandU. That's why it was
And most importantly, what most entrepreneurs tend to forget or,
sadly, never deeply establish:
* A huge, non-wavering belief in what you are bringing to
You have just as much of this as the people who created Crate
& Barrel. They just have more practice at it and had enough
vision to bring in partners to help them grow and communicate
The last three points are crucial to your business success and
easier to address than you think. Simply:
* keep up the value of your service and product AND,
* adopt a brand mindset!
It's where EVERY brand starts BEFORE they're a brand. In our
upcoming book, Why BrandU, we go into the reasons why it's
imperative for entrepreneurs to gain the power of branding. You CAN
have large business success, no matter what size you are.
This holiday season, I share with you these TWO simple brand
* As you're out (or online) shopping, pause a moment and think
about the reasons you buy the things you buy and,
* See how you can apply those reasons to your business.
After strolling around Crate & Barrel for over an hour
(which flew by like 5 minutes), I joyfully left with the most
amazing vase for my table AND I was filled with a great sense of
delight and excitement; knowing YOU can be just as big!
About the AuthorKim A. Castle, Co-founder BrandU, Co-Author of Why Brand: Big
Business Success No Matter Your Size, and BrandU
Bible, the only step-by-step workbook for developing your
business as a brand.
© 2003 Castle Montone, Limited Reprinted with Permission
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-29 23:47:31 in Marketing Articles