What has cake got to do with your business or professional brand?

One of the most common issues people have when it comes to marketing a business or service is “I have too many different things to offer so how do I know which one I need to concentrate on so that I have a clear offer to my clients?”

So many offers and services to promote, all fantastic and you want to make sure that your target audiences know all about every single one of them right?

So how do you know what to promote? Where do you start with getting all of it out there?

Don’t even think about trying to do and say it all! At best, you’ll confuse your possible audience and at worst you’ll dilute your messages so much that you just won’t be seen. What you want to gain is IMPACT!

The good news is you don’t need to choose any one thing! It isn’t about losing any of your great talents and offers. It’s all in the implementation. So think of it like a cake with many layers:

If you want to create an amazing birthday cake for your ideal client, you wouldn’t add all the ingredients, decorations, filling and candles all on the top would you? No, because it would be a mess and probably not too attractive either.  That cake will probably not appeal to your audience you need to tailor it – you need to layer it.

You want your cake to be nicely layered, with a gorgeous and tempting icing and when you cut into it, it has an amazingly delicious inside that is irresistible and they cannot wait to tuck in! A cake that is truly the essence of you and your business it all its glory!

A common tool and exercise that marketers use to create these ‘layers’ and ‘essence’ is the brand pyramid. The common brand pyramid method was created in the 1990’s by marketing research firm ‘Milward Brown’. The version I like to use is simply layered and explores the following areas from the bottom layer to the top of the pyramid.

Firstly, draw yourself a simple pyramid on a large piece of paper and then mark each layer up as follows:

pyramids-305074_1280

  • Attributes and Features – this is right at the bottom and will explore the actual features of your product or service so for example if you run a life coaching business one feature might be an online group course. If you have many then it might help you to organise these into boxes or categories to help you sort through into groups which will help you later on.
  • Functional Benefits – the layer above this is benefits. These have to be actual tangible benefits or return on investment (ROI) that your clients get when they use your product or service. So in the case of a life coach, this might be more clarity on their client’s values or a clearer idea of how to reach their career goal.
  • Emotional Benefits – next is emotional benefits. Now we are getting to the nitty-gritty as they say! What are the not so tangible benefits that your clients will reiceve from you? What can you not hold in your hand? For our life coach, this might be more freedom, love, happiness, sense of achievement.
  • Values and personality – above is the personality of your brand which is derived from your values. Think about how people will connect with you. Your brand should connect with your clients on an emotional level. So perhaps this might be core values that derive from the reasons you started your business in the first place. Perhaps this was fun or creativity, or connection with others. Think carefully as if your business is based on your passions this will underpin much of what you do and say. See my post on laying the groundwork to your brand first.
  • Brand essence – and the top and final layer is your brand essence. Once you have worked through all your layers you can begin to piece this together. It is the final layer – the ‘icing on the cake’. When your audience sees you this is what springs to mind. They connect with you and your business and that is when you are in the realms of brand loyalty and conversion to an actual paying customer.

Good luck x

 

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