Northwest Business Magazine

Shake Off Your Boring Brand, Swiftly

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It’s not enough to simply define your brand; your business must continually adapt. Susan Dobbe, of Dobbe Marketing & PR Inc., in Crystal Lake, explains how to keep your brand fresh.

How can you shake off your boring brand, swiftly? Take a lesson from pop music icon Taylor Swift. At 25 years old, she’s world-famous, award-winning, extravagantly wealthy and named to Forbes’ list of The World’s Most Influential Women. With only 10 years in “business,” Swift has a mature brand strategy and a sophisticated, evolving marketing message. Lessons from Swift can show you how to never miss a beat and be lightning on your feet.

• Create a clear offering of value to your audience.
• Identify and understand your target customer.
• Monitor industry trends and ride (or buck) the trend.
• Partner with complementary businesses/charities.
• Consistently perform at your highest level – professionally and personally.
• Emphasize your unique attributes.
• Establish awareness, engagement and empathy.
• Give back to others selflessly.
• Develop a personal connection to people.
• Continually evolve and improve your product and service.

To address the ten points above, consider the following action plan:

• Review your products and services. What products are selling? What’s lax? Research opinions of your customers and actions of your team. What really works, and what should be cut?

• Interview your customers and build a demographic profile of the best clients by age, income, education, sex, location, habits, limits, hopes and dreams.

• Keep your finger on the pulse of your industry, and position your business to swiftly adjust for growth and opportunity.

• Recognize weaknesses and shore them up by collaborating with others who are stronger.

• Formulate metrics for product and service performance that are realistic and measurable. Incorporate your clients in the measurement and reporting. Keep your team involved and personally responsible for customer satisfaction.

• Every business has a niche. It’s up to you to communicate what’s unique and why it’s of value to your customer. Swift leveraged her poems into songs, songs into acting, acting into product placement and production. She’s a giant of talent in a 5-foot-10-inch figure.

• Build your brand with layers of messages. Social media, websites and digital marketing leverage your personal sales message and product strengths inexpensively. Make your audience care about your business.

• Help others succeed and you will create advocates for life. Everyone appreciates a little help. When you give it without expecting a return, the rewards can surprise you.

• Personal relationships, built in-person and through business, can flourish using Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Build your connection and make it easy to share.

• Keep evolving. Swift started with country music and took it by storm in a couple of years. She’s now the top-selling, top-rated artist globally. Why? She keeps evolving and improving.

Swift’s 1989 World Tour could be marking the year my business was founded, not just the year of her birth. Every year has been full of evolving my brand and my business methods. Business leaders can learn a lot from this pop culture icon: constantly evolve to improve the energy, excitement and engagement of your brand.

Susan Dobbe is president of Dobbe Marketing & PR Inc. Founded in 1989, this brand strategy agency leads businesses, organizations and municipalities to build brand image, awareness and communication.

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