I was listening to an interview Jason Calacanis did a while back and he kept talking about living your brand. It was an interesting idea so I started to explore it, and by golly I liked what I found. This post is for those of you who are in love with your business, those of you who sing your start up to sleep at night & the sight of your brand’s logo makes you giddy with glee. I’m like that and I know a few of you out there must be too. And this post is also for those of you who don’t have a business like that.. yet.. but definitely want one. These 7 ways to live and love your brand will help you gain traction, gain a solid fan base & show the world how much you believe in your brand… because if you don’t love your brand, who will?
7 Ways to Live Your Brand
- Be your brand. Apple is Steve Jobs, Microsoft is Bill Gates. Henry Ford will always be Ford Motor Company and Oprah Winfrey is 100% O Magazine. Sara Blakely not only owns Spanx (a $150 million + hoisery giant) but proudly wears and reps the brand, she is in many ways the face behind the Spanx brand. How can you be your brand? When people see you coming, do they describe you to others as “Stan from ExampleCo”… if not you just might need to try harder.
- Rock your brand. Get some t-shirts from Zazzle and start repping your own brand. Who cares if you’re just going to Starbucks or taking the kids to the park? Someone will probably come up and ask you about it eventually – especially if you do what I do and put Ask me about Outsourcing on the back with the logo on the front. This is awesome for two reasons, first is because you get to perfect your elevator pitch & you get to see in real life how your message is effecting an individual (do they smile, look bored, get excited). The second reason is because out of 10 people maybe you’ll talk to, maybe two will think your idea is brilliant and tell 4 more, and so on and so forth. The more people you come in contact with in our global, information driven economy the better. You never know when you are standing in line next to a person who will forever change your life.
- Consider wrapping your car in an advertisement/logo for your brand. This one is pretty self explanatory, but I’ve found the cooler a car you wrap, the better. So go ahead, write off that Aston Martin, then wrap that bad boy up with your URL and sport it around town… it’ll pay off one day right?!
- Plaster your brand all over your personal and business social media platforms. We don’t exist in vacuums anymore, people will find out sooner or later what your business is – or who you work for, etc. So why try to act like your personal and business life are so divorced? Instead be proud of your business on your personal accounts and don’t shy away from showing your personality in social, business dealings.
- Hand out your shirts, coffee cups or squishy stress balls wherever you can. This is a financially risky strategy but at times it works, I was just at Blog World and I noticed that the company with the most comfortable shirts (made from American Apparel T’s) seemed to have the most people around their booth. Now whether or not these people will actually use the brand down the line is questionable – I got a Go Army t-shirt (traded 5 push ups while donning heels for it) and I sleep in it, when I wake up do I reconsider my life’s choices and thinking about joining the National Guard, not really – so it’s iffy. On another note, Tungle.me (who I won’t link to by the by) decided to go the route of handing out condoms at blog world with their logo on the wrapper. The point? I didn’t see any. Did it get people talking, yes, but it also got several people feeling like the brand didn’t care about it image so they wouldn’t be using them for their scheduling in the future. Handing out merch is a very hit or miss thing, but when you hit, you hit big.
- Send your kids to school donning your branded goods. If you have more kids your chances of someone making the brand connections grows exponentially. If your neighbors have kids, borrow theirs. I’m not exactly sure about the efficiency of this model but I know one thing – if I had kids the cost of living under my roof would be repping my brand! “That’s right 4 year old, if you want a roof over your head & mac n’ cheese in your little belly, homeboy better start representing and put on Mommy’s Virtual Zeta hat… or else! (Now most of you see why I don’t have kids).
- Practice your elevator pitch. Now this isn’t necessarily to pitch people, but instead to refine your process of explaining what it is your brand does and why it’s relevant to Joe Bloe’s life. I practice this while waiting in long lines at Starbucks. Usually my innocent prey walks up behind me and I quickly as them if I can give them my ‘elevator pitch’ for practice. I try to keep it down to around 30 seconds and then afterwards ask them their honest opinion. You’ll get great feedback and by the 50th visit to Starbucks you’ll be able to pitch any investor confidently on why your brand rocks.
Growing your brand
Did you read through this list and get sad? Maybe you even shed a tear and thought “I want a brand I can love & live!” well, I’ve got good news for you. You still can start one, today even! Here’s all you need to do…
- Go to the side bar (it’s to your right for those of you who love direction) and download Start Up School. It’s easy to read, has lots of fun pictures and more importantly gives a lot of entrepreneurial ‘bang’ for your non-existent buck. It’ll help you get started and you can learn from my mistakes and victories along the way!
- Enter to win one of three WordPress Business Packages from the peeps at RichWP.com. Today they’re generously giving away the RichWP FrameWork, the RichCORP Child Theme and One-on-One Support time with Felix (the founder) who will help you to get you site up and running as quickly as possible and who is also sponsoring this prize draw. Being focused and being able to deliver your message directly is the purpose of the RichCORP WordPress Business Theme. An array of design options will help you to align your message with the impression your website has to make on potential clients. To enter this competition, leave a razor sharp Elevator Pitch for your business, product or service that you want to promote using this WordPress Business Package in the comment section. The three winners will be chosen by me and Felix based on the quality of the elevator pitch so make sure your pitch rocks, or just use the comments as a place to vent your ideas for your brand and we still may choose you!
P.S. the winner of our last competition for the Flip Cam HD was Pierre from IBG!! Congrats Pierre!