There are a few things I’ve learned on this journey through entrepreneurship and life in general. What people perceive you as is just as important as what and who you really are. Most would say, “well, I don’t care what people think about me, I know myself and God knows my heart.” That’s okay and all if that’s you personally but, professionally, you better care what people think. You better care how you are perceived.
The quickest way to ensure you’re being perceived in the right way and that you’re relaying the right message, is to outline your business goals, your ideal client that will help you achieve those goals, and what problem you’re solving for your client.
It may seem like a lot to think about before beginning the branding process but when it’s done seamlessly, your clients know all of this about your business without you saying a word. When you look at Starbucks, who has the best marketing and branding in the world in my opinion, you immediately see in your mind that green lady with the hair on the white cups. Without them saying anything, they’ve established recognition with their client. Unless you live on another planet you know that Starbucks sells coffee, expensive coffee. You also know that they are open really early and really late as opposed to most businesses. Why? Because their ideal client wakes up early and stays up late. So, they solve the problem for their client by providing premier customer service in the hours that their competitors aren’t even open.
Everyone knows their coffee is over priced but we continuously purchase the product because we believe in their message. Look cool and important, wake up early, power through your day with us and if you need to work late, we’re open until 11p so you can grab a coffee before your all night session. Not only that, we’ve got 35 flavors and 7,899 combinations of ways to make whatever coffee you like. So, they provide reliability, a variety of selections, availability and a lifestyle. You buy into their message even before you buy their coffee. Now, combine that with marketing the product and huge investments and you get a Starbucks with a Drive-Thru on every major intersection in nearly every city in America.
That is a large scale example of perception but the facts still remain. What is your message you want your client to know off hand? Who is your ideal client and what problem do you solve for them? What does your branding give to your client that stands out and can be recognized by them from first glance? Once you’ve ironed this out, you know that perception is key in small business. Don’t get caught up in running your business that you forget about why you started your business in the first place.
Put out the right message, solve the problem and get recognized. Perception is key. Best of luck!
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All our love,
Niché + Shameka
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