How can I get my business noticed? What can I do to set my company apart?
Whether you're an entrepreneur getting your start-up off the ground, or a marketer hoping to push your well-established business into a new phase of growth, you've probably asked these questions more than a few times. While the recipe for corporate success is not a simple one, there is one key ingredient (and one that often gets overlooked): your brand.
And that encompasses more than snazzy logos and witty tag lines.
At Think Shift, we believe that good brands start from the inside. To create a brand worth caring about, you must reveal the heart of your company. You must show consumers why you exist and why they should choose you over the competitors. Consumers are more educated and discerning than ever, and they seek out authenticity. They aren't buying what you do — they're buying why you do it!
So how do I create an authentic brand?
Just ask our President, David Lazarenko. With more than 15 years of agrimarketing experience, including leading successful brand launches and re-branding initiatives, he has a great deal of insight into branding strategy, and what it takes to make a brand resonate. Recently, he sat down with CTV News Winnipeg to share his top tips for building an authentic brand:
Watch the CTV Segment: "Creating & Building Your Brand"
With an authentic brand in place, it's time for the next step: putting yourself out there.
Ready to market to the masses? Get an in-depth look at the seven must-have elements of a successful digital marketing strategy by downloading our eBook "Growing Digital: 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing for Agribusiness in 2018."
Interviewer: Well, it seems every time we go online, there's another blogger, home chef, or a lifestyle expert offering their services. Now, they all have one thing in common, is that they had an idea and were able to take that idea and transform it into a business. Well, if you have an idea or a service you think is useful but don't know how to get it off the ground, this morning, we're starting the conversation on how to build your own brand. So to help us do that is the president of Think Shift, David Lazarenko. Thanks so much for being here this morning.
David: Thanks for having me.
Interviewer: So someone has an idea, they think, "You know, I'm really good at this. I'm into fitness. Maybe I can be a fitness coach or a lifestyle coach." How do they start? What's step 1?
David: You know, we like to start with a concept called "Start with why." And it's something that a lot of people miss when they're looking at branding. A lot of people focus on what they do or how they do it with their business. They wanna be in fitness. They're gonna do fitness. They're gonna do it with cross-training. What we try to tell them to do is to really focus on their why. Why are they doing it? What's the purpose behind their brand?
With smaller companies, it's great because that purpose is usually something that lives within the owner, the person who wants to do it. So it's really connecting with that why. People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. That's where they really connect with those brands.
Interviewer: I like that. Okay, so now, let's say... And that may...kind of gives you a jumping off point in terms of what my brand is gonna be.
Interviewer: Is that kind of what differentiates one person from the other, because I know if I go on Instagram, for example, within 10 minutes, I see half a dozen people doing the same thing, but it's that story that kind of separates themselves?
David: I think so. You know, when you go on Instagram or you see people, a lot of what they're showing is what they do or how they do it. They're showing that they're in physical activity. They're showing that they're training people, but they're not sharing the reasons why they're doing it. They're not sharing, really, from that soul level, from that internal level, why this is so important to them. Maybe it's this quest for healthier lifestyles, for helping people live longer, more longevity lives. So it's really connecting with that, and I don't think you see that as much as you see, actually, just the product of what they're doing or how they're doing it.
Interviewer: Okay. We got some oranges.
Interviewer: Why do we have oranges? We're talking about marketing and branding.
David: The oranges are really for another analogy. This is another trap that a lot of people fall into when they're looking at branding themselves. And so again, we say focus on the why, but sometimes, people focus on too much. They wanna be all things to all people, so they try to come up with a whole bunch of different whys. The analogy we use is if I were to take this bunch of oranges and I threw all of them at you at once...
Interviewer: It would not end well.
David: No. You know what, you would probably juggle and try to catch as many as you can and 9 times out of 10, most of them would fall into the ground. It's the same thing with your brand and your message. If I try to throw everything at you, trying to be all things to all people, you probably won't catch one. If I grab one orange...
Interviewer: Yeah, you throw it over.
David: And I throw one orange to you...
Interviewer: I'm okay.
David: Every time, back and forth, you will catch that message.
Interviewer: I feel like a lot of people, when they start on one of these new ventures, I know I'd have these issues, I'd be very gung-ho at the beginning, right? I'm in it, I'm done, I'm really excited to do it. But then I wake up, the motivation kinda starts dying. Months, two months later, I wake up, I say, "You know, I really haven't accomplished as much as I wanted to." Any strategies to kind of stay on top of it and keep yourself motivated and on task?
David: One of the things is not to expect the quick win. There are cases out there where that has happened, where people, it's overnight sensations, but usually, it takes a lot of daily hard work. Just support your brand and keep doing it. And really, go back to those people who are following you. Get your energy from those who have already bought in. Yes, you may not be at that 1,000 or 10,000 or 100,000 people yet, but you have that audience that is connected, and get your energy from them so you can get the next ones.
Interviewer: Perfect. Obviously, we're just scratching the surface here, but it is a good jumping off point. David, thanks so much for being here.
To learn more about creating a stand-out brand, check out our new eBook: How CEOs Drive Lasting Change