Establish your brand

The more you look around, the more it becomes evident that most service professionals are alike in relation to winning new business. You may be not be a marketing person or working within marketing services. You may be an accountant, an architect or a solicitor, but whatever the title and sector, we all have tangibles services to offer. Too often these services remain hidden secrets.

This must change!

We must make our services known. We must make our audience aware of our knowledge base and

experience so that our new business suspects could become business prospects and business clients. In every sector competition is fierce and everyone is clambering for attention. Most prospects will find it hard to differentiate between us and find it tricky to understand what the offers are so they need to be marketed to.

Prospects deserve to be spoken to in a professional, informative and considered way. Advertising is everywhere these days. On petrol pumps, on a screen in the post office, on the back of toilet doors, on buildings or even in the air so how do we decipher who is who and what is what?

People play a vital part when deciphering who is who. How may times do you meet the person before the company and say that he/she was so and so from somewhere? Similarly, how a company presents itself, the messaging it uses and the language it employs are also contributory factors. This is called……………the company “Brand.”

I think “brand” is one of those words that is widely used but never 100% understood.  What does “brand” mean, and how has the word’s application changed over time? The first definition of “brand” is the name given to a product or service from a specific source.  Used in this sense, “brand” is similar to the current meaning of the word “trademark.”

However, a brand is not just a logo or an icon. It is what the company stands for. It is the name. How it acts. How it makes people feel. Getting this right and marketing it correctly will ultimately influence whether a business succeeds or fails.

Yes, I am a marketing person and marketing people always go on about the importance of marketing, but take your time before rushing out and buying a cheap website, having a logo designed from an online store for $10, setting up Facebook and then hitting the networking groups. There are companies out there that can help you get it right first time. Yes, they charge, but that is what they do. They are called marketing companies. They are not called advertising agencies, website design agencies or social media agencies. These are likely to be companies “specialising” in 1 or possibly 2 areas of marketing and not the whole suite of marketing techniques.

We receive a lot of enquiries from people who have set out of the traps with their marketing only to regret it 12-18 months later. Cheap can be very expensive so do your research. How do the marketing companies you talk to present themselves? What is their “brand.” Do they speak your language and ultimately, are they nice people who you’re going to get on with?

We are here if you need us and are happy to meet people at our offices for a free initial conversation.

Writing a winning proposal – Part 1

I have recently found myself in a number of pitch situations where the prospective client has wanted to review a number of similar organisations before they make a decision on who to work with on their marketing.
I have written a number of articles about how to prepare and improve the pitch process in this Blog, but not all business can be won face to face; some of the decision process is made when viewing a written proposal or tender so I thought it would be beneficial to share some of my experiences about the written side of winning new business.

What advice can be given about the production of such a document? Well, to me, the same rules still apply. Guarantee that the client problem is identified, the objectives defined and the means selected are consistent. The client wants a specialised solution so the document must take the client through the full consultation process by indicating empathy with their problem while revealing your unique solution to it stressing how you add real benefit to the process.

Your document should encompass 5 roles which should all feature:

  • Consultant
  • Information Provider
  • Problem Solver
  • Professional Partner
  • Negotiator
  • The resulting document should therefore comprise of a number of sections that lead on from the previous section, but always write from a client’s point of view.

Later in the week I will outline and define these sections of the document.