Friday, May 25, 2007

Be (somewhat) predictable

Brands are expectations.

Which means it’s your job to prove customers right.

To confirm their suspicions about the value you deliver and the value(s) you stand for.

It ALSO means you need to be (somewhat) predicable:

1. In person.
2. Via email.
3. On the phone.
4. Throughout your marketing efforts.

Be somewhat predictable.

Disney calls this “staying in character.” (After all, their employees ARE called “cast members!”)

AND HERE’S THE THING: you’re not that different than, say, Snow White.

OK, maybe you wear a little less makeup. But the distinction is, instead of playing the role of Snow White, you’re playing the role of YOU.

SO, THE CHALLENGE IS: how do you become (somewhat) predictable?

Here’s a list of three ways to maintain brand consistency:

1. RECORD Brand Moments. Keep a log of your branding “moments of truth.”

For example, write down any time a customer says, “I figured you would do that!” or “It doesn’t surprise me to see your company…” or “That’s exactly what I expected your website to say!” After all, what people remember about you is what you are.

2. REMIND Brand Moments:

In your office, post a bunch of sticky notes that read, “Is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW consistent with my brand?” This will keep you accountable. And if you’re ever not sure if the answer is yes, well, consider that a hint.

3. REINFORCE Brand Moments:

Any time you do or say something consistent with your brand’s values, tell people. For example, if you email a prospect and say, “Well, my consulting fees are available on my website,” don’t forget to punctuate that sentence with, “…because that’s the way I do business,” or “…because that’s what clients have come to expect of me.” They’ll appreciate your integrity. And people respond to policies.

ONE FINAL NOTE: don’t seek to achieve 100% predictability. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a few curve balls here and there. Not to mention, to the most effective way to capture someone's attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns.

Still...

Consistency is CRUCIAL to successful branding. Because consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.

And…

Consistency leads to familiarity.
Familiarity leads to predictability.
And predictability leads to trust.

And TRUST is foundation of all business.

Especially when it really IS a small world after all!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you (somewhat) predictable?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
List three behaviors your clients could probably predict about you here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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