In the 2007 movie The Bucket List, corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers meet in hospital and decide to do the things they’ve always wanted to do before they die. So why not take the same approach to your business and prepare your own ‘Business Bucket List’ for 2011?
How many times have you heard people say, “I’ll wait for the economy to pick-up” or “I’m getting ready for the next big wave”?
If you only had a year to improve your business and get it running like a well-oiled, profit-making machine, would you sit and wait for the optimal external factors to arise?
So, why not make your ‘Business Bucket List’ now and see what you can achieve in 2011?
Let’s get started with five items for business growth::
1. Create a brand, not a business
Understanding the term ‘branding’ is the first step to successfully building a brand. Search Google for ‘brand terms’ and get an impressive list of 13,400,000 results, from which you probably only need six:
- Brand Promise – your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and the benefits you deliver
- Brand Identity – the mark/s that visually present your brand
- Brand Image – the set of beliefs around what your brand stands for
- Brand Strategy – how you promote and build a positive perception in your customer’s mind
- Brand Positioning – how your brand stands against others
- Brand Management – maintaining consistency with your brand
Make sure you have all the elements of a strong brand and not just a pretty logo – it’s really one of the best investments you’ll make.
2. Own your slice of the market
Imagine the power of owning your product name in the marketplace – like Kleenex is to tissues. On a local level, own your space so that when people need your product or service they immediately find your business.
Invest in an online business platform instead of just a smart looking website: it’s what’s under the hood that counts! It should include a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, an e-newsletter and Blog platform that links to Twitter, Facebook and other social media marketing platforms and effective search engine optimisation.
3. Create a memorable customer experience
Successful marketing is about attracting and retaining customers with a total experience that stimulates all the five senses every time they come into contact with your business.
Introduce soft background music in your office or shop and provide mints or chocolates at reception. Make your signage and marketing collateral visually appealing. Do you have a fresh newly cleaned office smell? If not you could burn some relaxing incense.
Create a total customer experience and you’ll have them coming back for more – it really does make a lot of ‘sense’.
4. Get more bang for your buck
Get a bigger bang for your marketing dollar by cutting out wasted, non-effective marketing activities. To do this however you need to measure what works and what doesn’t.
Sophisticated online and social media marketing can give you real-time results like who has received your e-newsletter, who opened it and where they went next. Once you know what’s working you can put more of your budget towards that and take it away from activities that are producing mediocre results.
5. Reinvent the wheel
Just because everyone in your industry is doing things a certain way, that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Get creative, be innovative and demand to be noticed for doing things differently.
Bring in your team for a ‘creative brainstorm’, research your customers’ needs or bring in a creative marketing expert who will see your business from the ‘outside’ and therefore start you thinking ‘outside’ of the square.
Creatively speaking, here’s another way to summarise these five tips:
- Be more than just a pretty logo
- It’s what’s under the hood that counts
- Be sense-itive to your customer needs
- Invest in real-time results
- The wheel always revolves; rethinking the wheel is revolutionary
And these five only relate to marketing! Don’t get me started on cashflow, finance and other fundamentals.
What will be on your Bucket List this year?
Tony Eades is the Creative Director for BrandManager, a full service creative agency based in Sydney and Perth. Image by Muddy Funkster
Are you seeking to refresh your brand or create your unique selling point? Switch on your marketing with a ‘Creative Brainstorm’ Power Hour with Tony Eades and Niche Creator Amanda Rose. Exclusive offer $395 — just for Anthillians! (Normally $695) — for bookings made by 25 February 2011. Call 1300 553 033.