You don’t have to serenade your clients beneath their balcony literally, but it doesn’t hurt to send them some good old fashioned “Love Notes”. Frank Frederick’s lecture on the subject of getting your customers to love you was a hit with those who have a way with words. Branding all the way along, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this post for the sheer loveliness of it! Grab a tic tac and get ready for some Love Notes with Frank Frederick, The Voice.
To carry us through to the end of day one, Frank Frederick lectured on the topic of “How to Create a Brand that Your Clients Will Love”. Firstly, Frank started at the beginning (a very good place to start, you’ll concur) and asked everyone if they knew what a brand was.
Do you know what a brand is?
Examples of some familiar brands include Coca-Cola, Ford, Disney, and Google. Another way to come up with familiar brands is to play word association games and ask questions like “What’s your favorite car?”, “What’s the first company you think of when you hear the word computer”, and so on. Now that’s fine and dandy for established corporate brands that have been around for generations, but what about your brand? What is your brand? The real truth about the brand is that a brand embodies aspects of your personal identity… A brand identifies who you are, what you can do and what you do for other people.
To use an example, Frank Frederick brands himself as “The Voice”. Some of your colleagues in the room have already branded themselves as “The Voice of Choice”, “Puma Voice”, and “The Voice Inside Your Head” among other brands. After a few minutes, we participated in an exercise that examined the obvious, relative and subliminal messages that are simultaneously conveyed when a brand name is uttered. Now, just how do you achieve brand awareness for your brand amongst your customers and target market? You have to write them Love Notes in your customer services that you provide and the customer experience. If you brand with Love Notes, your customers will “absolutely love you”.
There are three facets of creating a brand:
Every brand has a back story, something that confirms where they’ve come from and how the company got to where they are today.
Hot Tip: When you are developing your brand, you™ve got to have a back story in order to draw people into your community. In the middle of the lecture, we were asked to break into small groups (essentially the 8 or so people who sat at our tables) and create our own brand based upon nothing other than the fact that we were to brand our table. The creative juices were obviously flowing for many of the groups and I think there was also a lot of hunger in the room (edging in on 5 p.m. at the time).
A large percentage of the groups included a reference to food or beverages in their pitch, a couple even stating that they were a smorgasbord of voices or a vocal buffet. Another group played on the VO5 Hot Oil brand while others focused more on their universality, touting that they were voices for the world, from many lands, and so on. Several groups incorporated humor as tools to persuade and engage which were quite effective as well.
Something I’d like to point out (this was only a brief 6 minute exercise) is that if you do not have a solid company image or identity, it is incredibly challenging to come up with something definitive particularly if you have several different visions and little more in common than the industry in which you work and sitting together at a conference. Those who stepped up to the creative plate found a way around that obstacle and really made a go of giving their table an impressive brand that people would potentially do business with. To close the lecture, it was time for some crazy questions!
How Branded is your Brand?
The perception of a brand is called brand identity – a front of mind awareness. Create an identity that makes people listen. The most valuable real estate available to you as an advertiser are the minds of other people, specifically your potential or current customers.
Branding is the Heart of Marketing
Fact: Over 98% of people will do business with the first company that they think of.
That’s quite a percentage there. Now, as Frank Frederick suggested, we need to do some critical thinking as to why certain brands are stronger than others. “Why are they the market leader in that company?”, Frank asked. The answers he received varied, but they all drew similar conclusions. Successful and powerful brands speak to your emotions, deliver on a promise, and create an image. It may not sound like rocket science, but this area is not for the faint of heart.
From my own experience and those of the Voices.com team, branding takes a great deal of passion, charisma and guts in addition to creativity and know-how. To reiterate, branding to this degree is not just something you do, it is truly a way that you live. How can you create an identity to make your customers love you?
• Listen to what your customers are saying about you
• Use familiarity to draw them in
• Incorporate seductiveness, or as Austin Powers would say, “Your mojo, baby”.
Finally, Frank had this advice to share:
“Thrive on the intensity of passion: when you believe in yourself you make others believe in you too.” If you have some Love Notes to share with Frank, please leave them here for him on the blog as comments!
Disclaimer: Several key points and topics in this post, though interpreted and expanded upon, can be found in the VOICE 2007 workbook. Copyright Legend Corporation, Park City, UT – all rights reserved.