I'd Buy That:
Getting A Brand Mindset
that? The crisp tingle in the air? It's fall. Fall ushers in the
promise of eating, seeing, and getting. It's my favorite time of year.
By now, kids are settled into school, sweaters set free from mothballs,
and it's an amazing time to... BUY.
I don't know about you; but for some reason this time of year lowers my
normal customer resistance to retail and turns up my desire to buy,
buy, buy. And not just anything. Products I've come to know have
reliable value to me. You too?
Think about it. It starts with buying Halloween candy. Do you reach for
the no-name orange cellophane wrappers of chocolate dots, or do you buy
the mini packages of M&M's? I know! Me too!
that? It's the same thing! But, the brand of M&M's represents a
certain quality that we have come to know as valuable. And left with
candy at the end of the evening, that's what I want to be gobbling on.
It doesn't matter how long the product has been on a shelf, an M&M
is still an M&M.
A favorite thing I like to do in fall is cruise through the stores and
see what "they" think "we'll" buy. This past weekend, I stepped into
Crate & Barrel (a personal favorite) and went weak in the knees!
I walked from beautiful table setting to even more beautiful table
setting and I thought about the perception that Crate & Barrel had
created in me. As I drooled over the dishes, I imagined how the quality
of my life would change if I brought them home. (A little bubble
appeared to the side of my head. I saw an image of me overhearing
holiday guests comment about how beautiful my table was, and
subsequently how great I was.)
bubble faded as I dissected how Crate & Barrel created that
impression in me. How did they get me to think that?
I passed through living room settings that I would give my left pinkie
toe to own (it's okay, I'm right footed). I ran my hand over the
fabrics and textures. Rich leathers. Deep colors. Luxuriant fabrics.
All things I'd spend my money on to give my 10-year old living room a
facelift. They established in me a certain quality! And somehow they
knew what areas I needed to fix up... my boring dining room dishes, my
tired living room. Hmmm... Hmmm... a specific quality and knowledge of
At each display was a sign that had a certain look. A color. A
typeface. Even the way it was laid out on the page! It all matched the
quality I got from the home décor items I so desperately wanted.
(By the way, I never knew I wanted an orange pear-shaped leather vase
picked up their holiday catalog. Lo and behold, not only did it show
the picture of the coveted pear-shaped leather vase, but the typefaces
and colors matched the signs in the store. Hmmm... consistent
communication and imaging. I started to tingle.
As I passed the jewel-toned velvet pillows, I thought, "Crate &
Barrel is no different from the companies and small business owners
that we help." They are no different from YOU. Or are they? Let's see...
* A product or service that is every bit as good and
valuable as Crate & Barrel.
* You fix a problem or change the quality of life
for your clients as much if not more than Crate & Barrel.
After that, it can break down for small businesses and solo-preneurs.
You may not have:
* Consistent imaging (e.g., business card, website,
brochures, leave-behind, product packaging, etc.)
* The deep understanding of how to communicate "the
brand" of your business that can translate to your entire support
team/staff. (This is easy and affordable to do with BrandU. That's why
it was created.)
And most importantly, what most entrepreneurs tend to forget or, sadly,
never deeply establish:
* A huge, non-wavering belief in what you are
bringing to people.
You have just as much of this as the people who created Crate &
Barrel. They just have more practice at it and had enough vision to
bring in partners to help them grow and communicate it.
The last three points are crucial to your business success and easier
to address than you think. Simply:
* keep up the value of your service and product AND,
* adopt a brand mindset!
It's where EVERY brand starts BEFORE they're a brand. In our upcoming
book, Why BrandU, we go into the reasons why it's imperative for
entrepreneurs to gain the power of branding. You CAN have large
business success, no matter what size you are.
This holiday season, I share with you these TWO simple brand mindset
* As you're out (or online) shopping, pause a moment
and think about the reasons you buy the things you buy and,
* See how you can apply those reasons to your
After strolling around Crate & Barrel for over an hour (which flew
by like 5 minutes), I joyfully left with the most amazing vase for my
table AND I was filled with a great sense of delight and excitement;
knowing YOU can be just as big!
© 2003 Castle
Montone, Limited All Rights Reserved.
Kim Castle helps individuals and companies achieve branding -
see her site BrandU
also co-founder of Whole Wealth Institute
- Business School for Life
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