As Featured on The Rising Professional (@therisingpro)
Whether you’ve just started your business, thinking about what business you’d like to create, or you’re seasoned in the game. It is HIGHLY important that your brand remains priority in your business. “Well DUHH Dominique! I knew that!” NO, you didn’t. BOLD? I know. You see, it’s not so much that you don’t understand the importance of a quality brand. But it’s how you are establishing your brand that is where the problem begins. And our advertising and brand standards have everything to do with it.
As a woman in business, especially in Advertising, I am constantly attending events, networking, doing research, keeping up on new trends, and so forth. But one of the absolute biggest catastrophes that I experience time and time again is when I meet a brilliant, educated and passionate business owner or entrepreneur. And in the conversation they tell me about their business, what they do and/or their upcoming event. Even if I have no interest, they have given me such a compelling story and description about their business or upcoming event that “I just HAVE to go to.” They go into detail about how their business came about or what makes their service unique, benefits of working with them and so on and they leave me saying “WOW! That’s great!” and I end up reciprocating to them how amazing they are!
“Sooo what’s the problem Dominique? Everything sounds great so far!”
(*SIGH*) This is where it all comes crashing down for their business and brand. So they hand me their business card or whatever printed material they have on hand. Now when I go to look at what’s received, it looks NOTHING like the beautiful story painted before me by that person! The graphics are not up to par. The overall design looks like a young boy/girl in middle school made it in computer class. Then on top of that, the picture of their product or material is being taken from their camera phone. Then they proceed to have the photo blown up to fit the scale of their design. Problem? Now the picture is blurry and not a great representation of who they are. In some cases I’ve even seen a photo or two where I could barely tell who the person or product was, because it was that blurry and ill printed. So me being the curious Creative Advertising individual that I am, I proceed to look at the websites and social media pages provided (if at all). Let’s just say that those same pages look no different from the materials given to me advertising their business.
So now that you understand the dilemma (and I KNOW you’ve thought of a few tragedies that you’ve experienced yourself), I’m now shifting gears to you and your brand or business. Yup! That’s right! YOU. So here’s what I want you to do. Pull out all of your printed materials that you’ve created for your business (business cards, flyers, stickers, you name it). Then I want you to pull up your company or personal web pages as well. And lastly I want you to think of the brand or company that you most admire or aspire to be like one day.
Now ask yourself:
- Does my business match the story I want to portray?
- Does this match the vision I have been trying to create all along?
- How does my material compare to the people and businesses I look up to?
- Does it even look like we’re in the same league? Even close? Do I have a shot based on what I see?
If you’re answer was “NO” to ANY of these questions, we have some work to do. If it was a “YES” to ANY of these questions, congratulations! Not only that, but personally email me at Contactme@DominiqueHart.com with links to your online presence AND a photo of your materials. I’d love to take a peek and see the awesome brand that you have created for yourself (and maybe offer you a free critique or two 😉 lol).
The way in which people perceive your brand is important when it comes to Advertising. You have to understand that costly mistakes like this not only have potential to be embarrassing for your brand, but damages all the greatness that you’ve poured into your brand up until the point where someone comes in contact with your business at any point. It’s not all the time that you’re going to have the opportunity to tell your compelling story behind your business. That one time that they come across your website or visit your Facebook page, may be the last time. So give them a reason stay. Intrigue them! Make them want what you have to offer in your business. You know that your product/service/event is exactly what they need to change their lives. So don’t shortchange that when it comes to the 1st thing they see about your business. Believe it or not, that could be the difference between your 1st client or a whole flood of clients asking you for more. It could also mean the difference between a couple hundred dollars and 2 million dollars. So don’t give them a reason to leave or forget about you when it can make all the difference. People love quality brands and businesses. Make people want to attend your events, sign up for your courses or choose you to consult their business. You have what they may need. Don’t give them a reason to say no! Let them say no because they’re not a perfect fit for what YOU’RE looking for in YOU’RE business. Not because you didn’t put your best brand forward. There are too many FREE tools and resources out there for you not to shine!
So I’ve come to declare to you, NO MORE DISCOUNT BRANDS AND BUSINESSES! I understand that “You’ve just started your business” or “you just don’t know how and you’re doing what you can with what you’ve got.” But this is 2014! You have no more excuses! And if you’re reading this a couple or many years from now, then you DEFINITELY have no excuses. Technology is out there and being created EVERYDAY by some awesome innovators and entrepreneurs to make your job easier. Excuses have LEFT the building a long time ago everyone! Now, let’s give our brands and businesses the attention and representation it deserves. This is Dominique Hart signing out and I look forward to BETTER and GREATER in your advertising and branding. START NOW!
If you’d like to keep in touch with me, you can come on over and sign up for my Creative Advertising tips, tools and updates at the top of the page at www.DominiqueHart.com and of course Social Media @MsDominiqueHart. You can also look at what I’m creatively up to with all of my clients using hashtag #DominiqueCreates.