When I started my coaching and mentoring business four years ago, I thought I only needed two things - passion and a coaching certification - to get my business moving. I thought that if I built it THEY would come. But as the months went on THEY never showed up.
Then one day a friend invited me to one of those live preview events. I went. That one two-hour event totally shifted my life and my business. And the more I learned, the more I wanted to know until finally, I made the decision to narrow my niche from coaching women to coaching women entrepreneurs.
By this time, I at least knew one thing about my ideal client - they were women entrepreneurs. But then I had to dig a little deeper to learn more about them and discover their "portal problem." And over time as I watched the marketplace landscape what I began to notice is that all of these amazing service-based women entrepreneurs were "looking" the same, talking the same and were offering "cookie-cutter" experiences. In other words, they were in the sea of sameness.
Eureka! There's the problem. These amazing creative women entrepreneurs are showing up in the marketplace in ways that look more like a commodity than a premium brand of choice.
After discovering this "portal problem" of brand commoditization. I then decided to niche down my business again. So instead of still functioning in this broad space of women entrepreneurs, I decided to work with women entrepreneurs and leaders to help them turn their "just like everyone else" brand into premium brands of distinction.
There is a great amount of value that comes with creating, an Iconic Brand.
Iconic Brands are distinct, memorable and relevant.
You may be wondering, but how does this "value" translate into greater influence, more visibility, and higher income? Becoming an Iconic Brand requires you to become clear about three things which enable you to rise above the fray.
In order to become an iconic brand, which is a brand that is not only memorable and relevant, but is widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence. It is your clarity about these things which will begin to set you apart and allow your business to emerge as the premium brand of choice thus, expanding your influence, enlarging your territory and elevating your income.
Brand positioning is a strategic method of setting yourself apart from the masses in your industry. This strategy involves a key ingredient to branding which is differentiation. But more recently I discovered something called Radical Differentiation. This is about positioning your business in a way that not only positions you in the heads of your market but also in their hearts. In today's cluttered marketplace it's not enough to be "top of mind," you have to become near and dear to their hearts.
Platform is essentially understanding and choosing your world-class message which is at the core of your brand's DNA. It's the key concept or idea that makes your brand, not just different, but radically different. Your platform is the simplest most distilled version of the message your brand desires to share with the world. For example, Apple has a very simple concept upon which they have built their platform which has positioned them to transcend multiple industries: Think Different.
The truth of the matter is that the reason we have brands is because of people. If people didn't have needs, desires and aspirations there would be no reason for brands to exist. In order to create a truly iconic brand, you must have a clear and extremely deep-level understanding of the needs, desires, and aspirations of those you serve. It's not just enough to know the "who," you have to know their "what" and their "why". The answers you must become most savvy with are about their needs, their desires and their aspirations and "why" do they have them.
So, becoming an iconic brand is not about logos, taglines and the color of your website. It's about creating a distinct, memorable and relevant experience at every touch point that can transcend industries, position your business as the premium brand of choice and has the ability to create a legacy by being relevant from one generation to the next.
I frequently talk with women in business, especially coaches, and we often get to the topic of marketing. Specifically, it has to do with why their marketing isn't getting the results they desire. As we continue in conversation, we discover the real reason their marketing isn't working. Most times, service-based business owners begin marketing products and services without having a strategy, but they also don't have a brand.
For some awards shows, the red carpet arrivals are much more fascinating than the awards show itself. The 68th Emmy® Awards aired last night and I found it to be a little underwhelming. Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes fell a bit flat and the audience seemed to be slightly disconnected from what was happening on the stage, sometimes. It was certainly an exciting night for the big winners, Game of Thrones, VEEP