Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Three Lessons in Huggable Branding

Your brand is your company’s personality.

It’s a story - good, bad or indifferent - embedded in the mind of the market, carrying whispers of a promise of what you bring to customers.

Good, bad or indifferent.

It’s a story people will either fall in love with, casually ignore or reject like a loser boyfriend. But, if you are serious about building a brand customers want to fall in love with and marry, you can begin by avoiding these three common branding mistakes.

#1. Trying to be all things to all people

Hate to break it to you princess, but not everyone is going to like you. Get over it and fast. Not everyone will think you’re the best at what you do, and many just won't care. Instead of trying to please everyone, focus on a segment that will actually connect with your "story". And love you for it.

#2. Trying to build a brand overnight

Unlike FedEx, your brand will not positively, absolutely get there overnight. It will require time and patience to develop your "story", determining what makes it unique. If you're looking for the quick fix, forget it. Just remember, most of your competitors are obsessed with short-term booty call results. Why think the way they do? You're better than that.

#3. Trying to win on price A brand strategy based on offering the cheapest prices is almost always a losing battle. It becomes a race to the bottom as competitors drop their prices to match yours, creating a downward spiral to see how low you can go. Profits shrink to the size of crumbs and now you have to ask whether those morsels are worth fighting for. Instead of focusing on price, focus on offering value and something remarkably different in the way of an authentic "story" customers can believe in.

Few small businesses avoid these common mistakes better than Jim Gilbert's Wheels & Deals, otherwise known as "Canada's Huggable Car Dealer".

There might be 22 other car dealers in the Fredericton, N.B. market, but only one that calls itself "Huggable" ... and has the imagination and courage to do so.

And while this "story" might not connect with everyone, it does resonate with a large enough customer segment that has created staggering growth for Jim's dealership since the re-brand first unfolded back in September of 2006.

And, as the owner and Chief Visionary Officer, Jim has displayed the necessary patience to let those results happen.

Will you?

"Building a brand ain't about selling four wheels and a piece of tin. Look around you. Everyone's got four wheels and a piece of tin"


East Coast Gal said...

Good one Gair, thanks!

Gilbert said...

Love it,
I am Jim Gilbert and I Wanna be Your Car Dealer