Build Brand Not Melange

Your ability to deliver a solution as a consultant or professional changes over time. It becomes more complex and nuanced.

At least it should if you get better at what you do.

Does that mean your brand should change?

Yes. And no.

Yes.

  • Yes, you need to make sure your prospects are aware of your increasing abilities.
  • Yes, you need to give them specifics of how you are now more qualified.
  • Yes, the why of your decisions needs to be shared.

No.

  • No, your basic brand positioning should not change.
  • No, the brand perception you deliver should not shift.
  • No, add capabilities, not products.
  • No, you’re after brand strengthening not extension.

My letterhead carries this positioning statement: Trust-based strategies that build businesses, careers, and lives of joy on and offline.

Here is how that statement evolved:

Circa 1990: Marketing strategies that build business.

I know that is a bit like a pickle label but over the years the basics haven’t really changed that much. As I began speaking as the Networking NInja it shifted to:

Early 90’s: Business development strategies that build businesses, careers and lives of joy.

That’s because people began using the things I taught to change their approach to their careers or used that knowledge to find their “someone special.” The additions came from conversations with folks that wanted me to know the impact I had on their lives.

Then came the era of every business acquiring a website. Never one to pass up an opportunity…

Somewhere around 1995 it became: Websites that make rain & business strategies that build businesses, careers and lives of joy.

That’s when I discovered what I now call 30-Second Marketing. I’d stand up in a meeting and say: “We build websites that make rain” and sit down. Three to five people would ask to talk to me afterwards. I closed 60% regularly.

My promise to them was this, “we will build you a web site where you can change every word and picture by yourself. We will, however do everything in our power to keep you from messing up the navigation.

Websites that make rain was eliminated from the positioning statement about 1998. I still provide strategic direction, copy and suggested visuals for web sites. (Yes, I’ll recommend how to bring yours into the current world. E-mail a request and we’ll talk.)

It looked like CRM (Contact Relationship Management) was going to be the next big thing. I jumped in with both feet and actually got licensed by some early providers. The trouble with CRM was and is that it complicates a very necessary capability and asks salespeople to be clerks.

2000 or thereabouts:  Trust Based Strategies that build businesses, careers and lives of joy.

Those of you that know me well know that I consider Trust the linch-pin of all successful marketing. This video puts it in perspective:

I shifted gears and very quickly moved into how to use the new digital technologies to automate marketing. Those early days of kludging auto-responders to information sites to stores to you name it were like the wild west.

But it gave me the last few words to put into the position:

Just after 2010: Trust-based strategies that build businesses, careers, and lives of joy… on and offline.

I’ve never shied away from the fact that I offer strategies to build businesses. My skills in Networking over laid the skills developed to become the CEO of an ad agency. The ability to acquire and sell web-development  skills added early adopter capabilities that translated to CRM and on-line marketing. Ongoing research into the psychology of Marketing and Sales led to the comprehension of Trust as the key factor throughout.

Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com

Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

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About Jerry Fletcher

Jerry is the CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. which he founded in 1990. He is an expert at business development and has changed the way the way new business is acquired and introduced on three continents. He is known to meet with clients in dining rooms and boardrooms. He stopped counting successful introductions of new products at 207.

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