The art of attraction
In business and branding, few things are more fatal than being a best kept secret. Twiddling your thumbs while you patiently wait for people to trip over you is simply no way to run things, unless your intended destination is straight into the ground.
To avoid this, you must do whatever you can to get people to notice you, which is no easy task given today’s congested, complicated, noisy and fast-moving world. In the old days, putting the word SEX in the headline of your ad (all capitals) would usually grab at least a few eyeballs. Nowadays, not so much.
The good news is that humans are genetically hardwired to take note of things that are different, and this shared trait can be used to your advantage. But it’s harder than you think, and falling short of the mark means spending more money than you otherwise would because you’re not going to get the attention that a compelling presence would otherwise provide.
To see many examples of this, flip through any local business publication and witness page after page of companies - big and small - struggling to present themselves in a way that is even remotely remarkable. Apparently they either have nothing of any note to say, or completely lack the skills required to say it.
To help you avoid this modern-day purgatory we’ve put together the following handy-dandy tips. They’re professional strength, and have been proven over time to help you get your business brand out front and center.
Be original, or different, or something
Assuming you’re not the only one who sells what you do, it makes sense to have some reason for people to choose you over another company. The sky really is the limit here, however I suggest you avoid flogging your newfound ‘purpose’ for this one. Few people will actually care, and most will see it as virtue-signalling bullshit.
As a better start point, answer this simple question: Why should customers choose you? If you don’t have a good answer, GET ONE. (see below)
If you don’t have anything obvious that makes you different, create something. Men in Kilts were able to differentiate themselves from every other window cleaning service by having their guys wear kilts while they work. A ballsy approach to be sure, but it seems to be paying off.
Oh, and if you can’t figure out how to effectively package your business in a way that is interesting and attractive, please hire someone who does that for a living. The world has enough forgettable crap in it already without you adding more.
Don’t try and please everyone
It’s not possible to be something for everyone, and you will run yourself, your people and your brand ragged trying. Some people are naturally going to like what you do and how you do it, and others will not. Focus on the former, and do more of whatever it was they liked about you in the first place so they will like you even more.
Describe your ideal customer
Since we already know you’re not going to successfully appeal to everyone, why not put some thought into the type of person who will be most inclined to like you? It’s not an exact science, but if you take the time to describe who that perfect customer might be, it will make your attraction (and retention) efforts more focused, effective and human.
Brands are built on consistency, so do what you can to make sure you look and sound the same everywhere, all of the time. Develop a strong brand style that is unique to you and stick with it. That’s the only way you’re going to build recall and recognition.
Don’t be deceptive
Nobody ever built a healthy business by actively disappointing people, and you will not be the exception. Successful businesses and brands require a foundation of trust, so actively promoting yourself in order to piss people off could actually be described as anti-branding.
Of course, once you’ve managed to attract those shiny new customers, you must then do what it takes to keep them coming back again and again. The goal is to get more customers to spend more money on more things more often. Sounds great doesn’t it?
In the near future we’ll be focusing more on how to align your brand’s experience with your marketing promise in order to get those new customers coming back. There’s no point in doing all this work if all they do is come in one end and go out the other, right?
In the meantime, stay safe, stay relevant and be human.