Monthly Archives: July 2012

Branding Your Leadership Position

To establish your brand, start with the reason your business exists.  Think about your mission and why you do what you do.  The #1 immutable law of marketing is the law of leadership.  That means being the leader in your industry or community or wherever you can exert influence as a leader, and thus own the brand.

If, for example, your business is a funeral home and there are two other funeral parlors in your community, how can you be the leader when it comes to funeral homes?  What can you do to brand your services?

First, think about how you want to be known as a funderal home in the community.  Study your competitors and figure out how you’re different.  Then do some more research and think about how you want to be known.  Analyze your options to own a specific niche and carve it out with a solid marketing strategy.

Options might be to position your furneral home, or brand, as the most economical of the three in your community.  The opposite position would be to be the most expensive. How would your brand justify the cost and provide the value for the price if that’s the option you choose?

Is the brand the way you take care of customers?  The extra value you provide, such as providing white gloves to pall bearers?  Perhaps it’s the uniforms your employees wear?  Is it how you greet guests coming to view the deceased?  Or is it the follow-up you do after the services iwth the family?  Perhaps it’s the relationships you have with area churches.

This used funeral homes as an example.  Your business, wherever you’re located or whatever stage of business you’re in, can take advantage of the niche you possess.  Whether you believe it or not, you have a niche you can use to build your brand.  The possibilities are there, but there are also times when you need an independent, third party perspective to help you see the potential.

Trail Riding

A few years ago, when I was searching domain names, I discovered was available.  A month or so ago, I finally decided to do something with it.

To tell a brief story, mega-cattle ranchers needed new markets for their beef after the U.S. Civil War.  With the war over, the demand to supply troops dropped off so the ranchers hired a trail boss to move his large herds to markets in Kansas and Colorado.  The markets were along the railroad lines connecting east and west.

The trail boss hired drovers to supply the drive with fresh horses, cowboys (because many really were boys) to drive the cattle, and a cook with chuckwagon to feed the crew.  After branding the cattle with the rancher’s mark, they began what could be a six-week trek northward from central Texas, through Oklahoma (Indian Territory), and into the markets at a pace of roughly 10 miles per day.

Fast forward to today.  Business owners need to get their products to market, sell them, and make some profit.  Hiring a trail boss to handle that process still makes sense so the business owner or entrepreneur can concentrate on running their business.

Hence the concept of Brand Irons is to Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand.

The need for drovers and fresh horses may be gone, but the need for sales to move products and keep the company alive is a requirement.

The need for cowboys to take care of the animals has been replaced by every employee serving your customers.

So, what is your brand?