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As the saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time to plant a tree is today.”
The best time to start building a brand is before starting a business. But since most of us are not among the few truly great visionary leaders, it is never too late to build a brand now, or to refresh your brand.
When a business is sold, if it has brand equity accumulated in the market place over time as a name brand, its brand equity can multiply EBITDA 4 – 20 times, depending on which tier its valuation is. Typically, a third tier brand can multiply EBITDA 4X, while a first tier brand (such as Nike) can multiply EBITDA 20 times! (Robertson, Stevenson, Maximizing IP Value – guide for advisors and business owners, Metis Partners Inc, 2022)
But you don’t need to wait until you sell your business to reap the ROI (return on investment) harvest from brand building and brand marketing: Some of the small businesses branded by 10 Plus Brand saw business volume increase 45% in six months. For example, we have helped an independent commercial insurance agency expand its clientele from local northern California to all 50 states. Recently they insured a space station. Many other clients have experienced success stories like this.
What is our “secret sauce”? — We have been using our proven recipe for success, which will be explained in my upcoming book “How to Become a Brand – Decode, Create, Amplify”, and the accompanying online courses about our proprietary ways of decoding brand DNA, creating brand strategies, structures, and stories, and amplifying with digital brand marketing by leveraging AI and human intelligence.
If you want to get bits and pieces before my book and online courses come out, please subscribe to our newsletter: https://10plusbrand.substack.com/embed
I hear this over and over again from highly seasoned professionals and experienced B2B business owners. Did they miss something? — Yes, they missed what was beneath the tip of the iceberg!
Just like remote working and hybrid workforce is here to stay, conducting business online, at least partially, is the new reality accelerated by the pandemic. People vet you online first, AFTER a warm lead, before they decide to talk to you (most likely over Zoom first). And where do your prospects go to check you out? — LinkedIn and websites. (To prove this, try to Google yourself: the first thing that comes up is most likely your own LinkedIn profile. Your website comes up next if you have one. )
So if your LinkedIn profile and your website fail to connect with your prospects and referral partners, you’ve lost them. But you don’t see this below-the-surface, quiet but sure reality of the iceberg.
The pandemic has made people more digitally savvy and sophisticated–they often go further than the first digital impression, to check out your website’s ranking and standing and to ascertain that your business is legit and reliable.
If I see a website that is going downhill according to my SEO software, or worse, the home page says “not secure” without a simple SSL certificate, it is very hard for me to trust that business, and I am not alone in this regard. It will take a lot more for that business to regain my attention and trust, especially when there are plenty of competitors doing similar things.
So why not make it easier for your prospects and referral partners to hire you and refer to you, by creating a distinguished personal brand online? The lowest hanging fruit is your LinkedIn personal branding, and if you own your company, your LinkedIn company page as well. Check this out: https://10plusprofile.com/
I posted the following a week ago on social media: “Do you want to be one of the many, or do you want your business or personal brand to be differentiated as an influencer or an industry leader?”
“The difference between marketing and brand – marketing is 95% vs. top 5%.”
Take SEO (search engine optimization) for example. Most of the SEO marketing services, including those outsourced to India, the Philippines, and other countries, use Google keywords and SEO software such as SEMRush, AHrefs, etc., to find keywords relevant to any specific industry for optimizing content.
But others in the same industry or profession as yours are using the SAME keywords and the SAME software, doing the SAME search engine optimization by the SAME rules of the game.
So after you spend all the money on SEO, you end up just being among the SAME pool of competitors. Sorry to say–that’s marketing, plain and simple.
Brand marketing on the other hand (provided that you have first built a solid brand foundation) focuses on amplifying your own brand’s essence and your unique value propositions, your unique brand elements, in SEO, in brand promotional videos, in original blogging, in your website’s narratives. Results? — Your brand is elevated to be above the crowd. You get the most bang for your marketing buck. You are not struggling to grow just a book of business, you are growing a brand that attracts best fitting customers, solves their problems, and accumulates brand equity in the long run, — all in a consistent drip marketing manner.
I am writing a book, “How to become a brand – decode, create, amplify”, and will launch accompanying online courses. Before then, you can get bits and pieces from my blogs and my newsletters. Again, to stay in the loop for more insights and brand building tips, please subscribe to our newsletter: https://10plusbrand.substack.com/embed
© Joanne Z. Tan, written May 14, 2022
Edited by Susan Olson