“Heroes are born every day
but, a fool
is born every minute.”
— B. Iversen
We’ve identified 5 steps to any successful brand or business. Most successful businesses stumble upon these steps almost accidentally. The ones that struggle or fail are usually missing one, two or three of these 5 critical steps. Here’s the little list of the Big 5:
The 5 Steps:
- Branding (why you exist)
- Design (intention)
- Communications (a strategy)
- Advertising (includes PR)
Most businesses do a copacetic job with no research, no real brand message or persona, they usually have a decent or good design (logo or logotype), virtually no real communications strategy, and rely on advertising, public relations or networking to meet their income needs. These missing or half-baked steps are sub-optimal. They’ll lead to difficulty in time.
For instance, a well-thought out, planned strategy is always optimal to mere tactical responses. Tactics are single step moves whereas a strategy has several advanced moves and is ultimately comprised of a series of tactics.
The purpose of BinkNyc Culture is to backtrack and get all the 5 steps dancing in line. The tighter a business is before pushing forward with a PR or advertising campaign, the better. This refined approach produces predictable and measurable results in the hands of a seasoned marketer, ad man or publicist. Yep, that’s us.
When I’ve tried and tested this with businesses over the 25 years, it works predictably. This happens with little effort if planned correctly and with a little practice. Oh, and discipline.
If these 5 steps are executed, even with moderate precision, the Brand supports itself and actually brings customers to you without you reaching out to them at all. It’s amazing.
Any great Brand knows their customer better than their customers know themselves. I’ll use a metaphor to explain this because the intelligent people I’ve met get a firm picture and visualization in their minds eye.
Building a business is just like building a house or building.
The first step before deciding on a property to purchase is to know that you are building on solid land. This requires surveying the land and doing Research. It’s astounding how many people leave put this step. 95% of them will be out of business or hit a low glass ceiling in 5 short years.
This Research will tell us what the available client base might be and what that client wants and their lifestyle. Research also tells you what steps to take and what clients or customers search for in the market. Backing up into our building metaphor, it is just like getting a survey of the land. It’s Research which is based in factual information. That’s always the first step. Get the facts.
The second step is Branding. This word is grossly misused in the vernacular but it is just like the basement of a house. It is the foundation that holds a house in place, like a rock. It tells us how high, wide and deep a building can be made and if we are able to do a two story house or an income producing skyscraper. This naturally depends on how wide, deep we go and how tall you want your business to be. We hardly ever consider the foundation of a house or building we enter into but, this foundation (Brand) makes it all possible. This foundation is built so when the heavy rains fall it doesn’t wash the house down a river. Again, the Research will tell you what brand personas and metaphors are available among your competition.
The third step is Design. The design you use, as the face of your company, should be based directly from the findings we have discovered from the Research and the Brand (the first two steps). Back to the building metaphor: the survey of the land tells us what steps to take and how deep, far and wide we can build the foundation. The Design is where you intend to place the windows, doors, ceiling height, and room sizes.
The fourth step is Communications. This is how your clients and customers want to be treated. What you say and how you follow up with them keeps the business flow incoming and steady. It is also a plan as to what to say to clients and do to get to engage or re-engage and convert them for an up sell. Our building metaphor utilizes plumbing, a/c and heat, water, gas lines, electricity and telephone/wifi as metaphors on how the building (or business) communicates with the external world (clients and customers).
The fifth step is Advertising. You already know what this is because you see it all the time. If you have used a publicist in the past, they’ve probably went over briefly as to what your research might be, what your brand might feel like, what a design might look like and ways to advertise your business to the people and out > through the media. In our building metaphor, these are the most fun tasks in putting the final touches on our house or income bearing property. They are the furnishings, paint colors, door handles, carpets, curtains and window treatments, desks, chairs, couches or beds and all the pretty things we like to shop for.
Here’s the challenge.
Before surveying the land of a building or home, you would dig a hole to put in a foundation. Would you start by buying all the beams, iron framing, studs and sheetrock, windows, doors and door knobs, electrical conduit, plumbing, vents, a/c units, the stove, sinks and toilets, plates, knives, forks and spoons, and window treatments first?
Would you dig the hole first and pour the concrete and give it time to dry before testing it for stability?
You know the answer to this one. 😀
There is a Process and order to businesses and building a business so you don’t have to advertise or use PR schemes to convince clients to come to you. This approach hardly ever works and usually leads to a pricing war. These tactics rarely work today in America. We are in the digital age. Advertising and PR are cheaper to get than ever before.
If you survey (research) the client ecology and brand (place brain tattoos) directly into their skulls of why you do what you do, they come to you through recommendations and a fantastic use of skilled word-of-mouth campaign.
Back to a real-time business application of this metaphor and technique. I’ve spent the better part of 12 years refining and mastering it.
It is without fail that you can set up a tent on a lawn and sell products and procedures and line your pockets with the money. This happens all the time with upstarts and works well for business owners at carnivals, festivals and on the street, but when COMPETITION comes around with a building (business) that is more permanent and stable; one who did their research; knows their customers better than their customers know themselves (branding); design something that reflect the brand and fits the customers deeper needs, wants and desires; communicate with clients and customers in a way where they feel cared for, special and respected, and having each client that walks in the door become a business’s ambassador and biggest fan… pr and advertising become bold, highly profitable and very promising endeavors.
Today’s media ecology, particularly in social media, has driven a $72,000 full page insertion in Playboy into something tangible that can be done for pennies on the dollar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The question that arises in my mind is how many PR firms and Ad agencies can and do show repeated instances of measurable and tangible results. More importantly is how many of these firms can guarantee their methodology and execute plans in generating those results?
I hope this adds some clarity to your current or future endeavor(s). Good luck!
BinkNyc transforms a company into a culture,
grows businesses into movements,
improving peoples lives.