Want to know who the best salesperson is on your team? It’s not your Director of Business Development, and it’s not the marketing team you’ve hired to create an amazing PR strategy. It’s your loyal customers, clients, fans, and followers. What we call and what are often referred to as your “Brand Evangelists” – the people that will sing your praises and tell everyone how awesome your brand is.
The trick to creating these raving fans is arming them with information. Sometimes – especially when dealing with people who are unfamiliar with your industry – all it takes is a little education.
As a branding company, we educate clients and potential clients on the value of branding – and how starting with “why” leads to a better “what”. It would be easy for us to churn out pretty designs and blanket marketing strategies that look nice and sound great, but the value of brand building is that it is backed with research, intentionality, and purpose.
When it comes to branding, most folks think very black and white. The world likes pretty logos and flashy websites – and isn’t (usually) thinking about goals – which directly relate to the value of what we’re able to do here at Proof. When we truly understand why you need a new website (for example) – we can attach real value and suddenly that investment of $20,000 makes whole lot more sense.
The same is true for the wide reach of your audience. They’ll come to you when they’ve defined a specific need – a pain that needs a cure – but they’re likely not realizing the potential of what’s possible. They see what’s directly in front of them and it’s up to you, savvy brand owner, to educate, equip, and empower your audience with the know-how they need to make the best possible decision (which, of course, is working with you, right?)
What You Can Buy vs. What You Sell
I never tell anyone that we design logos and websites. I describe what we do as providing creative solutions. Yes, there are specific deliverables included in the work that we do but, more importantly, we develop brands to grow and evolve from where they are today to where they desire to be tomorrow (and beyond).
It’s the difference between what you can buy versus what you sell.
At Barista Parlor, here in Nashville, you can buy a cup of coffee and a sausage biscuit (and you should). But they sell an experience. Every cup of coffee is hand-poured. Every biscuit is made to order. It may take 20 minutes for it to arrive at your table, but it’s 20 more minutes for you to watch them work (their open-space concept encourages it), 20 more minutes to do some excellent people watching, and 20 more minutes to enjoy the company of whoever you’re with.
At Proof, you can buy a logo or a website, but we sell branding. We sell the value in vision-planning and goal-setting. We sell the importance of “why” and understanding (deeply) the “who” and “what”. It’s not for everyone (and we respect that), but it’s what we do, and the minute we move away from the real value of what we sell, we embark down the slippery slope of being just another commodity.
Customers need to understand why it takes 20 minutes to make a cup of coffee or why you should sit down with a branding company to talk strategy for two days before doing any actual design work – because it’s unexpected. It’s unique. It’s what sets you apart. It’s your distinct value-add.
Walk through your process. Show how your product is made. What makes your brand different? What makes it the best? Tell your story in a way that’s memorable and demands to be shared by your brand evangelists (best customers) – who are undoubtedly the best salespeople on your team. Yes, even better than that one biz dev guy with the ridiculously firm handshake.
Educate. Equip. Empower. When your customers clearly understand “why” and “how”, they’re much, much more likely to buy whatever you sell.