How We Set-up Our Brand is How We Attract Our Ideal ClientApr 05, 2021
I asked a question on social media last week...and it sparked some great conversations!
As I got the responses from many of you there were in either one of two camps...
- Most wedding florists (90%) said they create their brand to be personal that they wouldn’t sell. Which I completely get, you do have to set yourself apart to have your unique qualities. It's what gets the couples attention!
- The other group were more retailers, who although create a brand that is personal to them, they create a business to sell and make sure the brand is established so it could be passed on/sold at some point to another.
I would venture to say that there is strength in both. And, that my friends is how I was able to sell my business last year. I owned Bergerons for over 20 years (my first 10 years, I worked out of my home before I bought Bergerons). Your brand is a reflection of you but builds on a solid foundation that is worthy of selling and growing beyond you.
Last week’s blog asked, “How do you like your brand?” This week, let’s talk about building a brand that lasts as well as being personal to you.
Honestly, BJ Dyer said it better than I could have myself, so I thought I would put his post from one of the Facebook groups here:
"When I give lectures on branding, I often use breakfast cereal as an example. No one has a personal relationship with any cereal brands.
Each and every one of them is specifically branded to attract a specific market. They target YOU specifically to get you to interact with them, to build a relationship with a product.
Children's brands are fairly obvious. Lucky Charms. Count Chocula, Fruit Loops, Cocoa Puffs, Cap'N Crunch.
There are brands that are directed toward unhealthy older people who think a cereal can help them. Like Special K., Fiber One, All-Bran, Cheerios, Total, Product 19.
The "natural" personalities go for Kashi, Simply Granola, Kind, Ezekiel 4:9, Alpen Muesli, Shredded Wheat.
There is the legacy market of folks who want classic simplicity throughout their lives: Corn Flakes, Life, Rice Crispies, Post Toasties, Honey Bunches of Oats.
Athletes get targeted with their brands: Wheaties, Magic Spoon, HighKey Protein, Catalina Crunch, Patagonia Provisions.
There are more examples, but you get the idea. These are all just cereals, and they all use some combination of about 6 ingredients.
This is what marketing through branding is all about... tailoring your message to the target market. Designing the copy, the colors, the typeface, the kerning, the vibe, the music, yes every detail is crafted to appeal to a specific type of person.
This is why the florists that say "we just want to serve everybody" never really take off. They just float along with the customers who somehow found them and decided to stay with them. New customers aren't ever sure if they are right for them at first.
I haven't asked his permission, but I don't think Arthur Williams would mind me using his great business as an example. Arthur and I are longtime friends. His flower shop is terrific, less than a mile from mine on the same street. He is very successful. So are we. Yet we have a completely different customer base.
A large percentage of MY customers are high end types who want their friends to know they are high end. Their kids go to private schools. They are members of clubs and serve on charity committees. They are law firms and accounting firms. They are Silents, Boomers, and GenX. They want unusual and creative, but tailored. I'm located in a grand, historic hotel.
Arthur's customers are Xennials, Millennials and GenY. Arthur is heavily inked, and many of his clientele are tattooed. They want unusual, outside-the-box, and a little "messy." Arthur's shop is located in a re-gentrified mop factory.
Our ads look very different and are seen in separate places. Our logos represent what our markets are looking for. Even if you take Arthur and me out of the equation, our BRANDS have the personalities that OUR people are looking for."
THIS is the perfect example of how we brand our businesses to stand out in the marketplace yet still be personal to our clientele.
How we set-up our brand is how we attract the right clientele.
Yes, we do need to make it personal because that’s how we relate to them. We do need to build it with longevity in mind and how we can grow and expand our team.
Once your team starts to grow, the more you need to continue to show your personality in your brand otherwise, you become stagnant and get lost in the sea of florists out there.
I remember when I purchased Bergerons from it’s 2nd owner. (For the first 10 years, I worked out of my basement and then bought Bergerons, which was struggling at the time.) The previous owner had decided to retire and then stopped marketing Bergerons and the business took a nosedive.
It was hard for her to sell and made it difficult for her to find buyers. By the time I got it, the shop was down in business over 60% from the previous year. She would close early and would take random days off and just close the shop because she was the only one working at the shop at that point.
I was determined to grow it and make it thriving again. And, I did, within 2 years I had it turning a profit and doubled the sales that she was making. Then one day, she called just to see how I was doing.
We chatted for a bit and I was excited to share with her how wonderful it was doing and how much we had grown. I told her that I planned on doubling the sales again and that we had moved to a larger location.
Then she said it.
My heart stopped in that moment and it’s something I’ll never forget.
“Just make sure you don’t build it too large that you can’t sell it later”.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. It burst my bubble. No one had ever said something like that to me and I wasn’t sure how to take it.
I remember getting off the call and having so many mixed emotions. “I don’t plan on selling it.” “Why would she say something like that?” “Why is building something big not good?” Why wouldn’t someone want to buy a big business?”
Actually, this limiting belief ended up staying with me and knocked me down often in the ensuing years. I didn't realize that it had snuck its way into my mindset. It took working with a coach over 10 years later to see what I had done. Every time I built the business up to a certain level, sales-wise or team-wise, I found myself taking it back down or changing it in some way to make it smaller. What had I done to self-sabotage myself and my business?
This was a major breakthrough that changed my business, took me to 7 figures and a team of 14 people. It also led me to make bigger steps and see my brand as something that can be personal and big enough to sell!
So tell me, do you have limiting beliefs around how you are building your brand and your business?
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