Tag Archives: Wealth

An Overview of Branding

Nike has its famous “swoosh”.  Rice Crispies has the “Snap, Crackle & Pop” triplets.  KFC has its unique fragrance.  So, you know that giant companies are distinctive by a specific sound or taste or smell or touch or visual.  But so what?  How does that help the all-important entrepreneur, the small businessperson?  The answer is that it does not help at all.  The way large corporations brand themselves is totally unrelated to how you brand yourself or your small business.

A startling statistic on branding is that 97% of entrepreneurs are not branded.  To an outsider (that means a prospect), every Realtor, every butcher, every electrician, every professional, etc. all look exactly the same.  So, it is a struggle to compete since you don’t stand out.  To get business when you are not branded, you need to play the odds – that means make lots of sales calls and hope for the best.  Or, you can spend lots of money on advertising or social media or whatever.  But, it is all a huge waste of money and time.  So, most entrepreneurs simply cut their prices to get business and hence live dangerously on razor thin profit margins.

The next startling statistic on branding is that the few entrepreneurs who attempt to brand themselves choose the wrong aspect of their business or themselves to brand.  They choose what actually everyone else in their industry does also, hence they are not unique or branded.  Examples include claiming that you are excellent in customer service or available at all hours or been in business for over ten years or you continually upgrade your skills by taking ongoing courses.  When I ask such misguided entrepreneurs if there are others in their industry who do customer service or have long hours or lots of years of experience or keep educating themselves, the sheepish answer is always “well, yes, I guess”.

My first comment about branding yourself is not going to seem very helpful, but it needs to be said.  There is no rule or formula for branding, for if there were, everyone would follow that rule and all brands would be the same and that would ruin the brand.  For you see, a brand has as its purpose to make you stand out.  Being the same as everyone else is the opposite of a brand.  That means that branding has some science and a lot of art.

You need to select an aspect of what  you do that truly stands you out, makes you different, has others exclaim “wow”.   Think of all the five senses – notice what others in your industry talk about and see if you can select something else to use to create your brand.  To use a product example, Proctor and Gamble owns Folgers Coffee.  Maxwell House was the world leader.  Folgers wanted to overtake Maxwell.  So, the Product Manager of Folgers studied all other coffees and noticed that they all focused on their taste.  So, Folgers focused on its aroma.  Instead of TV commercials showing smiling people sipping coffee and exclaiming how wonderful it tasted.  Folgers created TV commercials showing people smelling he aroma of coffee and waking up refreshed, without even drinking.  The result?  Folgers raced past Maxwell House to become the #1 selling coffee in the world and has retained its position for decades to this very day.  Notice – Folgers is not any different now than when it was #2.  The taste nor the aroma have ever changed.  Just the branding.

Products, people, businesses – they all can be branded for greater sales and higher profit margins.

If you wish to learn about branding from me and indeed actually be branded by me, simply attend one of my powerful branding experiences:

The Death of an Icon. The End of an Era.

Co-founder of Apple Computers, Steve Jobs passed away yesterday after losing his ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.

I have always loved his revolutionary products and have been an advocate for Apple for many years. He has forever changed the way we consume information and embrace technology. We often discuss marketing, branding and product launches; Steve Jobs has set a bar that we can only hope to aspire too.

In his own words he expresses his philosophy of death elegantly:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

The world has lost one of the great visionaries in history. Yet he continues on as in inspiration to all of us that seek innovation, perfection and success. Our condolences to his family and the folks at Apple Corporation, and all who admired him.

Raymond Aaron

Coaching is the Way to Double Your Income

Today’s economy presents many financial opportunities. Many people will disagree with that statement, but to the trained eye, a recession is a virtual gold mine. Finding a financial coach or a mentor can be a way to double your income.

Let’s use your children as an example. If your daughter was interested in gymnastics, you would go out and find a gymnastics program in which she could get the best training available. She would be coached and mentored in a way that would foster her abilities and shape her gymnastics career.

What if your son was a blossoming baseball player? You would certainly find the best baseball coach in your area, and give your son an opportunity to learn and grow as a baseball player. If both of your children had a high aptitude for math, you would find a tutor, or a math magnet program that would nurture their abilities in math.

The point is, no matter what activity your child chooses, you feel obligated to find an expert in that field to work with your child and give them the opportunity to excel at it. You inherently want the best for your children, and recognize the need to give them an environment that provides the best opportunities in whatever they enjoy doing.

Now let’s talk about you and your desires for a moment. Most of us have a career or profession. We all like to consider ourselves to be good at what we do for a living. What we chose as a career many moons ago is a part of who we are in some ways. So what about the areas of our lives in which we are not experts? What do we do for ourselves in those areas?

Take finance for instance. When we have questions about a mortgage, or an investment, most of us will do some research and make the financial decisions that make sense to us. We may seek casual advice from our banker, or a neighbor who knows a little about what we are asking, but for the most part, we make decisions on our own.

When we buy a car, we will research the model of the car we want, shop prices at different dealers, and so on, until we make a decision on what we believe is the best deal, and then we buy the car. Again, we choose to make decisions in areas that we are not experts in based on limited knowledge of the industry we are dealing in.

This is a common contradiction that all of us share. We make financial decisions, buying decisions, career choices and so on, based on information that makes sense to us. Unfortunately, if we do not happen to be experts in any of those areas, we often make decisions that have adverse affects on our financial health.

In other words, we could and should seek out power mentors to coach us through life decisions that can affect our financial well being. These mentors can be found almost anywhere. They can be neighbors, family members or friends who have expertise in the areas that we do not.

By choosing this method of collective decision making, we are positioning ourselves to double our income.

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Goal Accomplishment is a Little-Known Wealth Secret

Have you ever looked at the person in the car next to yours at a stop light, noticed how nice their car was and wondered to yourself what that person has that you don’t? Not counting money perhaps, that person may know a few wealth secrets that you do not.

There are not many classes or seminars that you can pay for and attend that lay out wealth secrets. There are few secret black books that spills the beans on how to accumulate wealth. There are some tips that are available to everyone who is willing to learn and apply to their own lives that can help add to the bottom line.

There are plenty of resources on the Internet or in print that teach goal setting as a way to build net worth. Yes, something as simple as setting goals has warranted hundreds of thousands of books, articles and blogs to be written that support the concept. Goal setting is something that can help, but using that tool alone is focusing in the wrong area.

If you enjoy fishing as a sport, you would have some idea of the things you need to actually go fishing. You know that in most places, you need licenses or permits to fish in some waterways. You know that you need all sorts of gear to go fishing, most importantly a rod and reel. You also have some idea of the best time of day to go fishing, and the best places to go.

Knowing all of those things about fishing would get you to the watering hole of your choice at the right time, with the best equipment you could afford. So would you go through all of that just for the enjoyment of casting a line? No! You may enjoy some or all of the preparatory aspects of fishing, but the whole point of going fishing is to catch fish, right?

Goal setting as a stand alone practice is like planning a fishing trip with no intention to catch any fish at all. Goal Accomplishment is the key facet of goal setting, which is in turn a practice that many wealthy people have mastered. They have become experts at setting goals, and masters at getting them done.

Often, that is the chief difference between you and the guy you saw at the stop light. That is the little known wealth secret that we seem to miss on a regular basis. Anyone can set goals, but few people master the art of accomplishing those goals on a consistent basis.

Goal setting and goal accomplishment go hand in hand. Learning how to set good goals, learning how to define different types of goals, and most importantly, how to accomplish the goals you set, is a process that does not take years to learn. Understand that goal accomplishment is a wealth secret that does not require any special skill to master. It takes a simple systematic approach, and you will be well on your way to financial freedom.

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