GET BRAND READY. Free Webinar with Carolyn Parrs, CEO of Mind Over Markets
Do this before you brand anything
A well-designed brand and position can put you light years ahead of everyone else your market. But before you invest a dime in creating a brand or going through a rebrand, listen to this video on how to GET BRAND READY. I explain what you need to do before hiring a brand professional, graphic artist or your cousin so that you can avoid the costly mistakes so many businesses make.
Whether you are branding a product or service – or yourself (I have done all three), don’t miss this content-rich webinar to learn how to effectively prepare so that you create a powerful, memorable green brand that cuts through the clutter and delivers!
“Carolyn and Mind Over Markets have provided outstanding insights into the fast growing market of sustainable business for our members. Her counsel often means the difference between success and failure in this very competitive market.”
—Allan Oliver, Former CEO, New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce
“A golden recommendation for Mind Over Markets. They took our company to new heights. Their work is wonderful, creative, responsive, resourceful, and very reliable.”
–Amrita Reitz, President, BioShield Healthy Living Paints
There is nothing like finding the right partnerships and collaborations to expand your reach fast. If you do it right, you not only increase your influence dramatically but your income as well.
Within a matter of weeks, by partnering with a local non-profit that was close to my heart, my company, Mind Over Markets, won a 24K Branding contract from one of their members. And that’s not all. Soon after, I was invited to speak at an event produced by the non-profit. My 45-minute presentation resulted in a robust marketing project a few months later.
For those of you that know me well, you know that my main mantra is “We’re All In This Together”. That exact phrase has helped me win marketing partners and lucrative contracts for several years now. Why?
Because I deeply believe this. And so do others.
In fact, more than 60% of small businesses today are working together to find new customers because it can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to grow a business. Actually, I feel we women are naturally wired to connect and collaborate. To work in community. To know we’re all in this together. And can do something about it.
But some of the mental roadblocks I often hear are “How do I find the right partners to work with, Carolyn? And then when I find them, how do I collaborate in a way that’s true to my brand while advancing my vision?”
Successful marketing collaborations can quickly move your movement light years ahead when you join forces through a shared vision. Join me next Wednesday and learn how you can do this too.
Here’s to the game changer in you!
– Carolyn Parrs
Carolyn Parrs has been working with game changers her entire life. She has trained them, coached them, launched them, and marketed them through numerous vehicles such as Mind Over Markets, her strategic marketing communications and design company that builds brands and a better world. For over a decade, she has helped emerging and established purpose-driven businesses and organizations excel in messaging, brand presence, social media, marketing communications and more.
Carolyn is also the founder of Women Of Green, an robust online community and multi-media blog dedicated to “Turning Up the Volume” of the feminine voice in green. And most recently, she hosted and co-produced the global online summit “Women As Game Changers” featuring 27 powerful women who are changing the game on the planet for good.
Want to keep your customers happy? Want to keep them coming back? Infuse some soul into your brand. Toms Shoes knows how to do it. So does Southwest airlines. They have taken the top-down branding model and turn it sideways. So instead of being in a hierarchical relationship like manufacturer/buyer or airline/customer, they have created a reciprocal relationship with their customers, or as I like to call them, their “tribe”. This brand mind-shift can happen when you infuse some soul into your brand.
What do I mean by soul? Seeing your customers as partners instead of someone to sell to. Becoming “one force with a common goal”. This mind-shift opens a whole new world for brands. This, in turn, helps you become meaningfully different in the marketplace. But remember, this is not a brand strategy or tactic, it’s a paradigm shift.
Here are 5 ways to begin.
1. Serve don’t sell
When I started my career on Madison Avenue, I worked for one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. I was a young copywriter in the creative department working on brands like Brim Coffee, Vicks vitamins, Zest, Ivory Shampoo, Tropicana and the list goes on. The agency’s motto: It isn’t creative unless it sells. Every commercial had to have 8-9 “copy points” crammed into a 30-second spot in order to sell, sell, sell the brand. The result: A culture that’s sick of getting sold to.
Smart marketers today know how much that can be a turn off to their customers. So instead of the sales pitch, they find ways to serve them instead. How can I really help you? What can I serve up to make your life easier or solve a problem? What can we do together? When a brand reframes their relationship as service, instead of selling, soul happens.
2. Give to give – not to get
This is a hard one for marketers. We were trained from the beginning that “if we give you this, we want that in return”. But just like in a relationship with someone you love, if there are strings attached, they know it. Now I am not saying that you give it all away all the time. What I am saying is when you give, let it be just that. Giving. That creates soul. And that’s a customer turn on.
The beverage company, Naked Juice, created a campaign asking their tribe to take a photo of themselves with their favorite fruit or vegetable and post it on social media. In turn, they would donate 10% of produce to charity. No strings attached. This campaign was wildly successful and engaged over 56K fans. Soul is good.
3. Engage, engage, engage
Social media has changed the game. Brands that stand on their ivory tower and drip out corporate messages in a silo, will be obsolete. Customers want to engage with brands. And the brands that create a community-like space to encourage that, get big benefits.
From the get-go Growstone, a growing medium made out of recycled glass, did that. They engaged with their tribe by asking them for help with naming products. Or giving away free t-shirts and encouraging growers to take a photo of themselves wearing it in cool places around the world. In under 3 years, their Facebook tribe went from 0-40K passionate fans. Why? Every communication we created was about eliciting a conversation, an idea, feedback, or a better way to do something. Our customers became brand advocates on their own. What could be better than that?
4. Commit to a cause or purpose
A Global Research Study called Brand Sustainable Futures polled over 30K people and revealed that 80% of consumers expect companies to play a significant part in resolving societal problems, from jobs to donations to minimizing pollution. Yes, people want brands to contribute to a meaningful purpose.
Now drive that home by taking this to a whole new level and become a purpose-driven brand. That means purpose, the “Bigger Why” you exist in the first place, is built right into your company’s culture. There are 7 essential questions to ask yourself to get to your Bigger Why. Stay tuned for that in right here in this column.
5. Let love lead the way
Now this may sound like the most unbranding thing to say, but it’s not. If you want to create committed, passionate, happy customers, love them up.
When I started my online community called Women Of Green, the Marketing Director of a green guide that showcased over 5,000 green brands asked me how I grew my tribe so fast. I immediately said to him, “Because I love them and they know it.” When your voice and heart are true, people know it. And that goes double for your clients or customers. They are human beings and can feel the difference between being talked at or talked with. Infuse your communications with a “feeling” of belonging, and you will infuse your brand with soul.
Carolyn Parrs is the CEO and Founder of Mind Over Markets, a strategic marketing communications and design company that builds brands and a better world. For over a decade, she has helped emerging and established green, sustainable, healthy, wellness and purpose-driven businesses and organizations excel in messaging, brand presence, social media, marketing communications and more.
She is also a certified Marketing, Business and Life Coach working one-on-one and in groups with entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and small and large companies to make profound change in their worlds.
Carolyn is the founder of Women Of Green, an robust online community and multi-media blog dedicated to “Turning Up the Volume” of the feminine voice in green.
She is the mother of two and lives with her daughter and pups, Heart and Soul. Carolyn loves to play hooky in the winter months to snow ski in the magical mountains of Santa Fe.
How to Reach Your Ideal Audience, Capture Their Attention and Create Lasting, Lucrative Relationships: A Free Master Class for Conscious Businesses
Are you having a hard time getting to your ideal audience or building your tribe? If so, you’re not alone. 70% of the conscious business people and entrepreneurs I surveyed recently said that was their Number #1 issue. And it’s no wonder, with all the marketing clutter and online noise out there today, it’s a miracle anyone hears us at all.
I absolutely love helping change-makers who are dedicated to making this world a sustainable, conscious and healthy place to live. If that sounds like you, please come! The world needs you more than ever. Let me teach you how to reach the absolute right people that need and want what you are offering.
One of the biggest challenges for a small, local business is getting noticed. The truth is that local businesses have unique advantages over the big boxers, and if they are strategic about it, they can carve out a sweet piece of the market pie.
The Good News
In recent years, there has been a huge resurgence in customers wanting to shop local and support the community. Emarketer recently reported the following: U.S. consumers are choosing small businesses because of the personalized experiences they provide compared with larger businesses. According to April 2014 data from AYTM Market Research, personal service was the Number 2 reason U.S. internet users preferred small businesses vs. large companies, cited by 52.7%. This trailed supporting the local economy (56.2%). What’s more, prices did not play a huge role in choosing small businesses. In fact, 61.2% of respondents said they would pay higher prices to support small businesses.
The truth is people are rooting for you to succeed! Here are 3 ways to help make that happen.
Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse
One of the biggest and most expensive mistakes I see with small, local businesses is putting the cart (creating a website or ad campaign) before the horse (doing your core branding work so you actually know who you are and what you stand for).
Brands aren’t just for the Big Boys. For local businesses, it more important than ever to create a distinctive look and memorable message to cut through the clutter and stand out. This also includes rebranding your company if it’s stuck in the last century. Rebranding doesn’t have to be a big, time-consuming overhaul that requires a mega investment. It can be as straightforward as updating your logo or graphic look. Giving your website a facelift. Or revamping your message so it reaches more of your ideal customers or clients. All of this has a direct impact on your bottom line. What’s more, if you are thinking of selling your business down the road, your brand is what companies buy. Not what you make or serve.
Find Your Customers and Give Them What They Want
I just did a survey to my email list and asked them what are the 3 biggest marketing challenges in their business. Number 1: Reaching their ideal customer or client. No wonder. It’s noisy out there! How do you get to the people that want what you have? Do what I did: Ask.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Who is the perfect demographic for your offer? (Ex: age, gender, location, income, marital status, education level)
Who are the thought leaders, experts or celebrities in your niche that your people might follow?
What are the most popular books or magazines in your niche? Who are the most popular bloggers and podcasters in your niche?
Where do your people shop? What retailers or vendors do your people buy from (related to your niche)?
Think of tools, software, resources they might use that relates to your area of expertise.
What are the most popular associations or professional organizations in your niche that your people might belong to?
What Facebook pages are “liked” by your people?
What Facebook groups do your perfect people belong to?
What are the most popular online discussion forums in your niche?
What are the most popular LinkedIn groups in your niche?
Stay tuned! I will be giving a free Master Class on this very subject in the next few weeks.
Rinse and Repeat
Now that you have a distinctive brand and know where your customers hang out, it’s time to work it. What I tell my clients is that when you start getting sick of hearing your message, you are on the right track. Consistency is everything. It takes 7–21 times of seeing, hearing and meeting your brand in some form for a potential customer to make an actual purchase. So launching a cool website or Facebook page is just the beginning. Now you have to develop a strategic plan and implement it to get your message heard by the people who want to buy your product or service. Caution: Make sure your strategy is specific and doesn’t include every marketing vehicle under the sun. For local businesses, it’s more important than ever to go deep with 2-3 marketing tactics that you work over and over and over again, than going wide with 5 or more you kinda sorta do. But no matter what, make sure your strategy includes a digital presence. This is where a small business can look BIG.
Need help with that?
Email me at carolyn at mindovermarkets dot com for a free strategy session to create a clear, powerful and focused strategy for your business in 2016.