Every business presentation must reinforce the brand. The brand is the way your company is perceived in the market place. If your presentation is about yourself, if you are a consultant, for example, then it’s about how you are known.
The brand is about your values, your place in the market, the quality of what you offer, and the instinctive reaction it brings about when you or your company is mentioned. Everyone is a brand. It’s just that some are better known than others.
What’s your favourite car, washing machine, soft drink? What is it you like about them, and where do they stand (in your mind) against the alternatives? Now think about famous politicians, footballers, business leaders. What do you think about them? You probably have a clear impression of them, and opinions about them, even if you have never actually met them. That’s branding.
In simple terms, reinforcing your brand means telling your audience more than what you can do. It’s saying, “We can do this for you because …” That “because” is your brand, it’s what distinguishes you from alternatives, and your product or solution must always be related to that.
In these competitive times, it is increasingly important for us all to distinguish ourselves from our competitors. To help you focus your mind on your own brand values, here’s a 6-point plan:
1. Know what you do – for others. Yes, it is important to know what you do, but don’t focus inward. I say a bit more about this under Point 6, but your starting position is to consider what your market wants, and how you can be of commercial benefit to others.
2. Identify a pain that you can remove. Is there a weakness that your listeners encounter, to which you have the solution. Focus your ‘offering’ on magnifying the pain and then showing how you can remove it. You then become the long-awaited Solution.
3. Do something right. Apart from removing a pain, there could be something positive that you could do, something that adds to the collective good, something that no one else has thought of doing.
4. Mix with the right people. We all need reinforcement, and we get that from like-minded people, whose own thinking reassures us that we are on the right track. If you network, be selective and don’t commit to regular meetings that lead nowhere. If you don’t feel uplifted after spending time with certain people, and if they don’t understand the things you say, it may be time to move on. Remember, too, that we are judged by the company we keep.
5. Drop the toxic folk. Some people are just plain bad for you. Maybe they are chronically negative, maybe they don’t respond well to your enthusiasms, maybe they drag you down in other ways. Leave them to the professional therapists and move along. Don’t let them infect your mind or use up your energy.
6. Project your one defining benefit. What’s the ONE thing that defines you and distinguishes you from the following pack? Spend time finding out. Get feedback from those you trust. Challenge your first thoughts about it. Then make it the core of your business offerings and everything you say about yourself.
Finally, why not add your own thoughts about branding in a comment below?