This particular insight came after the preliminary work we did for a client. You see, the client is in a seasonal business and had discovered us a little too late since most of his commitments for this year were made. But one of the things that we talked with him about…the main thing, in fact, is that the quickest way for him to ‘own’ his market is to become the ranking expert in his field.
We are Brand Engineers. Helping people build and market their level of expertise is a big part of what we do. And this is especially true working with smaller, entrepreneurial businesses, and medium-sized family-owned businesses that want to go to another level, both of which seem to be in abundance in this particular part of the province.
These are businesses that don’t have the kind of budgets that it would take to build their brand exclusively through conventional marketing and communications. But even if they could, it’s not something we would normally recommend, And here’s why:
Through essentially what amounts to years (or tons) of experience, we have found that the best way for entrepreneurs to build their brand is to build it around them. To create a brand that stars them, that showcases their expertise, their in-depth knowledge of their products and/or services, and their attitude towards customer satisfaction.
It doesn’t matter what area of business you’re talking about — people respect knowledge and expertise. People listen carefully when an expert speaks. And they follow the expert’s advice, especially if they are unsure about being a do-it-yourselfer.
It’s Not A Big Trick. But It Is A Trick Nonetheless
Most of what we need in terms of the raw material to help someone become an expert or guru or influencer generally already exists in one form or another.
Most often, it’s a matter of re-tooling. But the nuts and bolts of it do require a combination of strategic discipline, good old-fashioned coaching, and the ability to contour the story so that it really makes the entrepreneur, not so much the star, but the source of information and insight.
The advantages of building a brand around the expertise of the entrepreneur are simple and straightforward:
- Credibility: As opposed to focusing exclusively on the attributes of their product or service, engineering a brand based on expertise sets up a great environment for storytelling, which is proven to be one of the most effective ways for people to assimilate insight and gain knowledge.
- Trust: It’s something that’s always easier to build one-on-one. Creating or building a brand around the expertise of the entrepreneur fosters an atmosphere of sharing and openness, and a genuine person-to-person feeling, which is the key to building trust.
- Comfort: In this style of brand building, the entrepreneur’s expertise is based, for the most part, on his or her real-life experience, and that makes it easier for people to put it into a context they feel comfortable with and can easily relate to.
- Loyalty: Over time, the continuity of good, simple, expert advice, coupled with trust, inevitably leads to brand loyalty. Because brands built around expertise have a much more human character than those built around cold, hard facts and ‘aren’t we great’ platitudes.
Can Every Entrepreneurial Business Benefit From This Kind Brand Engineering?
We can’t say for sure. But here is what we do know. Out of all the businesses we have met so far, we have not found a single one that could not benefit in some tangible way from building their brand around their expertise. After all, Ron Popeil, Mark Cullen and Dave Nichol, gained a lot of personal exposure and financial success from their expert personas.
We believe Brand Engineering through showcasing expertise is the best way to differentiate yourself from your competition, keep existing customers loyal, generate solid new revenue streams and build your own lasting legacy. If you would like to learn more, give us a call.
A Parting Thought
“Wise people understand the need to consult experts; only fools are confident they know everything.” ― Ken Poirot