“There are many different ways that you can find your position in your market, but definitely understanding that if you try to be all things to everybody, you’ll just blend in with everybody else.”
— Stephen Houraghan
Listen to the complete episode here:
Brand Authority, what is it? How do you elevate your authority?
- Boils down to your reputation
- Perception in the client’s mind
- Impact on the market
- It’s really about YOUR reputation
- Going above and beyond is a basic foundation for building a great brand
- You can not change your visual
- Your Brand is like an iceberg
- We can all see the tip
- Below the surface, there is so much more going on…
- What questions should we ask our agency when we are looking to rebrand?
- They should be asking customer-centric questions.
- The logo isn’t the first thing they should be looking at…
- Focus on your customer
- If you try to be something to everyone, you become nothing to everyone…
- Brand equity is crazy valuable.
- START with strategy…this will make the long-term branding effectiveness
- 26:20 – be the little voice in the client’s mind when they think about a niche area…
- Look at what the competition is NOT saying, and build your position to solve that issue…
- 29.00 – You DON’T have to turn away clients that don’t fit into your brand strategy while you’re still growing.
- 33:29 – branding is the fuel for your marketing…
- MelissaData – https://www.melissa.com/
- Brand Master Academy on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/BrandMasterAcademy
A little more from Stephen:
IT’S TIME TO RETHINK BRANDING
Most talented brand builders are not getting paid enough and compete with cheap, low-quality, inexperienced operators.
It’s an issue that has devastated the industry.
Thankfully, Stephen has come up with the solution by creating a proven system that provides the keys to a structured framework that helps freelancers and agencies evolve into brand strategists.
His program has helped over 20,000+ students, including clients that have gone from charging just a few thousand dollars to winning projects worth over $60,000. Stephen’s unconventional approach has transformed struggling agencies into highly paid and sought-after brands.
On his ‘Brand Master’ podcast, Stephen has interviewed leaders in the branding industry, including Marty Neumeier, Douglass Davis, Michael Janda, and Sunny Bonnell.
Stephen is on a mission to revolutionize the way branding professionals operate. Because branding is not about pixels and logos.
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About The Guests:
Stephen Houraghan is helping designers and brand builders learn how to build brands using strategy, psychology, and creative thinking.
Listen to this podcast and get inspired, and become a better brand strategist. Learn how to solve bigger problems. So, what’re you waiting for? Tune into this episode right away and get one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
Elevate Your Authority As An HVAC & Plumbing Specialist & Choose Your Work w Stephen Houraghan
Tersh Blissett: [00:00:00] hello everyone out there.
Stephen Houraghan: Podcast, world. Hope you have a wonderful day.
Tersh Blissett: You’re listening to it. Watching service business mastery podcast. I’m your host Tersh Blissett, sitting virtually next to my host, Joshua crouch. Today we’re gonna talk about branding and we’re gonna go kind.
We, we typically do high level stuff here. Don’t get too much into the details. Today, we’re gonna do it a little bit different. We’re gonna go in detail as to what branding is. We have Steven her hand. Oh man. I only said it once and I nailed it the first time. And yeah, anyways we’re gonna go more
Josh Crouch: into the strategy behind the brand because most people think of brand as my truck or what it looks like, the visual, they don’t really.
They don’t really, and this, I guess this kind of segues off from the episode we did with Cassie, when we talked about bringing that brand to life and giving it more meaning in your community and stuff like that. And Steven is an expert at this and he’s taught, I think over 20,000 students brand building strategy and stuff like that.
He’s got a lot of knowledge and one of, one of the things I ask some good questions for him.
Tersh Blissett: One of the things that I’ve learned as a, just to being a business owner and learning in general is that if I can teach it, then I know it. Like I can absorb the knowledge. Pretty well, but when it comes time to regurgitate the knowledge, that’s when, if you really understand it or not,
Josh Crouch: you, that’s a really interesting point, cuz we’re starting to do that with our internal team training.[00:01:30]
So we’re training someone, having them do a little studying and then they have to teach it back to us and then they realize where they’re weak. So it’s a, it’s an interesting topic. That’s a totally different topic on train your team. But it’s a, yeah, it’s a very good exercise in making sure that your team.
Really, truly understand something and can actually teach it back to somebody else. Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: And we’ve done this in tech, on our technical side of things like capacitors. Cause I get a lot of uhhas and yes, mans. And so whenever it’s time to alright, now I want you to teach me how to do a capacitor or how to test the capacitor, how to O it out all that good jazz.
And then you get the deer in the headlight look, and you’re like, Oh resident really paying attention. I was just saying yes. So you’d shut up. I’m very aware of that. So that’s why I want you to teach me back. So anyways, I’m excited to, to have Steven on the show and to go a little bit more into detail and learn the why behind.
Your brand and what that should be when it comes down to it. But yeah, let’s get started with show.
Stephen Houraghan: Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven figure revenue, mark, do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Let tur BLI and Josh crouch, be your guide in getting you to the top here at service business mastery tune in, as they sit down with world renowned authors in business leadership and personal growth who share valuable insights about management, marketing, pricing, human resources, and so [00:03:00] much more.
Let their nuggets of wisdom, gold guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever growing business. Cure your hosts, tur and Josh.
Tersh Blissett: Hey, welcome to this show,
Stephen Houraghan: Steven. Thanks guys. Thanks for having me. Absolutely.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. Thanks for staying up with us. You’re coming. He’s coming to us from Australia. So it’s about 11:00 PM over there right
Stephen Houraghan: now. Yep. I’ll be hit. I’ll be hitting the hay straight after this one.
Tersh Blissett: heard that. So tell us a little bit about you and your background and everything
Stephen Houraghan: you got going on.
Yeah. I’m based out of Sydney, Australia, and that’s that’s where I created my agency and I’ve had my agency for over 10 years, my background before that was actually in finance. I was working in the stock market just before the GFC doing stocking options trading and advisory.
So I had a complete shift from that point of view, but the. Background of my finance went hand in hand with the stuff that I started to do with branding, which was moving into the strategy side of things. So with my agency, I was providing design services, branding services. And what I started to notice was that there was a change in the market.
We had a lot of these online platforms come about at the time it was Esk and. Upwork and you have freelancer.com and things like that. And the relationships with the clients changed a little bit on this side [00:04:30] because they started to go online for kind of cheaper services.
So I started to look differently at what I was doing and the area that I started to explore was strategy because there was. A ton more value in terms of what the brand is about. So that led into this bigger market of realizing how much of an education gap there was within that space. And that led into brand master academy.
So that’s the brand that I run today and I teach branding professionals and entrepreneurs had to build their brand through strategy rather than just looking at their brand as this visual. There’s so much more involved in what your brand is, and that’s what I teach on a day to day basis.
Josh Crouch: That’s awesome.
We have so we mentioned Dan Elli. He’s actually at least think he’s in the house. He did comment on the live stream. So I got his attention this morning when I tagged him in the post, which was great. So I guess let’s start diving
into. The million dollar question, what is a brand? And I know it’s a really vague question, but let’s start peeling back the onion a little bit.
Tersh Blissett: And Whoa. Before we get started, was that too soon? I have to know in Wisconsin, is there a G in onion?
Josh Crouch: Come on, man. We got don’t pick on the Northern boy here. We got an Australian accent. We got a Southern. I don’t have an accent
Tersh Blissett: Okay. Anyways, continue on Steven.
Stephen Houraghan: So yeah, that, that’s a pretty big [00:06:00] question and it can go as long or as broad as you want, but really I would distill your brand into your reput.
Quite simply that’s that is what your brand is. We build businesses. What we try to do is we try to sell those businesses to our audience. Now, the decisions that they make and the decision making process that they go through, take a lot of things into consideration. The impact that you have on them, through your messaging through your social media channels, through your marketing, that really shapes their perception.
And then they’re going to choose which brand. Suits them. But a lot of that comes down to the reputation, the perception that you have created in their minds. So a lot of people think of the brand as the visuals and, you can’t blame entrepreneurs getting in thinking that their brand is a logo because, that’s how it’s evolved in this.
Day and age where it’s so easy to start a business. And, there are so many, branding professionals selling their services, whether it’s logo, design, website, design as branding, but really it muddies the water and confuses things brand or branding is really about your reputation and building that reputation and nurturing that reputation with your customers.
Josh Crouch: Why do you think so many people. And is it just because it’s the visual element, the first thing people see, it’s oh, they have great branding. When all they do is see a truck or they see [00:07:30] a logo and they really don’t know anything about the actual strategy or like the company culture that plays a part in their branding and stuff like that.
Do you think it’s just because it’s the first thing people see that’s like they either have good branding or bad branding just based on that. No,
Stephen Houraghan: I, I think I, I. When I think of a brand I think of an iceberg that I tend to think in, in metaphors and visualizations and the iceberg is one that I think is very relevant when it comes to a brand, because.
We can all see the tip of the iceberg. We can all see the logo. We can all see the visuals. Now, those who are in the branding industry, who work within the branding industry, certainly within strategy, know that below the surface, there is so much more going on, but everybody above the surface, they don’t necessarily need to know that we all have relationships with brands.
You have a relationship with branding. I have a relationship with branding, Every man. And his dog has a relationship with branding, whether it’s getting a can of Coca-Cola or, wearing a pair of Nike trainers, we all have relationships with brands. And if you think about the brands that are in your life, that’s when you can really start to peel back the onion with a G.
And start to understand, what brands actually mean, because I, if you think of a brand that you like, what Josh what brand do you like? What’s a brand that’s in your life. Where, you’re part of their cult following under armor.
Tersh Blissett: Under I
Stephen Houraghan: [00:09:00] knew that one.
So when you think of under Armour, to you, more than just the logo, right? That what under Armour has done is they’ve created a perception in your mind about what that brand means. And that goes beyond just that logo. They’ve created a tribe of people who all share similar characteristic, similar traits, similar beliefs, and they’ve done all of.
Through strategy by understanding who their audience is, what their audience is passionate about, and then communicating that to them in a way that’s gonna resonate with them.
Tersh Blissett: So let me ask a question. How, when, whenever Josh mentioned. We see a brand and we’re like, okay, that’s a good brand. Or especially in our community.
And we think about a brand that’s done pretty well. A lot of times. Josh is right as a business owner. I assume that it is the logo that’s, what’s created that brand. Is there a time or is there. A, an amount of subconscious that we’ve been, there’s so much of us that we’ve seen about this brand.
We’ve recognized it in the community and then it comes full circle and now all of a sudden we’re like, okay, yeah, that’s a good brand.
Stephen Houraghan: Yeah, absolutely. And, it’s a great question. And we, there are so many different touch points when it comes to a. And, modern brands today can have upwards of a hundred touch points and a touchpoint can be anything from the website to the social media page the blog, the video, the customer [00:10:30] service even the onboarding process, the email drip sequence that they might get.
These are all touch points, and this is how our minds are shaped. And our perceptions are shaped about what a brand means. It’s not through one. Interaction. It’s not through one logo, it’s through multiple different angles, multiple touch points, and they all shape our perception about what this brand means, the value that it can potentially hold for us and where it fits into our lives.
Absolutely it’s not just about the logo. When you see the logo, what that sparks is recognition, you see the logo and that, That visceral connection really connects your memory to all of the other experience that experiences that you have had with that brand. And then collectively that becomes that brand’s perception.
So the logo of course, is that tip of the iceberg. It’s what is front and center. It’s what people remember. And it’s probably why people. Think of a logo when they think of a brand, because it’s the easiest thing to remember, but that’s just a visual cue to take us back to all of our experiences that we’ve had with that brand, from, from when the plumber knocks on your front door and you open that and he’s got a big smile and a handshake to, the invoice that comes through the emails that they send through.
These are all individual touchpoint. And when they see that logo, they remember all of those touchpoints or they’ve created a perception in their mind about what that brand means.
Josh Crouch: So when it [00:12:00] comes to somebody who is thinking about rebranding, okay their business is grown or they just wanna do it now because they don’t wanna wait until later.
Cause they’ve seen other people have success with it. When they are looking. And I know most, a lot. Like I mentioned earlier in this, before we got on in the home services industry, I know we have one person who does really well, but that’s not the fit for everybody. What should they be looking for in an agency before they hire someone?
Or are there some questions they should be asking to make sure that this is they’re gonna get a good result from working with this?
Stephen Houraghan: Yeah, one of the, one of the best questions you can ask an agency is about their processes. How do they go about developing the brand? Now, what you would hope to hear are customer centric responses, because at the end of the day, your brand exists for one reason.
And for one reason only, and that is to serve the customer without that customer, your. Doesn’t exist. There’s no reason for your brand to exist without that customer. So everything starts from the customer and understanding who that customer is. Is a huge part of the branding process. When you think about, I need to rebrand or I need to get a brand, you might think, okay, I need a logo.
What looks good out there? And that’s how a lot of freelancers, or certainly, self-taught designers might go about designing logos and, that’s where the confusion really starts to come in terms of what branding is [00:13:30] because. These same operators are selling their services as branding services.
When really they’re not really branding services, they’re design services, they’re providing designs, they’re providing logos, but they don’t go into, the detail that they should. If they’re supposedly selling branding services, because branding is really about understanding that customer it’s really understanding their world.
So what’s going on in their lives at the moment. What kind of challenges are they going through? What desires do they want? What kind of outcome do they want to achieve? What are their fears as well? If they don’t fix this problem now? What’s gonna happen down the road and what are all the emotions attached to those fears and to those desires, because that’s where
you can really connect with your customer and your audiences by tapping into those emotions.
So if anybody thinking of rebranding. Or thinking of going out and getting a brand for the first time, they need to remember the the iceberg metaphor and realize that, their brand goes a lot deeper than that. If, and if they can align with an agency that thinks along those lines, that thinks customer first and looks at into the market, looks at the competitors and tries to find a unique position for that their brand in the market.
That’s easily memorable. That’s when you can, that’s when you can start to, to believe that the agency that is going to serve you will be serving your best interest because they’re thinking about the customer and [00:15:00] in thinking about the customer, they’re thinking about your brand.
Josh Crouch: Man.
That was a, that was an awesome response like that, that there’s a lot of stuff really packed in there that I think is very valuable for anyone listening to
Tersh Blissett: this. Yeah. The whole time you’re saying stuff, I was like, oh, I got a question about that. Oh, I got a question about that. I got a question. Yeah.
it’s fire away. One of the things that , that’s awesome. One of the things that I. I did pick up on it, especially it’s towards the end of my a D kicked in on me. The, what I heard was that you need to make sure that the agency that you’re working with is going to be Looking at all the competition as well, to make sure that you don’t blend in.
A white van with a blue logo for an air conditioning company or a blue and red logo is probably not the number one best choice as far as it comes for air conditioning. But I, what I really love what you said there is. the agency asking questions that are customer focused or customer centric questions, which is it’s really, that’s a really great point because in the Facebook groups, a lot of us.
We see this person’s brand and it’s oh wow, that’s awesome. Or their logo and their new van wrap. And I was like, wow, that’s really cool. And then this one over here is oh, that one’s completely different. How does that work? Their clientele is commercial clients. And then these and then you have other people who like I’ve talked to a 45 million a year company and they.
Half their vans aren’t even wrapped the other half. The rap is just like their name and like just a [00:16:30] regular old font. And they’re talking about rebranding and I was like, I’m not the branding expert, but I’m thinking you, you did something right. You’re at 45 million and you’ve you don’t have a logo on the van.
You’ve, you’re definitely figuring out some aspect of it, but whenever it comes to commercial side of things, commercial work, the client. Might not really care about the van that you pull up in. So it’s a a different sort of branding. Can you go into it? I don’t know detail about that a little bit.
Not necessarily, I guess not comparing ourselves to everyone else we’re seeing in the Facebook groups and having to have the same logo as them, because I see some people who have gone through and rebranded. What I feel like is a hundred times, like three times in, in the period of a couple years.
And it’s wow. I remember whenever I did a rebrand, I hated my life. I had all this stuff that I had to change up constantly. And so could you go into a little bit of detail?
Stephen Houraghan: Yeah. The one thing about rebranding is that you don’t you don’t want to do it Willy nilly. You don’t wanna do it for the sake of.
Brand equity is, is the reputation and the value of the reputation that you have built up over time. And if you were to completely change your brand and like you said, there’s, there are companies out there who are changing their brand all the time. Then, it’s, they might as well not have a brand because all you’re doing is confusing people.
[00:18:00] What you want to do? What you’re really doing is you’re. Your reputation, you’re building that momentum and that’s what your brand helps to create. It helps to create that momentum if you’re doing the right things with your brand and by the right things. If you’re going above and beyond with your customers, which is branding at the end of the day, really branding is relationship building.
It’s building that reputation and then giving. Your brand, a visual outlet for people to remember the experience that they’ve had with you. But if you’re doing the right things by your brand, and you’re starting to build up that reputation, which is brand equity and people start to recognize your brand as
associated with that brand equity and with that reputation, then it might not be the best idea.
To rebrand or certainly to rebrand again and again, over a short period of time. You really and this is why strategy is so important because if you’re just changing visuals, Willy nilly, it’s it tells that there’s no strategy involved because it’s just knee jerk reaction stuff.
Whereas if you build your brand from the ground up, really considering who the audience is, and you really invest in finding a position, a unique position in the market, that’s a little bit different from your competitors. Something that’s easy for your audience to remember. Then you can start to build the visuals around that and go.
This is what we want to be remembered for. This is the reputation that we want to build. Now let’s build our visual [00:19:30] identity to help us associate with that reputation. And once your brand is developed through strategy, then you don’t change. So quickly because you’ve done the hard work you’ve done the due diligence.
You understand who the audience is. You’ll understand who the competitors are in the landscape, and you’ll understand the little reputation that you’re trying to build. That’s different from them. And you’ve built your visual brand from that. So it’s, it is definitely important to. Be rebranding all the time.
I get it. If you’ve if you’ve created a business and you’ve you’ve cooked corners early on, and you’ve started to generate a bit of momentum. There’s a bit of revenue in the bank now, and you wanna go back and do things differently. You wanna do things correctly then go back and start with strategy.
And then once you create your visual identity, you can be confident that visual identity is gonna stand the test of time because it’s been developed from the strategy. Can I ask
Josh Crouch: you, can I almost going like back to the very beginning? So somebody,
Tersh Blissett: No, Josh, you’re not allowed to ask,
Josh Crouch: not the beginning of the show.
I don’t wanna go back cuz you guys all make fun of me in my accent. But let’s say I’m assuming there’s gonna be people listening to this that might be considering. Doing something with their brand. What would you tell them? Are there some things that you would tell them or questions you would have them ask themselves internally if they are ready for that process to happen?
Because I think a lot of times people see again, we have [00:21:00] that like social media FOMO, right? Oh man, that, that was such a cool brand. I want to do that too. And then they just jump into something, but they’re not actually their business. Isn’t ready for it yet. What kind of advice would you give people for
Tersh Blissett: that piggybacking off what Josh said, you mentioned a second ago, like when you first started out the business, maybe you didn’t have the funds to, to do this.
You like create a visually appeasing logo. At what point is it okay to do that? To spend the money. I know of some people who they like that was their first investment. Was that before they invested, even in a van was spending a lot of money getting that process done and maybe they didn’t necessarily, or have the strategy built out.
But yeah, that.
Stephen Houraghan: Go ahead. Yeah, look I think we, I think all listeners here, you guys included, we’ve all we all have the same experience in that starting a business for the first time. It’s a bit like walking into a room blindfolded. You’ve got no idea where things are and you’ve just gotta fumble yourself around in the dark.
And, you learn pretty quickly where the table is when you bang your knee. So you know, it’s the same within business. It’s the same. You’ve gotta learn these things. You’ve gotta make these mistakes, but definitely one of the biggest mistakes I see. And, going back to your question, Josh, what should, what questions should be asked?
It should be really at the, at ground. Zero is about that customer. Now, there, there is this uh, [00:22:30] this saying within branding. If you try to beat all things to everybody you end up meaning nothing to anybody. So if you try to go after the entire market, then it’s more difficult to become remembered or to
own a position in such a broad market, because you’re fighting with all the other sharks within that space.
Nothing is really there to make you more. To this to this market, but if you. Have an affinity with a certain group of people. If you understand a certain segment of that market a little bit better than let’s say the broader market that is potentially a position that you can go in and try to own. So the position that a brand tries to own is a little place in the mind of the audience about what that brand.
Means, and I’ll give you a little bit of an example here. And this is probably one of the most famous examples of positioning, but was back in like the late sixties or the early seventies Hertz were dominating the car rental market and Avis was wasn’t doing great at all.
They were losing market share and they came up with a positioning strategy to change their messaging and kind. Sit into this number two position. So they’re they created a tagline saying we’re number two, but we try harder. And what they did in doing that was they put a message out into the market that assumed the second place [00:24:00] role.
But at the same time told their customers that listen, we’re, we know we’re not the biggest, but we try. And that created, they created this memorable position in the mind of the audience and they turned it around. They started to claim back market share, and they they doubled their revenue the following year.
So that’s what positioning is. It’s about defining a reason to give your audience as to why they should remember you over all your competitors. Because at the end of the day, you’re out there fighting with the exact same people who are trying to. Your customers. And if everybody’s saying the same thing, then all you have to do is look at them and look at what they’re not saying, what all of these people are not saying.
And then think to yourself. Okay there’s a certain segment of the market over here, and I know what their problems are and I know what their challenges are. If I position my brand as the obvious choice for them, then I can dominate that market. I don’t need all of the other market. I don’t need all these.
I just need a decent slice of this market and I’ll be super profitable. So positioning is really important. So asking who your audience is, and then
finding a compelling reason to give them, to choose your brand over your competitors. So
Tersh Blissett: how do we how do you know How do you figure out what they’re not saying?
Like it’s the force for the trees kind of thing. Like sometimes we’re so much into the weeds that we don’t realize that we are doing the exact same thing. And we’re saying the exact same thing that everyone [00:25:30] else is saying, how do you pull yourself back and say, all right, let’s step back and see what they’re not
Stephen Houraghan: saying.
Yeah. I, and look, it’s a good question because we do get, tend to get caught. In our own industries and sometimes we’re too close that that we can see. The obvious thing that’s going on, but really when you start to, to look at your brand from a strategy point of view, from a strategic point of view, that positioning is so important.
So that’s why we start with the audience. We start with the audience because and. I won’t lie. This is difficult when, especially when you’re starting out there’s this it’s, it’s counterintuitive that you need to close the door to all this other potential business to say, no, we’re only gonna focus on this
Tersh Blissett: now say no that so that you can start saying yes.
Stephen Houraghan: Yeah. Yeah. But look you don’t have to do that. You can still go after a position and serve other clients until you get so much of the market that you have positioned for that. Then you start closing the door to other business. So yeah, it, you can get too close to it. And if you are too close to it, then it is difficult to see.
Look, we’re all saying this, but what can I say differently? And that’s why I’m saying you go back to the customer, you go back to defining a specific segment of the market that you want to go after. Now, this is different for everybody. You might have a type of service or a type of [00:27:00] technology.
Or a type of relationship or a type of background where, you’ve got the skill sets or the network to be able to go in and be the expert in this place in a way
that your competitors can’t. And that’s obviously a position that would be a little bit more obvious to someone with a bit more expertise in a certain area, but, you might have An aunt or an uncle or a family member with a certain type of business.
And you’ve known this type of business your whole life. So you have a bit more insight into who the business owners are and the challenges that they go through and you can use that to resonate with them. So there are many different ways that you can find your position in your market, but definitely understanding that if you try to be all things to everybody, you’ll just blend in with everybody else.
And if. Are able to segment a slice of the market. It’ll be so much easier to be more relevant to them. And if you’re more relevant to them, it’ll be so much easier for them to remember you.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. That’s great. That’s a super important point. I think that. Can’t be hammered home enough.
I did want to get to one, we had a live question here in the feed, which I’ll pop up on the screen and read it. They said branding is also only effective if people see it. What’s the percentage of your marketing that should be spent on branding versus direct marketing. Now, obviously. We don’t expect you to give an exact answer cuz it’s different for everybody.
But do you have a, some, a ratio or something that you generally give advice on for [00:28:30] people that ask this question?
Stephen Houraghan: Look, of course you need to mobilize your message and that’s what marketing is. But the strategy is the method. The brand strategy is the method and the marketing strategy is the mode.
So if you go out into the market and you start spending dollars on marketing, Let’s say Facebook ads, for example, then if you don’t have a strategy, if you don’t know exactly who your audience is and what you want to say to them, then your marketing is gonna be more expensive because Facebook and the algorithm is not going to be able to find the exact people that you’re looking for because you have not defined them in your branding strategy.
You have not defined who you’re going after and you don’t have a clear picture.
Casting of wide net. So you are it’s, your messaging is going to be less relevant. So your cost per acquisition is going to be higher. So if you don’t do the right things in the beginning, in the long term, your marketing is going to be more expensive, but of course, developing your brand as a vehicle is just the.
You’ve gotta, you’ve gotta fuel that vehicle up and send it out there. And that’s where marketing distribution comes into play. So marketing and brand. Are like ying and yang. You can’t have one without the other. There’s, they’re reliant on each other. And if you do it in the right way, if you build your brand through strategy and you understand [00:30:00] exactly who your audience is, then you’re gonna be better prepared to put a marketing strategy together because you’re gonna know.
Who they are. You’re gonna know where they hang out and you’re gonna know the types of messages that they’re going to respond to. So I know that there is a tried and tested path to market for entrepreneurs who don’t have. Any insight into branding, which is get yourself a logo, get yourself a website and go out and start throwing money at Facebook ads.
But if you don’t have the awareness and the understanding of who your customer is, and exactly what you want to say to ’em the emotional hooks that you’re going to use, the triggers that you’re going to use within your copy, then your marketing is going to be more expensive. And you’re gonna you’re gonna start leaking money on the front end because you haven’t looked after the back.
Tersh Blissett: What I hear you saying is that we need to focus on an avatar. Like we need to determine our avatar or our targeted audience for our marketing and. Whenever I first started service emperor, I had a challenge with this because I wanted to do all of the, we used a company called Melissa data to gather that information based on our clients our past clients, and because it was brand, we were a brand new company.
We had a challenge that we didn’t have enough data. To know who our target audience was. And at that point I’m like, just give me the rich people. That’s what I want. people. And but in, in reality, it, we figured out that we really did well with certain [00:31:30] individuals, but it took us a year or so of gathering that information.
And it was a struggle for a year for us there. But then it, once we figured out
that avatar, then it was very easy for us to create, develop Ad spin and advertising in general that targeted those individuals that, so it was, they, it was a lot more receptive to them than just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks type
Stephen Houraghan: things.
Yeah. Yeah. And look, if you have the data to call upon, that’s great. If you ha, if you’ve got the pixel data, if you’ve got the analytics data, if you’ve got all of that data then that’s great, but there, a lot of people build brands. Or create companies and they’re in the position where they’re like, okay, we need to build a brand.
And that’s when they start asking the question for the first time, they don’t have any data to go on. They and they’re looking into the market going, who are we gonna serve? How are we going to be different? And that’s why I said before, it’s different for everybody deciding who that audience is going to be.
And you don’t always have the data to tell you who your perfect customer is. And just going back to what you said before, I just wanted all the rich people. Somebody else might decide that they. Just want the rich people as well, but they might get a little bit more niche in exactly what type of rich person that they’re going after.
What type of house, what type of suburb. And from there you can start to understand and build that client avatar, that audience persona. As to what this type of person responds to, are there challenges and problems the same as the rest of the market [00:33:00] or are they slightly different? And what triggers can you use to really resonate with those?
Can, is that going to affect your brand identity? Are you going to have. A more luxurious looking brand identity to set yourself apart from the rest. So have a black van instead of a white van and have some, traditional type that looks more like a high street fashion brand than it does a plumber, for example, because these are the type of people that you want to go after.
You wanna align yourself with them, you want to trigger them and you want to you. You want to be the go to for this this avatar . And if you start showing up in this neighborhood time, and again, with this black looking van that’s completely different to all other plumbers.
And, you decide that you’re gonna, you’re gonna dress slightly differently to, to appeal to that luxury market. Then all of a sudden you’re positioning yourself in a more strategic way than just slapping a logo on a white van and getting out there into the broad market. Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: And it’s so crazy how the colors really.
Matter when it comes to that thought process also. And that’s another, that’s a rabbit hole we could dive into that. We’ll have to do that on a different day, but yeah. Josh, do you have any other questions?
Josh Crouch: No. Steven, where can people find out more about you?
Stephen Houraghan: Yeah, brand master academy.com. Is the website.
There’s a YouTube channel as well. There’s over 150. No, sorry. There’s over 250 videos up there now. So if you wanted dive deep into all the stuff that I’ve been talking about [00:34:30] from the positioning to audience personas, customer journeys, differentiation strategy, there’s videos on all of that.
Josh Crouch: you that’s Steven is that’s brand master academy for the YouTube channel, right?
Stephen Houraghan: Same name, correct? And yeah, if you just if building your brand through strategy is something that you’re into or that you believe you could be into and you certainly should be, if you’re building a business and building a brand, then just vowing all the videos on that channel will give you.
It you’ll have more branding knowledge than 99% of your customers or 99% of your competitors. That’s a
Josh Crouch: Great resource. So I appreciate you sharing that. We’ll make sure that we put that in the show notes as well.
Tersh Blissett: Yep. No worries. Hey, we appreciate everything. If anybody has any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, Josh or Steven.
And thank you again, Steven, for coming on the show today and really sharing
all of this with us because it’s. It, we it’s easy to dive into the weeds on some things, but then it’s very easy for people to have FOMO. Cuz as an entrepreneur, a lot of us shiny object syndrome. It’s Ooh, this is we don’t even need to be focused on this.
I need to be focused on this. And I really appreciate you coming in and setting us straight
Stephen Houraghan: a little bit on that. No problem at all. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Tersh Blissett: Absolutely. We’ll see you guys. Thanks guys.
Stephen Houraghan: Thank you for listening to [00:36:00] this episode of service business mastery. Now that you are equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation, you are one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams. If this episode has been helpful to your business journey, don’t forget to subscribe to the show, leave a rating and share it with other owners as well.
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