Stephen Melanson, from Melanson Consulting, gave a great presentation on Verbal Branding and the Networking for NonProfits Fun Night Out on May 6, 2010. This is part 3 of his presentation. In it he explains how Verbal Branding can help you keep your brand even through long meetings.
A transcript follows the video:
So let’s say you have this beautiful Verbal Branding concept and because we know that people are going to be genuinely curious about it because you built it that way. That will happen if it’s done correctly. They are going ask you what you mean, they will be genuinely curious. But the reason you’re still branding is because all you’re doing is telling them more about the one or two concepts you just told them. You see? You’re still talking about your brand, you’re still talking about why you are different and better, you have not lost your brand yet and you’re three to five minutes into the conversation. Trust me by that amount time most times your brand is gone for most people and most organizations. But now we’ve changed that. But here’s what happens, they are so intrigued that they want to have you in for a meeting. So we want that.
But there’s a problem with that. Maybe it’s a two hour capability meaning or even an hour doesn’t matter. Anybody want to guess what the problem with that is? You’re going to have to tell him all the stuff and you may very well was your brand. Because remember what I said, and I need you to remember this. Even after a two hour meeting, people are only going to remember one or two things about you regardless. End of story. You need to know that going in, and you need to handle the interaction accordingly. In fact this two hour meeting they were talking about they might just as likely remember less, because you’ve given them so much information. Does that make sense. So we’re branding here. By far the best way to get attention and to sell is to brand yourself as different and better during any interaction.
Here’s the rule. So we’re talking about some details that might come up down below the top portion of this pyramid, this is the rule. Those details are important if they relate to your differentiation, or they are not importance. Now please understand I’m not saying they’re not important intrinsically. I’m saying from a branding standpoint they are not important unless they relate to your brand at the top. The accounting function of a company or an organization is critically important, but will it help you sell? No. Ok? That’s the rule. So and it for a simple reason, if it doesn’t relate to the reasons why different and better, then from a sales and development and fund raising and sponsorship basis they are not important those details. But here’s the really, really, really good news. Is that the positioning at the top of the pyramid, the reasons you developed that makes you different and better, give value, add value to all those mundane details.
Here’s a couple examples. This is a real client from awhile back a real non-profit their job was to create educational curriculum. Ok? They’re positioning offer was proven results and sustainability. That’s what they were offering the marketplace. Now I’m going to call out one thing. I used the word offer very advisedly. If it is not an offer to the marketplace, it can’t be verbal branding. It can’t be a slogan that doesn’t mean anything to anybody. It has to be an offer. Ok? So here’s how this works. Does that non-profit have flexible programs, yes, but their competition does too. Do they do training, yes, but their competition does too. Very experienced? Of course they are. But their competition is too. All these things their competition probably has, probably talks about and it levels that playing field. However, because they are offering results, proven results, and sustainable programs that will last after they leave. That makes those details more important and more valuable to the client. That’s the logic of this pyramid. What conversations do they want to have? Well, if they talk about some of those other things without it being in the context of their brand, then they’re going to lose sponsorships and money and attention all the things we want. But if they have the conversation based on those two ideas, that’s the conversation they need to have. Does that make sense?
Ok. A marketing firm, gee this reminds me of strangely of Lisa Morrissey’s company, a marketing firm. What’s their positioning offer? That they will help clients re-advertise, listen to this, re-advertise at every client touch. Could be spoken, could be the Web site, could be an inbound phone call, could be an outbound phone call, could be a newsletter, it doesn’t matter. This marketing company will help their clients re-advertise at every single client touch. Ok? So does that marketing company do research? Yes, but so does the competition. Are you following this? Are you following the logic? Do they do competitive analysis, an internal audits of all sorts of things? Yes, but the competition does too. Why are they better? Because of what was at the top. What conversations that they need to have? That they will help their clients re-advertise.