In this fast flying and multiple moving society, trying to Brand your business to get even a decent amount of attention can be frustrating. The hardest part is dealing with the fluctuating market. You spend tons of time trying to learn how things work, but the minute you develop those skills and go out to use them, they become out of date. The public is no longer interested in what you have to offer, or there are so many other options that are often cheaper or easier.
Take Balloon Business for example.
For many of us as children, Balloons were one of the coolest novelties you could get. Party balloons, Water balloons, balloon Animals. They were a fun and easy option for just about any event or celebration and were sometimes just fun for the heck of it.
As we look through the development of the Balloon industry, many innovations and changes to Balloons as we know them have taken place. From round balloons to heart shapes, from heart shapes to squares, from balloon animals to Sculptured balloons. They have used balloons at children’s birthday parties up to the presidential inauguration. There are very celebrations that don’t tie balloons into their event somehow.
Yet and still, in this high tech era, balloons have started to fade out of the societal fad they once held. This creates a major dilemma for those who have dedicated their careers to balloons. With electronic signs, fancy flying robotic toy’s and plenty of new innovative decorations, it’s hard enough for anyone in a traditional decoration business to keep up with the ever changing new competition.
So what is a Balloon Business to do? How can a traditional industry compete with newer fancier ones?
In this factoid, let’s go over some simple to complicated ways to brand your business in ways that will keep the revenue flowing for years to come.
1. Focus on the Numbers
In any business, the key to getting more deals, is to creating more opportunities for more deals. If you are only focused on providing your service or product for one type of person, business or venue, you’re going to limit your opportunities. In business, the more people and other business you can talk to, the more chances you have of getting more business.
This is a fairly simple technique. Let’s use the Balloon Business for example again.
Say your Balloon business brings fascinating and creative decoration to birthday parties, graduations, weddings, ceremonies, business gatherings and general events. Those are all great and obvious places where balloons could be utilized, but they are not the only places to look. What about book signings? Movie premiers? Births? Novelty stores? Convenience stores? Contests? Talent Shows? Elementary School events? Roller Skating Parties? Live Music Shows? Performances? Ballets? Theatres? Bars? Holiday Events?
You may have tried many of these, you may not have. The idea isn’t that these are new ideas, but they are expanded ideas. If you can do birthday parties, why not bachelor parties? If you can do births, why not funerals? If you can do celebrations, why not do protests? I know many activists who would love to hold a Balloon that says what they are protesting about, instead of a heavy picket sign.
The more you expand your options, the more chances you get to sign new deals, make more sales and become more effective. Take some time to not only think of other areas you don’t already have your business in, but also to break down the area’s you are already a part of. The more things you can list that you do, the more valuable your company will seem. Don’t just put “parties”, put “cocktail parties”, “birthday parties”, “barbecues”, “Picnics” and “Reunions”.
2. Be Different
One of the most tried and true methods of becoming something is this world is to be different. Imagine the first person to come out with a Square balloon or a Square watermelon. They aren’t really all that special or fascinating, but what people like about them is that they are not what you would normally find. They are different and in the eyes of those who buy, that’s often times what makes the difference.
If you say, work with the generally most common form of balloons (round), then try something a bit out of the ordinary. Such as new colors. In this world their are endless colors on the spectrum and plenty of them have never been done with balloons. Instead of a red balloon, how about a maroon balloon? Or Magenta? Or Neon Pink? Or even Puke Pink for the kids. 😉
Instead of green, what about Emerald or Aquamarine or Topaz? What about some new mixes, like purple and brown and red, it might not turn out to be all that pretty, but someone out there will find that it suits them. How about polka dot balloons, or tie dyed balloons? Balloons with Picasso type art or maybe ones that have beads on the outside craftily places?
Say that you work with sculpturing balloons, which is such an art, how can you be more creative then that, right? No two sculptures can every truly be a like, even if you replicate them over and over. Yet and still, the sculpting art of balloons has become rather common and trying to compete with tons of other balloon sculptors is not as easy as it seems.
So how can you get a head of the competition? Think out of the box, what are you doing that is the same as others and what are you doing that’s different? What works for others that might lead you to that epiphany of how to do something different?
Remember that different doesn’t have to be ‘better’, it just needs to be different. If you sculpt balloons, try holding a showing of all your beautiful and artsy balloon sculptures to show off to new potential customers. Or get human models dressed in different costumes and sculpt them into balloon form. If you can sculpt people, then you can likely sculpt just about anything else, so go ahead and try out all things. Study sacred geometry or Tai Chi energy, or old ancient art forms. Find out what people have found attractive for hundreds of thousands of years. Get into the study of colors and Chakras and see which ways you can capture attention and the people won’t even be able to explain why they like your products so much.
3. Remember: Business is not Giving
Although there are plenty of people who go into business hoping they can help other people, inherently, business has nothing to do with giving. So it is important to keep in mind that you are not in business to help yourself and your family. This is important because way to many new business owners have a habit of giving everything away in order to gain a small amount of business.
The tactic of giving away a sample or teaser of a product has been around for a very long time, but it is a very precise practice. You never want to give away the whole cow, or they won’t come back to you for the milk. At the same time, if you don’t prove your trust worthy with a bit of give away, then they are likely to go to a business they have used before, even if they don’t particularly like the business they currently use. The idea is to give away just enough that they see how great it could be if they ordered your whole service, but not enough that you are over doing it.
Have you ever had a vacuum sales person come in and vacuum and shampoo just one square of your carpet? That’s where they get most people. The idea that you have this super clean square on your carpet is slightly annoying and now that you see how clean that carpet could be, it increases that appetite to desire the vacuum.
The same has to happen in all other business. You want them to feel that they ‘need’ your service and you have to keep your eye on the prize. Sure you want to help their event succeed, but you only want that because it leads to them giving you money and telling their friends and fellow businesses about your services or products.
Remember also that business is often not soft. If someone asks for a little more than your sample, you tell them no. Flat out, if they aren’t willing to give a little to, then the deal isn’t worth it. You’ll just end up working for free and that is no way to run a business. When thinking about these things, it does good to always keep a small notebook with you and take note to how each conversation with potential customers go. What do they like about what you have to say, what do they shy away from? Do they try to get something for you from free, or do they ask how much you can do for them? Did you end up shrinking away when they brushed off your offer, or did you try another angle?
4. Make it Better
Another great tip, is to notice that all through the industrial age, innovators have only become greatly known because of one of two factors. They either came out with the first kind of product, or they made a previous product better. Take Coke as a famous example. Many people drink coca cola because it was the first brand name soda. Many consider it the best, simply because it was first. Even if it’s the worse for your health, or the highest price.
Then you have Pepsi. Whats so different about Coke and Pepsi? Not a lot if you break it down. The majority of the ingredients are the same, the cans are the same size, the packaging is the same. They merely use different colors, slogans and marketing ideas. Coke is the original drink our parents drank and Pepsi is the newer, cooler, better product. Is it really ‘better’? Not really, but through innovative marketing, they make it seem like it is. The list continues on with products like Dr. Pepper, Barq’s, Mr. Pib, Sprite, 7up, Squirt, etc… They are just different or better forms of the original.
To go with the Balloon example, since the first balloon was created a long time ago, it isn’t considered probably to create the first balloon. So the idea is to make it better, or make it seem new in some way. You can do this through many forms. Try making the balloon out of some newer more ecologically friendly material. Latex is widely on the way out because it isn’t very earth friendly and with Petroleum sales on the way out, it’s like that someone will eventually create the first earth friendly balloon soon. Will it be you?
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can try offering Balloon decorations at events or in places that have never really had them before, or ones that used to have them but don’t so much anymore. You can also try different marketing skills. Use Power Words and add that flare to your sales that will boost income. Look at what the competition is saying about their Balloons or services and try saying something different, something better. If Balloon services in your area are really high priced, try offering lower prices or sales. If they are pretty cheap, try taking your quality a step up and raise your prices a bit and offer more for the money then they’d get through buying balloons at a store and decorating themselves.
There are endless ideas, once you open yourself up to them, there will be no stopping the creative flood gates. Taking some time to meditate and contemplate all the things that you haven’t thought about previous is the best way to get the juices flowing. The largest key to remember is that just because you are not succeeding now, doesn’t mean you can’t succeed in the future. Your mindset makes all the difference.
Study those in history who ran the most successful businesses as well as those who failed at business. Notice what tactics they used, or what things they studied. What worked for them and what didn’t. Then take those tips into your own business until you find something that works. Just remember that in order to stay competitive, you have to constantly bring in new ideas. Something that works now, may or may not work in a year or in 10 years.
“Benjamin Franklin found more than a hundred ways of how not to make a light bulb, but he only needed to learn one way of to make a light bulb..”