by Arwa Jumkawala, TMMPDX Staff Reporter
Last week, I attended the November meeting of Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon (WEO) titled: Your Brand: The Secret to Success. The dinner and presentation featured a diverse group of branding experts including: Jennifer Larsen Morrow from The Creative Company and Patricia Marchetti.
In addition to satiating guests with delicious chocolate cake, they also filled our brains with food for thought. Here are some interesting ideas for fellow small business owners:
· Should I wear my Gnome PJ’s to the bank? Depends.
Whether you like it or not, as a small business owner, everything about you projects your brand: your appearance, your accessories, even your posture! If you are the embodiment of your brand, what are you trying to project? The people you interact with will judge your brand based on your appearance. Sorry!
· What do my tan UGGs really tell people about me?
Sure, you think you’re projecting an awesome brand that aligns with your business, but you need to get real feedback to find out if your vision matches up with the way the world sees you. While no specifics were offered that evening, I’ve had luck asking strangers at networking events for feedback.
· How do I ninja chop my overflowing inbox?
“Do it. Delegate it. Dump it. Don’t delay it,” quipped Adrienne Silveira [http://www.adriennepilates.com/] Well said.
· Focus, Focus, and offer less….
Narrow your business scope! Pick something you do really well and pursue that. Do not become the general consultant who does everything, but is good at nothing. Offering less services can seem counter-intuitive, but will enable you to be an expert in your area. Patricia Marchetti, [http://www.marchetticreative.com] put it nicely, “Do you get your moo shu pork from a Chinese restaurant or the Chinese place that also offers donuts and crepes?”
· You do what again?
If you can’t explain what you do and why someone should care in a few seconds, then you/your website are not doing their jobs. Again, do not assume you rock at this. Get feedback from others.
· How does your brand smell?
How is your brand experienced via all five senses? Starbucks initially branded by creating a complete sensory experience through: store music, décor, lighting, and coffee scents etc. How can you enhance the experience of your business beyond just your product?