Brand Lo-o-o-o-o-ve...

So... how have you been building your brand lately?

Now, I'm writing this in my best Barry White voice... "How'syour Brand Lo-o-o-o-o-ve, baby?"

It may sound obvious, but increase Brand Love by branding better.

Branding your business better will help you increase awareness,attractiveness, and affection of your prospects (so they becomecustomers), current customers (some people call them clients),and employees (yup, they need to be sold on you, too).

"Huh? I've heard of brand awareness, and brand attractiveness Iunderstand, but affection? Brand Love? Is this guy smokingbanana peels?"

OK, I admit, that term may be hard to take-- at first. But,haven't you expressed to someone that you love something? "Ilove that soda." "I love their pizza." "I love that store."

See? You've been enamored with a brand before. And there's avery good chance you still are. So are other people.

Why would you say you "love" soda, pizza, or a store? Because animportant nerve of yours has been hit. Some might call it "theSweet Spot." And it may not be all that obvious what that SweetSpot is.

A soda tastes best to you over all others by iteself. Or it maygo better with certain types of food you enjoy. Perhaps yourfavorite pizza place makes the best tasting pizza. Maybe youenjoy the surroundings and atmosphere as much as the food.

When you think about your favorite shop, maybe you think theyalways have just what you really want. Maybe you get treatedlike royalty. Or you feel good you can afford what they have, orbecause you can get a lot without spending much.

Thankfully, somebody has probably said, "I love that..." aboutyour business. If they haven't, you probably haven't been openvery long-- or will be open for much longer. Think of the lastreferral that came in. They probably did so because someone hadhigh praise for you.

Now... the trick is to find out what was so praiseworthy, andeffectively comunicate it to similar prospects.

How to do it? Just ask for feedback.

Talk to your clients/customers about their experiences. Usually,they will have good things to say. Or at least they may buffetsome less-than-glowing reviews with some good stuff. Speaking of"less than glowing," when asking for feedback, be prepared for"warts and all."

In fact, ask for it.

When it's really bad, you'll hear it right away. But when thereare minor slip-ups, or things your business may NOT be doing,those can easily fall through the cracks. Always stress you wantcandid, HONEST answers. If you're not willing to search out the"bad stuff," it will only get worse, and small problems can growexponentially.

Or somebody realizes how you're underserving the market andtakes advantage before you do.

So, ask your clients questions casually. Or even print up 100 orso quick response cards with three to five questions. With onlya couple of well-worded questions and space for their ownadditional thoughts, you may not only get good feedback, youmight gain insight about your market, operation, or clientelethat takes business to the next level.

Watch for more from me on this topic.

John is a freelance commercial writer based in Omaha, Nebraska.He publishes a free monthly e-zine focusing on branding,advertising, and marketing from his website Speaking with both agency and in-houseexperience, he knows the most valuable asset of a business isits brand.

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