Most of my clients know that I taught art for 18 years, K-12 and adult. Teaching in a content area that is meant to challenge ideas and generate new directions is an exciting process. Regardless of the age of the person there are those that leap in ready to try new experiences and those that conservatively move one element in a direction that for that person is “out of the box”.
Thursday I was part of a workshop put on by the Apex Chamber of Commerce, where PR Marketing firm Gibbs and Soell provided some of their team to re-energize our own company branding. Working off the assumption that each of us in attendance had a solid plan for marketing already, but perhaps one that has become a little stale, their team set about to provide us some fun ways to brainstorm.
One of the take away tips relevant to many of my “start up” business clients would be to take a risk, ask their client base to define what values and differentiators make their company great. There is really no excuse for any business not to solicit input. Whatever method makes the owner comfortable will work; use newsletters, social media, one on one visits or fish bowls at the point of purchase, survey monkey…. any means of collecting feedback.
Often our perception of what others value in our company or relationship might surprise us. For those of you going through a re-branding or launching a new product campaign this year, you might consider asking your “fan base” what they like about you for a clear direction on what to promote as your “level of differentiation among your competition”. Take a chance, paint without a smock, stick your fingers in the glue and be a bit bold for 2013, it won’t hurt you; most things in our life really are non toxic.