If you ever get frustrated when competitors nick your ideas, then this is for you!
Yet again this week, I’ve read an email (written by someone who reads my stuff) that sounds uncomfortably familiar! And I know I’m not alone. Fact is, when you’re at the cutting-edge of your specialism, you’ll inevitably attract copycats. Yes I know it’s flattering, but it’s also darn tiring. After all, why can’t they think of their own ideas? (Or at least write the copy in their voice!)
But here’s some good news…
You see, no matter how much you get copied, you have ONE thing these “cats” can’t steal…
So rather than get het up about the “darn cheek” of ripping off your stuff, brush it aside. See it as an achievement that competitors see your ideas as worthy of “stealing” and then focus all your energy on creating something that even the most skilful copycat can NEVER replicate.
I’m talking about YOU, your personality, and the way it feels to work with you. In short, your brand experience.
Because here’s the thing…
It’s not just your ideas that make you irresistible; it’s the way you deliver these ideas to your tribe.
Which means when you crack the “experience” aspect of your brand, you create something that connects and has an impact at a much deeper level.
So if you want to fend off those copycats, take my advice. Make it your goal to be the most “want-to-copy-but-can-never-really-be-you” person you know.
And to help you achieve that, I’ve got a simple technique for you to explore. And surprisingly, the inspiration for the positioning of this idea came from my recent trip to New York.
Let me explain…
First up, I know, I was seriously lucky to land myself such an awesome trip.
After winning a short break to New York in a prize draw held by the Entrepreneur’s Circle, Morgan and I jetted to the Big Apple last weekend. Unsurprisingly, we had a fantastic time. It was brilliant seeing all the big tourist attractions. Check out this holiday selfie from top of the rock (Rockefeller Centre).
But strangely enough, my highlight was an impromptu visit to the Glade Boutique – a pop-up shop in New York’s Chelsea Market, which is open throughout the holiday season.
The sign outside the shop said
“What Will You Feel? Experience the first store in the world to sell feelings.”
That was enough to make me stop. After all, “selling feelings”, that’s right up my street! So after convincing a rather confused looking husband that we should go and see what this is all about, we stepped inside to find an array of scented candles and five closed doors right at the back of the store.
Strange, yes. But I was hooked; I had to find out more…
I was drawn to the Feelings Core at the heart of the shop. Here, you were invited to step inside five different “emotion” themed rooms – Anticipation, Flirty, Fresh & New, Energise and Relax.
Behind each door was a cleverly crafted multi-sensory experience waiting to be discovered, which combined Glade aromas with colour, textures and music designed to evoke the room’s theme. I could try and describe each room for you, but you’ll get a much better understanding if you watch this quick YouTube video.
So why did I love this shop?
Well, this multi-sensory “shopping” experience was a masterclass in creating an immersive brand experience. And if you’re serious about kicking your copycats into touch, you need to take inspiration from Glade’s example and work out how to immerse your customers into an all-encompassing brand experience.
Create an experience that’s deeper than your products/services
Now you probably associate Glade with household scented products such as candles and air fresheners. But after my visit to the Boutique, I now associate Glade with giving the “gift of feelings”. As corny as it sounds, it works! And now whenever I see a Glade product, I will have an entirely different, higher quality experience of the brand (and their products) because of the way they presented their brand as an experience.
Aromas have the power to do that. You see, scents seep deep into our subconscious and cause us to feel a certain way?
So for example, when you sink into aromatic bubbles, the smell automatically helps you relax. And when you smell your partner’s signature perfume/aftershave, you unconsciously feel friskier! But that’s not all. A particular scent can instantly transport you back to a specific place and time. For me, when I smell cut grass I’m straight back at junior school making daisy chains in the field. What about you?
But whilst Glade has the advantage of scent at the core of their product, aroma doesn’t need to feature in your offer for you to explore this idea.
Apple has this stuff nailed
Apple totally gets the value of connecting specifically chosen thoughts, feelings, and emotions with their brand identity. For example, what do you think when you see the Apple brand? Of course, your response may be slightly different if you hate Apple products, but most people will instantly associate feelings such as innovation, slick design, fun, and creativity.
Now, these are powerful associations when you’re selling computer products in a crowded, commoditized marketplace. You see, when Apple created a brand that spoke to creatives, they successfully built a raving Tribe of fans who wouldn’t dream of buying from a competitor.
Again, the brand experience establishes the price point, audience commitment, and status.
So, how do you make your customers feel?
As small business owners, we’re operating in a time like no other. Your ability to make an impact on your Mr Perfect Customer is no longer determined by the size of your advertising budget. Instead, you have the power to niche, exploit digital marketing, and use your personality to build a unique brand, which no one else can copy.
And as your pool of potential clients expands (as geographical constraints melt away), customers are looking for more than an awesome product or service. And that’s where your brand experience can give you the edge.
• There are lots of brand designers, but I attract clients who want to work with me – and only me.
• There are other brands making computers, but the Apple loyal would never buy anything else.
• There are other cars, but BMW or Range Rover fans wouldn’t consider an alternative vehicle.
And remember, we’re not talking about the logo or the websites associated with these businesses. Those aren’t your brand. I’m talking about something far deeper and way more meaningful. I’m talking about how your brand makes people think and feel.
After all, when your brand is associated with positive thoughts, feelings and emotions – well, that’s massively powerful.
But more than that…
Own a subconscious connection
What comes to mind when I say “running shoes”?
I’m willing to bet you said Nike. Why is that? After all, there are lots of other running shoes available, but Nike stands out because they “own” a connection in your mind whereby you associate running with their brand.
How would you like that for your business?
How would you like to instantly spring to your customer’s mind when your particular specialism is mentioned?
Imagine the impact on your profits, positioning, and potential if your brand experience was such that customers instantly thought of you and felt all the right stuff when your expertise is mentioned?
How to create a brand experience for your customers
What I’m talking about now is pretty advanced branding stuff.
If you’re happy with your $5 logo from Fiverr, you haven’t updated your Facebook cover for eons, and you’re not keen about building a brand around your personality, then we’re definitely NOT a good match! And that’s fine.
But if you’re the sort of person who is ready to up your game, is itching to create a brand experience that will rival Apple (on a small business scale), then let’s talk.
I’m about to re-launch my signature DeeBrand process next month and I’m looking for a small number of brand-loving experts who’d like to work together one-to-one. I’ve only four spaces available and a place does involve a sizeable investment.
However, if you “get” this brand stuff and you’re ready to discover how to load your brand with an unforgettable immersive experience that will attract top paying clients and transform your expert positioning, this could be for you. If so, I invite you to book a free 20-minute brand immersive. That way we can chat together and decide if we’re a good match. But hurry, these slots will disappear soon so don’t miss out.
Click on the image above and I look forward to talking with you soon.