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BRANDING FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Turning Brand Mishaps into Gifts. A few ideas to get you there.

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

This has to be one of the most common conversations I have with my clients. Something goes wrong. A terrible review of a service or product, a client that didn’t pay, a project cancelled unexpectedly.

It can also look like a manufacturing mistake, a missed deadline, or someone dropping the ball.

Something that is uncomfortable and let’s be honest, hurt a bit.

The pattern generally goes like this, My client shares with me the pain, describes how ‘unfair’ it is. The mistakes their client made, how THEY didn’t understand what it was all about, How THEY misinterpreted something or how THEY are annoying and asking for something beyond the norm.

My answer is almost always the same.

WHAT IS THE GIFT?

When we hurt we wish to hear that we are right. That we didn’t do anything wrong and that it was them, how dare they not read our mind and know that things simply work in a particular way?

But what I find is that all those mishaps, those disconnections in the journey of experiencing your brand are brilliant thermometers for knowing where the fine tuning needs to happen.

So generally, after we shake the ego and the pain, we sit down and brainstorm the gift.

If someone didn’t understand your return policy, maybe it’s time to re-write it again from a different perspective. Client’s are asking ‘silly questions’ about your product? Then let’s think creatively of new ways to explain it. Maybe a video or a how-to brochure could do a better job.

Years ago when Wallnut was still in full design branding mode, I accumulated a set of big mishaps within just a couple of months. They were painful, expensive and heartbreaking.

Luckily, back then I had a brilliant business coach who got me to implement boundaries and systems for each of the issues that I experienced and let me tell you, none of them ever happened again.

I had to add new bits to my contracts, I had to finesse my client onboarding process and I had to get better at saying no and spotting my ideal client. So in hindsight, all those painful mishaps were nothing but beautiful gifts helping me shape my business into one that runs more smoothly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, feels respectful of me, my vision and what I’m about.

So I ask you today, what are the gifts you are being given by your customers? And what are you doing to make them count? In your processes, your systems, your offerings?

Would love to hear if you have any stories like this!

With love,

Cris

In conversations around innovation, it is common to hear arguments around how much, or how little we should pay attention to feedback on our brand, ideas, products or services.

My take on it? Read the blog to find out.

In conversations around innovation, it is common to hear arguments around how much, or how little we should pay attention to feedback on our brand, ideas, products or services.

Some believe that thorough focus groups where you gather your ideal customers and show them all your ideas, product prototypes and get them to compare and test, is really important.

On the other side, we have those that believe the audience knows nothing about what they really want. It’s kind of the ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ type of thing.

My take on it?

I believe we should do a bit of both.

I see client’s missing crucial information about their customers that explains so much about why their business is going the way it is. This is why I love customer journey mapping for example. We get to walk in our customer’s shoes and wonder how their emotional world is impacting how they relate to us.

However, I have also seen brilliant ideas and projects collapse after asking for too much feedback. Client’s deflated after asking too many people for their opinion on their newest concept or brand name or even logo. Ideas that I feel, would have done quite well.

Entrepreneurship for me is chasing that wild calling coming from within. And no one has your story, your pain, your take on life. So it is that intricate combination that puts you in a great position to come up with something no one else has.

Many great ideas have come from just following that inner knowing about how something could be better. As Marty Neumeier (Brilliant Branding expert) says, ‘You can’t be a leader by following’

So to be practical, this is what I recommend:

  1. Dream and Stay Creative

    Open lots of space in your calendar for creativity. How could you package your services in a better way, how could you surprise your clients at the end of the session? What could we name our products to make them more attractive?

  2. Do Your Research

    Ideal customer interviews, surveys, market trend reports are all great to get some insight and understand your customer’s behaviour. Gather all that data with your left brain but then ask your gut to make the interpretation. What do you think is really going on? What do you FEEL they are all trying to say? What is your intuition saying?

  3. Understand your customer’s emotions deeply

    Become a master at understanding your customer’s deepest fears and deepest desires at every step of their journey with you. It’s what they feel and want (or don’t want) that holds MAJOR clues to innovate and develop something unique.

  4. Ground yourself and listen

    Hearing feedback about your ideas and offerings can be painful and confusing. After gathering data, open space for some grounding. Meditation, a walk in nature, even disconnecting from the whole thing for a couple of days can be great to allow you to access your inner intelligence about what feels right for you and your business.

  5. Stay true to your why

    It is your reason for being in business and building a brand. Your why will guide you in moments of decision making. Revisit your roots often and remind yourself why you started in the first place!

Would love to hear from you? Are you struggling to make decisions in your business? Have you ever become paralysed from having too much feedback?

All the best to you all!

Cris