How to Choose The Right Opportunities For Your Brand
19
JUNE, 2019
Branding
Brand Strategy
Brand Story
Communication
Brand Alignment
How do you decide what to say “yes” or “no” to in your business? When a potential new opportunity is placed in your face sounding and looking soooo right, what’s your process for determining if it’s truly strategic for the business and best for your brand? This blog post will give you 3 steps to take when evaluating new opportunities to see if what feels good at first will actually set you up for long-term success.   You can apply the tips shared to choose the right retail partners for your new product line, the right clients to take on for your service-based business, the right brands to partner with for campaigns, and the right influencers to help you market your new brand. 
 

I DID THIS RECENTLY …

I recently helped one of my beauty industry clients create a celebrity brand partnership strategy with the goal of reaching new audiences, reinvigorating current customers, and, of course, launching an insanely lucrative new revenue stream. When brainstorming potential A-list partners, a lot of names of people who were “hot right now” were put into the bucket. And while it seemed cool to have people like Serena Williams or Yara Shahidi endorsing the business, the brand strategist in me didn’t see the alignment, despite the popularity. 

If there’s anything that I know, it’s that popularity can never be the sole qualifier for anything – not in life and certainly not in business.

 
When brand building, alignment is everything. 

Understanding where your line is as a brand and what opportunities are on the right or left side of it is critical to maintaining the integrity of your mission and delivering what your customers expect of you.

Here’s a few things to consider when choosing opportunities for your brand, whether that’s a celebrity partnership, an influencer for a campaign, a co-branded product launch, a new retail partner, or anything.

“Choosing the right opportunities is far less about short-term success than it is about long-term alignment.”

 

#1: Match it to a goal.

When I sit down with a client or a Brand Story Mentorship student who has a bright idea (I’m not being sarcastic, I promise), my first question is always “What’s the goal?” You can have an idea better than baked bread marinating around in your head, but if there’s no goal attached to its execution, you have to ask yourself why you’re putting money and resources toward bringing that bright idea to fruition. Most business owners begin the year with a set list of business and brand development goals.

Make sure that the opportunity you’re considering helps you reach one of those goals, and isn’t just something that popped into your head in a dream and sounds nice to other people who don’t really know or understand your long-term vision.

If you can’t match the new opportunity to a business goal (one that you confidently set out for yourself over plenty of coffee and your trusted clique, by the way), table it. Plan to revisit when it makes more sense for you strategically, if at all. If the opportunity would, in fact, help you to achieve one of your business or brand-building goals, proceed …

 

 

#2: Check your values.

Since popularity or your own starry eyes cannot be the qualifier for recognizing a good opportunity for your brand, you’ll need to rely on a list that is much less emotions-driven and more rooted in business logic – one that allows you to simply check “yes” or “no”.

When helping my client determine the best celebrities to partner with for her brand, I created a Partnership Criteria List. In addition to quantitative status requirements (community size, social engagement, influence, notoriety, etc.), it also included perspective and personality qualifications that would help us determine whether or not a prospective partnership was truly a good move for the brand.

The same thinking can be applied to determining if whether or not that new retail partner is right for you, if sponsoring that event makes sense, if that client is the right one to represent, if that joint holiday campaign with those 3 businesses will help your business, or if that new service you’re considering reflects your mission. The list goes on and on.  Consider your core values and begin creating a list for your own brand alignment reference. Start with things like your beliefs or personal values as a founder, the ways in which your team chooses to conduct business or work together (i.e. with integrity, honesty, creativity, passion, etc.), the perspectives you hold about the problems in your industry or about your customers, etc.
Write down at least 3 of those values and title your list “Brand Alignment Criteria.”
Here’s an example that’s written on the walls of one of my client’s offices:

 

“The only way to get people to come to your website, stay there and shop around is to captivate them with a story.”

#1: Prove the potential.

The next time you sit down to evaluate an opportunity that sounds good, go through your brand values list (literally checking “yes” or “no”) to see if the potential partner, retailer, client, endorsement, or campaign aligns with who you are as a brand. If it or she doesn’t, then move on. Seriously. As hard as it can be to say “no” to a quick dollar or the promise of popularity, you have to in order to maintain the trust you have with your audience and the focus on your long-term vision. Choosing an opportunity that does not reflect what you stand for as a brand creates mistrust amongst your customers and slowly, but surely, erodes the ideals that your business claims to stand out. That erosion, over time, leads to irrelevance. And irrelevance, as you know in business, leads to complete and utter failure.
Before giving the final yes on an opportunity, do your own action research to find out if …

Choosing an opportunity that does not reflect what you stand for as a brand creates mistrust amongst your customers and slowly, but surely, erodes the ideals that your business claims to stand out. That erosion, over time, leads to irrelevance. And irrelevance, as you know in the business world, leads to failure.

I recently released my new e-book, “Storytelling Success Secrets: The 4 Questions Every Brand Story Must Answer to Sell Like Crazy and Stand Out From the Crowd”. 

If you’ve been struggling with how to communicate to your target audience what makes you different from the rest,  click here to download your FREE copy.

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Learn how to succeed in business and in branding with my new free e-book: Storytelling Success Secrets. Get the 4 questions every brand story must answer to sell like crazy and stand out from the crowd –> bit.ly/secretsofstory 

Written by: Amber Williams
Master Brand Storyteller & Founder of PunkyFlair
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