Episode 45: The Obsession-Brand Positioning Tool You Absolutely Must Have to Become the #1 Product Choice
Many of us seek the next most effective tactic to scale our businesses. I've been there and learned that constantly changing strategies is not the best course of action when it comes to scaling. We overburden ourselves every time we learn a new tactic. We end up placing ourselves in situations where we feel like we need to know more, which can be overwhelming. Therefore, we become paralyzed because it's one more thing to do.
So today, I'll advise on the fundamental practices you need to adopt to make your brand scalable.
#1 Celebrate yourself
First of all, learn to celebrate yourself. If you're a high achiever and are good at getting things done, it's easy to downplay your achievements. Whenever we make a win, oftentimes, we want another win. We don't even sit and take time to just breathe. One thing that blocks you from receiving a successive win is you're not giving yourself time to be in the energy of celebrating and winning. And so, when you're not in the energy of celebrating and winning, how can you be in the space of getting more and receiving?
…learn to celebrate yourself. If you're a high achiever and are good at getting things done, it's easy to downplay your achievements. Whenever we make a win, oftentimes, we want another win. We don't even sit and take time to just breathe.
Therefore, if you've been conditioned to retract after winning, consider all the victories you've achieved. Keep your winning momentum going and keep track of your achievements so that you may refer to them whenever you hit a rough patch—which tends to happen when we go to the next level. We tend to deny ourselves a chance to celebrate when we grow and expand so quickly.
Staying in that energy of winning and celebrating is how you create another win. Creating another win is tough when you're not in that excitement or resenting and feeling defeated. This is because, many times before we start delegating, we're doing everything before we start hiring teams. And our biggest currency is our energy.
So think about social media. It's very easy to join social media and feel like you're not doing anything and nothing you do is changing. And often, if that's what we're receiving and consuming every single time, it's hard for us to create. And as entrepreneurs, we are creatives. So for us to be in the space of creating, we have to be in the energy of constantly winning and celebrating every single achievement to get closer to the next thing we want to do.
#2. Be distinct
What are you doing to create distinction? How are you showing up? What messaging are you putting out there? How are you treating your customers? How will you treat your best customers? How are you treating your team members? Distinction is the number one foundational element that you need to have if you want to create a scalable brand.
Distinction is the number one foundational element you need to have if you want to create a scalable brand.
When it comes to distinction, what are the things you can do within your power to create distinction within your brand? Distinction is what creates a community, allowing you to build a brand obsession.
Assume there's no competition
When you evaluate your marketing, are you trying to be different? If you're trying to be different, what that tells me is you've relinquished your own power inside. This is because you're trying to look at what somebody else is doing, what your top industry person is doing and trying to be different. I want you to assume there was no competition. Sometimes you have to live in oblivion and be obsessed with what you're trying to create. Be obsessed with your results, your messaging, whether somebody gets it right now or doesn't get it. Be obsessed with your marketing. Be obsessed with showing up in the world based on who you are.
Distinct versus different
One of the biggest things I'm trying to wrap my head around is this whole concept of dancing on reels. No offense to anyone dancing on reels, but that's not me. That's not how I show. Even if you find me and we have happy hour, I am not the first person who will jump onto the dance floor. That's not me. And so, just because everyone else is doing it, I'm asking myself, do I really need to do it? How can I create distinction within my brand? How can you create distinction within all the facets of your business? If it's your messaging, is it time for you to start creating messaging that's unsaid? Is it time for you to create polarizing messaging that brings out your perspective?
When it comes to your customers, is it time to shower them with so much love and take care of them, even if they're just three or four right now? What is it that you can do with what you have right now? At the end of the day, we must remember that this is a momentum game. If you can't do something on a small scale, it will be tough to do it on a larger scale. So being distinct puts us in a place where we take radical responsibility for all our results.
If you can't do something on a small scale, it will be tough to do it on a larger scale.
We're taking radical responsibility for everything we are creating. If you blame external factors, you're blaming not having a big audience, not having a marketing budget, and not having a team. You've literally shifted the blame to someone else, meaning you've relinquished your own power. And any time you blame yourself, it's hard for you to come back and do what's required to create a result.
When you shift the blame, it means you have no power. But you built your business. You came up with the idea. You know the problem that you're solving, how to use the product, and what your customer needs to do to use the product. You even know how to market the product the right way. You're the creator. You're the founder. You've sold the products to multiple people. You've received enough objections. Because you've received enough objections, that is content for you that could come up as frequently asked questions.
And if you're just saying I don't have a marketing agency to do this, how will a marketing agency translate what you know fundamentally needs to happen without you communicating it? That is where taking radical responsibility for your result is the number one thing that will lead to distinction. We cannot shift blame. And if blame is showing up, you have to ask yourself, what are some of the things I'm fearful of?
Marketing and Infrastructure—the two biggest problems
I see many people getting stuck when it comes to marketing and setting up the infrastructure. When it comes to setting up the infrastructure to scaling, it means you're pivoting. And if you're pivoting, you have to let go of the old to create room for the new. So now we're talking about pivoting. You've done everything before on your own. You're the customer representative, the marketer, the sales, and the fulfillment person. So you're everything in your business. Now you're in a situation where you have to pivot and stop doing what you were doing to go to the next level. Resistance will show up because you do not have a frame of reference of what actually scaling looks like or what it looks like to build a team or run a business that produces over 5,000 or 10,000 orders per month.
This is where fear of success comes in. You get triggered. And whenever that fear gets triggered, we begin to rationalize why it would not happen. Many people think they must first have a massive influx of leads to set up the infrastructure. But it's the inverse. If you ramp up your marketing and your back-end operational infrastructure isn't dialed in, the marketing will amplify your problems on the back end, making you tired and frustrated, and things fall through the cracks. Then all of a sudden, people want the product. They want to return their orders. Everybody is complaining. When in reality, it would be I need to slow down to speed up. And what does slowing down to speed up look like? Setting the infrastructure of my business.
Many people think they must first have a massive influx of leads to set up the infrastructure. But it's the inverse. If you ramp up your marketing and your back-end operational infrastructure isn't dialed in, the marketing will amplify your problems on the back end, leading you to get tired, frustrated, and things falling through the cracks.
However, when the fear of success has been triggered, you will rationalize that you don't need that right now. I need more sales. I need more customers. I need more orders. And now, when you rationalize and move into blame. When you move into blame, you've literally relinquished your power. And when you relinquish your power, you're constantly in that stuck cycle. So if you're finding yourself stuck, I want you to ask yourself, what are you blaming? What are you blaming right now? Are you blaming your mentor, coach, team member, marketing, branding, or your messaging? What are you blaming? Whatever you're blaming is one thing you need to actually go, sit, and be comfortable working on.
Stop playing victim
If you're blaming your messaging as the issue or the agency you've hired not producing the desired results, why can't you do it yourself? At the end of the day, you're the one who knows it. So you need to ask yourself, what is it you're blaming? Whenever you're blaming, you're playing victim. And you cannot create a scalable brand when you're constantly playing victim. It is so hard. It's so hard to show up. If you're blaming yourself, it is hard to do the things required to create a scalable brand.
This is the thing that often happens. Whenever we blame factors, we focus on what we don't want. Because your energy is focused on I don't want this message, I don't want this infrastructure, and I don't want that. And unfortunately, you put yourself in a situation where you're doubting, lacking confidence, defeated, and resenting your business. And what happens is that your business will mirror back the things you're actually doubting.
Let's say you doubt the pricing, or you've just realized that you need to change your pricing architecture to scale. I need to have cash flow in my business. So if you need cash flow in your business, there are two things. It's either a pricing issue, second thing, expenses. Now you figure, okay, I need to increase my price. I definitely cannot keep charging this. The first thing you say is nobody's going to pay that. Do you know what's eventually going to happen? You'll get people who will tell you that your product is costly. Why? First of all, you've not sold on yourself. Why do you need to change the price? Secondly, it's because fundamentally, you're using your customers as the reason why they're not buying.
Here's what to do instead
Here's what I want to challenge you on. Have you taken the step forward to consider how you can mitigate this price objection? Have you thought of what to put out to your audience to address the price objection before it happens? You should never sit in blame. Every time you sit in blame, you're losing money. There is a cost associated with when you relinquish your power. That cost is high because you're the CEO. You're the founder. You know what needs to be done. You know what is right. Usually, you will know what is right for your business if you slow down and breathe.
Have you thought of what to put out to your audience to address the price objection before it happens?
If something happens, ask yourself, why did this experience happen? What is it in my way of being that made me create this experience? If you ask that question, you will find the answer. And when you find the answer, you will find the solution or seek somebody who will give you the solution to the problem. So, if your marketing isn't sticking, are you putting different or distinct messaging? What makes you unique? What is it about your planners that people need to know? What is it about your hair accessory that people need to know? What is it about your fashion and clothing that people need to know? And if it doesn't have to do with your product, what do I need to know that pushed you to start your business? Ultimately, that's the content that converts.
We're going to get to a point where compelling content, deep with beliefs and perspective, will stick. It will be difficult for plain content that doesn't have an emotional or sentimental value to convert because human behavior has changed. What triggered the change exponentially was COVID. People are looking for more connection and personalization to feel like they're a part of something bigger than what is being sold.
When I was working in corporate, I was literally being paid to try and humanize a potato chip—a potato chip that's just deep fried in oil and salt. My job was to humanize it. And if I can give you a great example, just think about Tostitos. Think about the brand. Think about the creativity behind that brand. It's been marketed as the potato chip you think about when you're in a social setting. It's funny even when I'm hosting. I'm always like, we need to tear chips and salsa. Literally, at the end of the day, you go to a store and pick out Tostitos. Why? Because they've humanized just a regular potato chip to represent something more significant than what it actually is. Think about that.
When I was working in corporate, I was literally being paid to try and humanize a potato chip—a potato chip that's just deep fried in oil and salt.
Marketing and infrastructure are two things that hold people back. It's usually one or the other. Either people are very good at marketing, but the infrastructure is not set in place, or the infrastructure is excellent, but the marketing is not solid. It's funny how people blame the opposite thing. Those who think they have a marketing issue actually have an infrastructure issue. Those who think they have an infrastructure issue actually have a marketing issue.
How to solve the marketing problem
Marketing is not that challenging. Marketing is all about speaking up your truth and communicating what your audience is seeking. For you to address the concept of marketing, spend time understanding your prospective market. You need to know and journal their fears, frustrations, wants, desires, and what is holding them back from taking action. That is what you need to put out there.
For you to address the concept of marketing, literally just spend time understanding your prospective market. You need to know and journal their fears, frustrations, wants, desires, and what is holding them back from taking action. That is what you need to put out there.
You also need to have a repeatable system. An example of a repeatable system in marketing is 1. Do you have your channels where you market? For example, if you're leveraging email marketing, do you know when you send your emails, how often you send them, and when you send them, how many actually convert? Have you done that repeatedly to know that if I can get somebody to do this and pay them, this system will bring at least 10 grand every month? If you can literally say this is what happens and quantify the results of that system, that's when you know you have a repeatable system. You don't have a repeatable system if you're guesstimating or testing different channels.
I can give you an example of my repeatable system. My podcast is a repeatable system. It may not work now, but it does work in the long run in the long run. And what do I do with it? I record the podcast, my team edits it, and the video is populated. My podcast is my evergreen asset. I get clients over and over again from my podcast. That's a repeatable system.
Whenever I have conversion events, it's a repeatable system because I know what it takes, the team support required, the investment required, and the ROI after it. And so, for you in a product-based business, what's your repeatable system when it comes to your marketing? Have you identified that? Have you spent time looking at different themes? So if this is a theme that converts, maybe every time I send three emails with this specific theme, I get at least 2,000 or 3,000. So that's a reputable system.
How to solve the infrastructure problem
Think about your infrastructure if you feel your message is dialed in. When it comes to your infrastructure, think about it from this perspective. Do you or your team member have a repeatable system that can sell without you being there? Or are you doing everything? Are you reacting to what's showing up?
Secondly, when it comes to the infrastructure, have you thought about your production capacity? Do you know your high seasons? Do you know your low seasons? And do you know when to actually order? Inventory management is one thing that many of us neglect because we focus a lot on marketing.
The third is cash flow. Have you thought about your cash flow? First of all, do you even have the right pricing architecture? Do you have enough left over? If you don't have enough left over, we need to revise your pricing because it can stand multiple channels. Do you have a different pricing strategy for wholesale? Do you have a different pricing strategy for home channels? Do you have a different pricing strategy for retail?
So cash flow, production, inventory, and a repeatable sales system—scrutinize these four things. From a team perspective, if you're considering hiring a person, think about hiring the person who would come and offset one of the biggest bottlenecks in your business. If the biggest bottlenecks in your business are customer service or order or the back end, get that. Because once that starts running like a well-oiled machine, then it's now time for you to hire somebody that can help you with marketing. Many people think marketing will solve their scalability issues, but unfortunately, it doesn't.
How to create a community from loyal customers who refer you
Implement an internal referral program that incentivizes your loyal customers to bring somebody else. It could be a point system or a cashback system. Think about what is within your power your business can support and will allow your current audience to bring more people and still get an incentive.
Commit to some of these things if you know you're willing to do them for at least a year to see the result. It's a different game you're playing here if you're here to build a brand. So if you're here for something quick, you can run some paid ads, make your quick 3,000 a day and call it done. But if you're here to create something sustainable that stands the test of time, give yourself time because you're also going to want to do it well, but evaluate every 90 days.
If you started with five people and told them, do you know three people you can refer, those are 15 people you've gotten? Now those 15 people, nurture them, take care of them, make sure they can still bring you three more people, and then the cycle continues.
When it comes to scaling, it's identifying two to three things you can do and do very well. Don't pack stuff on. You don't have the bandwidth. You really don't have.
And if you feel like you want to do all of them, it's going to force you to hire a team, but hiring a team for the first three to six months is going to be an expense in your business, and you're not going to be able to get profit or ROI from that. So you only want to hire a team member to actually support and solve your current problem.
Avoiding the marketing overwhelm
The marketing space is overwhelming. Sometimes you don't know what to choose. Well, the best thing to do is to block everything. Tune out. What would the marketing space look like if you did it on your own, doing it your way, and there was nothing around? Unfortunately, this is the stuff that many of us don't discuss. So if you're in the inception stages of your business, you'll have to learn how to mute everything. You don't have to follow everybody. You don't have to look at the top influencers. So you don't have to look at the top brands. At the end of the day, you're the one who's creating what you're creating, and you're the one who's putting out that product to your ideal audience. And it's your job to constantly do that repeatedly so they can find you.
Don't look at your competitor's pricing because you don't know what their audience is, and you don't know what their costs are. So don't look at that, even in their marketing. That's their way of marketing. It's not your way of doing it. That's their unique proposition. That's their unique value. That's not your unique value. So you have the permission to mute everything and journal this out yourself. What would your marketing look like if you did not have any external forces and factors influencing your decision? What is true for you? You have to trust the decision that you make. If you don't trust that decision, you're going to find many reasons not to do it and many reasons to blame yourself if things don't go right.
The power of decision making
Decision-making is another trait we also have to get very good at as CEOs and business owners. It's hard, especially if you had a very different childhood upbringing. Children are to be seen but not heard in the African context. You could not say anything. So if you cannot say anything, then you probably haven't exercised your decision-making muscle. But that's an opportunity for you right now to start exercising it. The power lies within you. If you take radical responsibility for all the results you create, you create what you were supposed to. This is the thing. Events in our lives don't determine our outcomes. What determines our outcomes is how we respond to those events.
If you take radical responsibility for all the results you create, you create what you were supposed to. This is the thing. Events in our lives don't determine our outcomes. What determines our outcomes is how we respond to those events.
What are you making things mean? What are you making things mean when somebody is not buying your product? What are you making things mean when you get a return request? What are you making things mean when you're in a long season of your business? What are you making things mean when you're required to pivot? What are you making things mean when you're required to invest in somebody to help you grow your brand?
A lot is going on. There's so much negativity. Because of that negativity, we find ourselves just consuming everything—the news, social media, and a lot of things. And when we are constantly consuming, we cannot create. And as a business owner and entrepreneur, your job is to create. And if your job is to create, you must put yourself in the space and the energy of creating. So because when you put yourself in that space, you're able to take radical responsibility for everything that you create and know that every success lies within you. This is not bullshit; it's actually true. The power lies inside you, and you must learn how to take your power back.
Approaching product launch
When it comes to your product launch, it depends on your marketing vehicle and your marketing channel. If you don't have a huge budget, the easiest way to do a product launch is to test it out with your existing customers. Have an early access option with your existing audience, and then go forward and look for a new audience once you've proved your concept with your current customer. What that does for your marketing budget is that you spend less because you're focusing on those customers you currently have. And then secondly, outside of the spending, you can get real and raw feedback from people who've bought from you before to help you change or revise the new product before you take it live.
One thing that big brands do very well, which is an insider secret, is that a big brand will not make a product a 52-week SKU or an annual SKU if it was not a limited-time offer. So that's how we did it.
Strategies for building an audience organically without too much ad spend
It starts with your marketing and your messaging. It sounds very simplistic, but the messaging will resonate with an audience. So let's use social media right now because that's where we are. Putting content that speaks to your audience based on the fears, frustrations, wants, and desires will resonate with the few people you have. Once it resonates with a few people that you have, it becomes sticky content. And once it becomes sticky content, people like and comment. When people like and comment, it gets a lot of traction from the algorithm that we all have to navigate. Then it eventually finds itself in the explore tab, and the reach becomes easy. When reach becomes very easy, many people come to you. So that's strategy number one. So that's about creating sticky content.
If you're trying to create brand credibility, this is content that establishes credibility and builds trust. So let's say you're in fashion. What is it about the fashion clothing that you have that actually makes it dope? Is it, A, when you put in the washing machine, the color doesn't change? B. Is it a timeless piece that will forever be timeless no matter the trends? Now, what is the benefit of that piece that you're selling? Now, start putting content that establishes credibility. What that does is people share and save. When the share and save happens, it gets to a bigger audience.
Do that for a period of time. When you do that consistently, evaluate the content that did very well and repurpose the exact same thing. Once you've done it for a period of time, repurpose what it was constantly doing well, and at the same time, observe the themes that people are resonating with and put more of that. Organic reach is a compounding effect. It compounds, and you have to be willing to do it consistently. That's strategy number one if you're doing it on social.
Strategy number two would be to partner with someone complementary. It could be another emerging small brand. Who could you partner with that can complement what you're selling? I'm not saying influencer because influence is now getting a little messy. People want to be paid, but they're not fulfilling their requirements. It's just getting a little messy. I want you to consider who you can partner with that is complementary. A complementary product would be accessories if you're selling a piece of clothing like a dress. Who could you do an event with or do a summer box in a collection and share with each other? Just do this over and over again.
Once you've dialed in that strategy organically, you can add some paid ads. So it's actually the simple stuff done well that allows you to scale.
It's the simple stuff done well that allows you to scale.
If you want a good understanding of this, go to my podcast, The Product Entrepreneur Podcast, and listen to Episode 30, where I interviewed Ryan Margolin. The episode is called Doing Business Internationally. Ryan runs an eight-figure, going to nine, beauty brand company. He narrated that when his dad was running the company, they had plateaued for about 10 to 15 years. And when he and the brothers stepped in, they stripped away everything and focused on a few things. They streamlined their marketing, pricing, product assortment, and operations, and then they got to the next level. If you want to understand that more, listen to that episode
It's a wrap!
So, what are the foundational things that create a scalable brand? The first is staying in the energy of winning. Once you stay in the winning energy, you can create another result. Secondly, it's really about distinction. Why distinction, not differentiation? When you focus on distinction, you're really relying on the power inside of you. When you start relying on the power inside of you, you're taking radical responsibility for your result and not letting blame get the better of you.
With that, thank you, my friends. If you're brand new here, visit my podcast. There are a ton of nuggets. If you want to talk with me, slide into my DM. And if you know anybody who would find a ton of value from this, please share.
Have a good time. Bye-bye.
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