Biz Tips: You Don’t Need to Donate Free Shoes to Be a Brand That Matters

Biz Tips: You Don’t Need to Donate Free Shoes to Be a Brand That Matters


You Don’t Need to Donate Free Shoes to Be a Brand That Matters

What Does it Mean to Be a Brand that Matters?

If you want to build a great business, or do a great job at work, or be a great person, you need to build a brand that matters. You don’t have to donate money to charity, or volunteer, or be friendly, or any of those things that may come to mind when I say build a brand that matters.

It’s admirable to be a purpose-driven brand, or to be a selfless person, or to give back to the community, and we should all strive for that level of contribution in our lives. But it is not required to be a brand that matters.

You may not have figured out your purpose yet. And that’s okay. You can still build a brand that matters today and figure out how to make a contribution to society in an authentic way later. There is no time limit on doing the right thing.

Start With Who

To build a brand that matters you need to START WITH WHO.

Who do you matter to? Who is the person or who are the people that you are trying to affect with your brand? If you are a business, who are the customers that you think you can provide the most value to? If your are trying to do a great job at work, who is that work helping? If you want to be a great person to other people, who are the people that you want to be impacted by your actions?

If you are building a brand that matters, it needs to matter TO someone. Once you know who that someone is, you can start to think about what matters to them when working with a business like yours or when interacting with a person like you. You can start to understand what they value, what they need, what they want, and how they like to be communicated with and interacted with.

Brands That Matter Are Personalized

Being a brand that matters is all about intuition and feedback. You need to have enough empathy to put yourself into the mindset of your audience. And you need to communicate with them in a way that provides you enough direction to take you beyond intuition to actual alignment and synergy with your audience. That being said, mattering at an individual level, by its very nature, is personal and needs be customized to each person.

Brands That Matter Are Unique

If you want to matter, you need to have something about you that is different than everybody else. If a customer is looking for something convenient, you matter to them if you are the most convenient brand. If your boss needs someone who gets the most out of a team, your unique experience and personality matter to them if it’s a fit for that particular team. If you want to help a friend or a stranger, you matter to them because you are you and you as an individual make a connection with them. You are unique in that you provide something that the other person is looking for, and if they can only choose one, they would choose you.

Brands That Matter Tell Their Story

If you want to matter, people need to be able to find you. If no one knows about your business or has never heard about you as a person, how can you matter to them? If you want to matter to them, they need to be able to find you. This may seem obvious but so many businesses and people never put themselves out there in a way that people can find them who are looking. If you have free food but no one hungry knows it, everyone is going to starve! And don’t just be found, tell your story.

Tell your story often, everywhere, all the time. Once people find you, they need to know your story to understand you and to know why you should matter to them.

Brands That Matter Are Interactive

If you want to matter, you need to interact with your audience. They need to have an experience with you that forms a deeper connection. If someone hears that you are amazing at something, or that your are the best solution to a problem they have, or anything about you at all, it’s just talk until they experience it for themselves. You may come well referred, but if they don’t try it for themselves, they won’t recommend you to someone else. You may hear someone is a great guy but until you meet them and spend time with them, you won’t actually know. Maybe they are great for one person but not great for someone else. Every interaction matters. Every experience matters. The goal is to create as many amazing experiences as possible and to do it consistently.

Brands That Matter Provide Value

If you want to matter, people need to end up better off than they started after meeting you.

You can’t matter unless there is some value that you’ve provided along the way that matters. Value can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, so it needs to be something that is important to each individual. If you have a great low price, but the customer has a high budget and wanted more bells and whistles or higher quality ingredients, they won’t find value in your product. The trick here is you have to be a good listener. You have to be good at understanding what your audience wants. You have to be good at asking questions and getting feedback. If you can get your customers to open up about what matters to them, you can find ways to provide them value, simply by giving them what they ask for. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you want to matter, give people what they want!

Brands that matter aren’t fancy logos, and killer commercials. Brands that matter don’t need amazing social media followings. Brands that matter don’t even have to make a difference in the world. They just have to matter to one person at a time.

And if you focus on how to matter to one person at a time, I bet you’ll find more like minded people that also will think you matter. And before you know it you’ll have a whole community that supports your business or you as a person.

Start with just one person. Do something that matters for them. Build your brand. Make a difference.

Check out my Free Online Branding Checklist to get tips on how to get your business found online!

And check out my iTunes podcast Brands on Brands on Brands for more marketing and branding advice.

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You Don’t Need to Donate Free Shoes to Be a Brand That Matters was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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