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7 Takeaways from this Month’s EntrepreNerds Discussion: Build Your Brand, Build Your Business

This past Friday’s EntrepreNerds discussion topic, Build Your Brand, Build Your Business, proved an engaging and relevant focal point for all in attendance. Our cohort of entrepreneurs, change agents and movement makers enjoyed a meaningful conversation filled with many valuable takeaways.

Here’s a synopsis of what we discussed: We applied the concepts from the two recommended readings, Contagious and Unlabel, in response to the many concerns and challenges expressed by participants. These are the 7 takeaways from the discussion to Build Your Brand, Build Your Business.

  1. Start by Being Authentic– Should be easy, no? But it isn’t always. Feeling confident in your authenticity can be a big challenge. To help you be more authentic (thereby eliminating the “should do’s”) document how your business goings-on make you feel! Stop the things that make you feel icky.

  2. Business Exists for Our Customers– Seems obvious right? Yet most business owners fixate on their side of the business’ story, completely forgoing the customers’ perspective. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Understanding your customer’s point of view is essential. Try completing the Empathy Map – a great tool used in the lean startup process.

Empathy Map

  1. Adaptation and Re-invention– Things change (the marketplace, the economy, the industry, the customer) and we must effectively change along with them. Marc Ecko calls this one’s “capacity for change.” When mis-managed the results can be catastrophic, just think of HP from the 90’s to 2000’s.

  2. Check your social media efforts– According to Jonah Berger’s research, the majority of word-of-mouth still happens in-person (not online). Yet we tend to give an unbalanced amount of attention to building our online networks. You might want to re-focus. Are you spending enough effort and energy creating meaningful, consistent in-person experiences?

  3. Be Consistent– Part of effectively managing adaptation and re-invention is being consistent when and where it counts. Not to be-labor a point, but create a consistent customer experience (it doesn’t have to be complicated).

  4. Look for Triggers– How do you know you’ve earned the right to share your story with someone? By listening to triggers from them that indicate a shared interest or need.

  5. Craft Stories that Spread– You can’t force the story, but you can guide the process. Focus on being the architect of your customers’ experience. That becomes the story, so the next step is to make sure you gather and collect those.

Have your own thoughts about how to Build Your Brand, Build Your Business? Share them here!

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