Branding – being noticed: The Jerusalem Formula

“How do I generate a word-of-mouth” campaign” is the question that I am often asked. As a business mentor, you are expected to be able to conjure up some magic formula; straight out of your pocket, mixed with a couple of flash phrases re twitter or facebook, and wrapped with an encouraging smile that implies how easy it all is.

It can be, certainly. If you are a large company, you have extensive resources to create really clever campaigns. This video clip for Carlton beer in Australia went viral before it was even shown on TV. However, over 90% of businesses in the world barely have 1oo somethings of local currency to spend on advertising in any one year. And it was this very issue that the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum addressed last night.

Around 170 people registered to learn how to expand your network and to take part in “speed dating sessions”. For now, I want to concentrate on the three speakers; Itay Paz, Naomi Elbinger and Nurit Agamy, all experts in how enabling people to ‘get their message across’. Taking the key point from each one, I formulated a very powerful package for those wishing to be noticed and to be talked about.

Stage One:

The title of Itay’s talk said it all: Stand up or stand out. He asked for a volunteer, who was instructed to pick randomly sonebody the volunteer himself would like to meet. Subconciously, the person chose an individual sitting not too far away. Itay then asked for the audience to stand up. The same request was made. A different individual was picked out, who again was situated near the volunteer.

At this point Itay asked his listeners a very simple question. Why had nobody bothered to stand on a chair in order to be seen better? After all, the people at the back had no chance. To rephrase: what is that bit extra that you are prepared to do in order to separate you from your competitors?

Stage Two:

Naomi commented on people’s elevator pitch, that 15 second introductory blurb about yourself that you can whip out just as you are about to start a short ride in the lift with the person you most want to meet. Only, Naomi described this as an “elevator peach”. Make it juicy enough for the listener to like and also to crave for more. And how phrase your fruity words?

Well Naomi provides a template: If you Mr or Mrs Listener have a business that suffers from XXXXX, then I provide YYYY of a service that will guide your sales or production or workflow to an improvement of 1000% in 5 years. The point is to ensure that the listener asks you to continue speaking for longer than a quarter of one minute.

Stage Three:

Nurit said something that was simple and made complete sense. “Brand yourself before others brand you”. Take control of your environment so that everyone knows who you are, even before you arrive at your destination. After all, in these days of social media, many of us should not to be relying on a business card. (For the record, she has none printed up.)

Bottom line: If you want people to talk about yourself and your product, you have to work hard to earn that right. You have to ensure that you are one step ahead of the crowd. You cannot hide behind technology or catchy buzz words, hoping for the best.

And by way of a giveaway, here’s a great blog, which gives three further examples of how some of the larger companies have been adjusting their approach to branding in 2012.

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