“You’re not Apple.” That’s ok… you don’t have to be. (Though of course, it’d be nice .. shiny new iPads.)
Apple’s stuff flies off the shelves, they have an unpaid army of fans and supporters building up their products and it seems everyone wants to write/talk about them. They also spend the $$, as Apple markets themselves brilliantly via retail, advertising, strategic PR, carefully planned events.
Look at their ads: they don’t talk specs and features, they’re not selling. They offer more than just solutions and benefits, time savers and fun, time wasters like Siri, games and social media. They communicate ideas, feelings, usefulness relative to the users.
If you have a good product or service, offer value to others.. then you’re in business, so long as you can communicate that to the right people.
Who, What, When, Where, How, Why?
Answering these questions will write your marketing, PR, communications plan. Hell, throw in a few spreadsheets, sprinkle on the Excel pixie dust, you’ll see a business plan forming.
- Define your brand, focus on your strengths, minimize your weaknesses. Identify those you can help with your boffo products or whiz bang services and go find more of them.
- Don’t run from the competition, study them, learn from them, find ways to do it better. Fat and lazy gets beaten by small and quick, the big guys can get it wrong with terrible customer service story telling – that ignores the customer.
- Figure out where you were, where you are now, and where you need to be. Determine where the fish are biting and what bait to use; if nary a customer is using Facebook, then no you don’t ‘need’ a FB page no matter what some pundit tells you.
It’s all relative
You can have the bestest thingamabobs in the tri-state area, but if no one hears of you, no one ‘gets’ what your doodads can do for them, it won’t matter. Customers search to solve their problems, not to find your solutions.
You can be a great place to work but unless you are involved with your community and people understand your business is more than a line on a resume, you’ll have a hard time recruiting top talent to work there.
Yes start up businesses can not only afford PR, IMO they need that comprehensive approach to communications – focusing on more than just the media. It’s public relations for a reason, because it’s about relationships and communications, relating to the various strategic audiences businesses need in order to succeed.
Stories are for the audience
Who cares from memory chips and data speed when they can have a “so easy, even my techno-challenged F&F can do it” FaceTime chat?
There’s only one Apple. There’s also only one you. Grow your business by telling your story in a way your audiences - customers, as well as media, employees, investors, vendors – can relate to.
Photo credit: History, humor .. also relative, especially for a dork like myself. Very Demotivational.