What Taylor Swift can teach you about personal branding

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

What Taylor Swift taught us all about personal brand

Image taken by GabboT, used under Creative Commons license.

Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is the most relevant and successful example of doing personal brand right. Here are 5 things we can learn from Swifty herself.

Personal brand is an essential part of everyday business. How you represent yourself can severely affect your business, as people buy from people they like and trust. How can you make the most of personal brand?


Change with the times

One of the biggest changes in how people connect with customers or fans, is social media. It’s something that many companies still shy away from, but it can work wonders for your business.

Using Taylor as an example, she was able to gain a fiercely loyal fan base by connecting with them over social media. Responding to their posts. Adding personality to an industry that is famously impersonal. Meant she could propel herself into the spotlight, setting herself apart from other stars who did not appear to care about their fans.

Many customer service responses to Facebook posts and tweets have gone viral. As they show outstanding service. Tesco for example have been in the news a number of times this year. For taking the time to write a poetic reply or even just declaring their love of bacon. Taking the time to reply to the people reaching out to you shows respect, and creates loyalty, and sometimes even a viral campaign.


Stick with your morals

Taylor is well known for calling journalists out when they make a sexist remark, and for speaking quite honestly.

It can be tempting when building up a business, to begin trying to please every prospect, but the truth is, everyone does that, and it only comes back to bite you later if you agree or go along with things you don’t actually believe in.

Stand up for yourself, and respect what you believe and the ethics of how you work. Others will come to respect you, and if they don’t, do you really want their approval or business anyway?


Take the negative on the chin

Taylor is no stranger to being judged and receiving negative comments, mostly about her personal life.

As the old saying goes ‘jealously can be an ugly thing’, and people making negative comments about your business or brand without genuine reason are more than likely worried about the competition.

Unfortunately, you just have to take it on the chin and keep on doing what you do best. Making other people look bad won’t make you look good, and sinking down to someone else’s level will make you look worse.


Use the power you have to empower other businesses

It was one of the biggest news stories of June when Taylor Swift stood up to the big boys Apple, and refused to let her work go out for free. The even bigger news was that Apple backed down and agreed with Taylor that all artists should be paid for their work.

There are a number of things to look at here. Taylor could of stomped her feet and screamed and shouted that it wasn’t fair, but she was savvy, and used her business mind to leverage Apple to see the unfair and accept responsibility. She also didn’t just do this for her music, she did it for all the artists. Meaning artists who haven’t quite gained the same following yet so don’t have the same power behind them still have a voice too.

If you have power or influence and can use it to make changes for the local community and local businesses, use it.


Show you care

If you want a lesson in how to show your audience that you care about them, look no further than Taylor. She is well-known for keeping an eye on her fans and rewarding those who are loyal.

Before her latest album, 1989, launched she invited dedicated fans to secret listening parties after stalking them (or ‘taylurking’ as she calls it) on social media.

In the run up to Christmas, she surprised some fans with gifts, such as $1989 dollars to go towards a fan paying off her student loans, and sending people stage costumes or items of clothing she’d worn.

Now, you don’t have to go as far as offering to pay off your audiences’ debts, but the occasional surprise for a loyal fan, or maybe even a curious prospective customer, can get people’s attention and make you look caring.


Work hard, but celebrate the good

Though Taylor is doing everything you can think off, she still shows that she is a normal twenty something in some ways. Who would believe she’s like us normal people sometimes? She celebrates birthday, days out with friends and dinners with her boyfriend, and that makes this complete superstar who is successful beyond imagination, relatable.

This is where your blogs and things come in to play. Social media is a way for you to connect with your target audience and show you are normal people, you are relatable and you could be part of this family too.

If you’re a small business and think your brand could use some strategy?

Do you know where you want to go and how you’re going to get there? We could help. Call us today on 01543 495752

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

4 signs you need to rebrand your business

It’s easy to think of your brand as ‘just a logo’, but it’s a visual representation of your business and the way your brand looks has a big impact on how people perceive your business.

Your brand should appear on every touch point your audience and customers have with your business: website, leaflets, catalogues, emails, business cards, packaging, invoices and receipts, social media, signage, and more.

A brand that doesn’t represent your business effectively, can do you more harm than good and have a negative impact on leads and sales.

If your brand is causing you any of the below problems, it’s a sure sign that you need to rebrand your business.


It’s confusing for your existing customers

If your brand focuses on one particular sector, product, or service you offer, your existing clients may not be aware that you offer other related services or products.

At the end of last year, we rebranded Electrical Certs to Veriserv, because the Electrical Certs brand was confusing their clients and staff.

Veriserv offer services in electrical, fire, mechanical, security, and compliance, but the name ‘Electrical Certs’ led their existing customers to believe that they could only handle electrical compliance. Customers were unaware of the other services they offered, and went to other providers for related services that Veriserv actually offer.

The rebrand has helped to make their existing customers aware that they don’t just deal with compliance, and that they can handle many related services. This makes things easier for customers as they don’t have to deal with multiple providers.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is confusing customers.


It’s preventing growth

Similar to the point above, your brand can prevent you from moving into new sectors and growing if it focuses on one particular service or sector.

A couple of years ago, we rebranded a business called SSC Learning (with SSC standing for ‘Skills Source Care’) who offered apprenticeships and training in care, marketing, sales, leadership & management, recruitment, and more.

As they tried to offer training in new sectors, the name SSC Learning held them back and prevented them from moving into new sectors as people thought they only offered care training.

When they relaunched as ‘edo’ they were able to move into new sectors and grow, and were no longer held back by their brand.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is preventing your business from growing.

Read the edo rebranding case study to find out more about how a new brand helped them grow their business and increase inbound leads.


It makes you look low quality

If someone sees a poor quality brand, they will probably think your products and customer service is low quality, and that they’d be better off spending their money elsewhere.

Your brand should represent the quality of service and products you provide.

If you’re a business that sells high-quality, luxurious products or services, your brand needs to reflect that so your audience feel that you’re a high-quality, luxurious brand.

Don’t confuse the price of your products and services with quality; your brand doesn’t necessarily have to represent the price of your products and services.

Even if your products are cheap, or not the most expensive on the market, you can still offer high-quality products and services. Beauty brands are a great example of this.

Some beauty brands give off a luxurious and high-quality feel, even though they’re not the most expensive offering on the market.

Sanctuary Spa Boots screenshot

Take Sanctuary Spa for example; their skincare and beauty products are not the most expensive, but their brand positions them as higher-quality and more luxurious than other brands which sell similarly priced products.

This makes Sanctuary Spa’s audience happy because they feel that by buying their products they’re getting better value for money.

You need to rebrand if: your brand is making you look low-quality and / or cheap.


Your brand makes you look untrustworthy

You know exactly what we mean when we talk about untrustworthy brands. They’re the kind of brands you see on a website and you immediately click back for fear that they’re trying to scam you and take you for all the money in your bank account.

Similarly to brands that look like they provide a poor quality service, you don’t want your brand to give off the vibe that you’re sketchy, are only interested in taking people’s money, and providing no help or support if someone runs into a problem.

A brand that looks trustworthy is especially important if you are an ecommerce website; people don’t want to hand over their bank details to a company that looks untrustworthy.

As well as improving your brand, you can make your business look more credible by:

  • Providing customer service contact information
  • Providing information about returning items, or what to do if you’re unhappy
  • Having an SSL certificate – your domain will start with https://, rather than http://
  • Using a widely recognised payment gateway like PayPal, or SagePay

You need to rebrand if: your brand makes you look untrustworthy.


Rebranding can seem like a huge and daunting task, but if your existing brand is causing you any of the above issues, you are missing out on leads and sales.


If your brand is holding your business back, call us on 01543 387 047 to find out how we might be able to work together, and arrange a chat to pop into our Burntwood office. Or for more insight into branding you can check out more of our blogs. 


I don’t know where to start with marketing

I don't know where to start marketing

I don't know where to start marketing

It’s a statement many businesses ask themselves when it comes to marketing.

You have a load of great ideas, but you don’t know quite how to put them into action. Your brand isn’t working for you, but you don’t want to change it for the worst and lose the customers you do have.

You are desperate to rebrand but already need another 40 hours in the day as it is. You would love to have a marketing department who could just deal with all of this, but there is no way that is plausible for your company at the moment.

Or is it?

At The Marketing People, many of our clients use us as their marketing department and let us take care of all their marketing needs.

From a full rebrand of your company, to sending letters out to your customers, we can help. That means you can continue to focus on your business.

We can also offer a full rebrand to help you expand your business in to areas that were previously unavailable to you. Have a look at the blog post from our Marketing Dogs about the rebrand we did for edo “Bonjour and Ni Hao edo” for a bit more detail on the process of rebranding.

Can’t wait to get started? Give us a call today to book in for a friendly, no obligation chat about how we might be able to help.


The Marketing DogsGeorge and Chops say: Always start with a big fuss, it’s the best way to start any day



Click here to read more from the I Don’t Know series.

What is pre-marketing and why is it important?


Pre-marketing The Marketing People

Pre-marketing is part of our three tier approach to marketing. A process we believe is vital for any business looking to grow.

What is pre-marketing?

Pre-marketing is the foundation stage of any marketing plan to enable business development. Prior to any marketing, SEO or social marketing, this step ensures that you have the right brand. The right website, stationery, brochure/catalogue and other related sales and marketing tools in place. To ensure you capitalise on your ongoing marketing and sales team activity.

It helps you to clarify who you are, what you do, your target audience and their requirements. Where you want to be and how you are going to get there.

Let’s start a project together

Getting this right is vitally important. As all other marketing activities are built on this and help to determine your direction and your value in the marketplace.

The value proposition you put forward in any marketing or sales material will help you to establish your competitive advantage over other similar companies. It will help prospects to determine if they feel your offering fits their requirements and if they will buy from you.

Key areas you should focus on for development are:

Why does my business need pre-marketing?

Pre-marketing is the first stage of sales and business development. It gives your brand a solid platform and all of the tools you need to market and re-market your brand effectively.

Without the right tools, you may struggle to set yourself apart from your competition. Or attract the customers you actually want or be unable to measure your return on any marketing investment.

So what happens if I work with The Marketing People?

When we first meet with a client, whether they are a new business or are looking to rebrand. We talk to them in great detail about their business. Who they are, what they do and who they do it for.

Once we know all of these things we can begin developing their brand. As well as assessing what tools we need to provide them with to allow them to market their brand and see results.

After the pre-marketing stage, businesses can move onto the marketing stage and begin generating leads and sales using the marketing communications provided during pre-marketing. You can find our full marketing approach on our website.

You can see the work we did with edo, who came to us as SSC learning, and wanted to rebrand to allow them more opportunities within the training market. After following our pre-marketing step, they saw a 300% increase in business.

If you’re a small business based in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock, Staffordshire or West Midlands area and want to find our more about our pre-marketing approach, get in touch with us to find out how we can help you. Call us on 01543 387 047 or go to our contact page.


Branding & Creative Design for Burntwood & District CFRs.

Community First Responders leaflet and stand

Community First Responders leaflet and stand

The Burntwood District Community First Responders (CFRs) are a group of volunteers who respond to emergency calls on behalf of the West Midlands Ambulance Service and are able to arrive at the scene and begin treatment before the Ambulance arrives.

Recently the CFRs approached us to design an exhibition stand and leaflet for a fundraising event they’re holding at Veolia in Cannock. Who very kindly allow the CFRs to store their First Response vehicle at their premises which are secure and allow them access to the vehicle 24/7.

If you wish to attend and support the CFRs, the event will take place on Friday morning on the 21st June. You will be able to find their stand in the foyer at Veolia.


The Challenge

Fundraising is essential to the CFRs as they are all volunteers who do it in their spare time. So without donations they won’t be able to afford new equipment or a much needed Response Car. As their existing one has over 102,000 miles on the clock.

So the message we needed to get across to the local community was this. Without public support they won’t be able to respond to emergency calls and offer people life saving treatment.


The Answer

When the CFRs initially got in touch with us they didn’t have a brand at all. So in order to help them raise awareness, we consulted with them and followed our branding process. Which looks at who you are and what you do, to develop the Burntwood Community First Responders brand.

Before we could begin the creative design process we looked at the key marketing messages. Which needed to be on the exhibition stand and leaflet. These included; who the CFRs are, what they do and a strong call to action which encourages people to donate to them.

After looking at the key marketing messages we were able to move onto creative design and design an exhibition stand for the event and a leaflet which will be given out on stand and will be used in local businesses to help raise awareness throughout the community.


What’s Next?

We like helping out charities or volunteer groups wherever we can and as a Burntwood based business we felt it was important that we supported our local CFRs as the work they do is brilliant and we may benefit from their help one day. We will continue to support them and will be looking to help them with their website in the near future.


If you would like to find out more about the Community First Responders visit their website, where you can also support them and make a donation via PayPal.

To find out how we can help you with marketing that offers you real opportunities to sell your products or services, call us on 01543 387 047 or email us at contact@themarketingpeople.com.