Are you looking for ways to effectively brand your product or service? In this series Clay Clark sits down with the Thriver of the Month, Melissa Coursen, and does a quick crash course on branding.Sign Up to Watch
-And then you want your product to live up to that. And a lot of people struggle with this, because I think subconsciously they go, I don't want to over-market, I don't want to over-promote. So then they under-promote and then no one buys your product. So you've got to bring to the peak and then make your product meet that standard. Make sense?
-So the next thing is professional packaging. You had mentioned some ideas which I think are proprietary, so I won't get into the details on camera. But I want to share with you is that when you have an idea for your branding, your actual packaging needs to be as good and/or better than the actual product itself. Have you ever bought anything from Rustic Cuff?
-OK, I'm going to make sure-- as part of this, I'm going to send you a Rustic Cuff as a little commemorative gift there. I'll make sure we do that. But, Jill, have you ever got the box they come in? Isn't the box awesome?
-So Jill's one of our Thrive 15 mentors. I mean, when you get the box with the Rustic Cuff in it, do you have a certain perspective or perception? I mean, this is a product that-- celebrities wear those bracelets, Oprah wears those bracelets. I mean, they're a big-time brand. But when you get the actual box, you assume that it must be super world-class and then when you open it up and you actually get the cuff out of that thing, you go, man this is actually a great product, but I would say half of the experience is getting that box.
I mean, I don't any. My wife owns a couple. But when you open it up, you're going, oh, wow, these are great. So your packaging has to be awesome.
I'm just telling you, like you and your husband, as you're building this company together-- how do you know if it's world-class, by the way? How are you going to know if your box is good?
-Feedback, I would think. Just by hearing back from others.
-Here's the move. Take your packaging with you, and go to Macy's. Go to Barnes & Noble. You've got to do this. And I'm not even kidding.
This is a super serious step. You have to do this. Go there and then put your book on the shelf where the other books are at Barnes & Noble. And look at it and go, does that fit in with the bestsellers?
And if it doesn't, make it get to it. Make it get to that level. I've literally done this countless times with clients. I had one store I worked with, they were a food business. They make gourmet desserts.
And her packaging was hideous. It was terrible. Great lady, terrible branding. And it looked like-- you're going, you can't put that in the store. Like, you realize if you were to call a major store up and say, hey, would you put this in the store?
They're going to say, no. Well, why? Because the branding is bad. So we've got to make sure that your branding is awesome. So once you build your packaging, take it to the Macy's, take it to Barnes & Noble, and just compare with other products. Make sense?
-World-class, though. Now, step number seven-- wow, first impression or nothing. This is called the mullet approach. I want to walk you through this. The wow.
I call this the mullet approach. Are you super familiar with the mullet concept? But you have the guy here and he's got the guy. And he's usually got some sort of facial scruff going on here.
This is the guy. And he's got this hair where he's got this here. But then somehow he has this. It just keeps flowing and going here. And he's got this complete mullet technology that allows him to-- usually he has lightning bolts in his hair right here. Like, lightning bolts right here.
This is the guy and it's a mullet. It's wild back here. And one of the things that people do with the mullet over time, as they get older, is they start to take their mullet and they refine it. And they go, this is too wild.
Once a man who's committed to a mullet becomes 30, he changes. He says, I can't have that mullet. So he goes-- and he starts to do this. So now he's like, oh, nice, this is going to be good. OK, so now it's formal in the front and it's a party in the back.
[INTRO MUSIC PLAYING]
-And I'm just going to tell you what I did with my DJ company to give you an example of the mullet. My DJ company, I had this unbelievably awesome house my wife and I built. So this is just the layout of the house. So you walk into the house, you pull up to the house, and it's kind of like-- this is kind of the build out here. And I'm not an architect, but I'm just trying hard here. OK, so we go through here, and so you have-- oh it's getting good now. So basically this is a door right here. And this door-- this kind of led up here. Oh yeah, OK. Oh yeah, here it comes. It's all coming together. Like a modern day Bob Ross.
OK, so this is the garage, and you pull up to the house, and the house was, I'm going to say I was 20 years old, and it's probably a $300,000 house. So I'm 20 years old, have this really nice house. People pull up, and they go up to this-- we have one door right here-- and they go in and they go, oh we're here to meet about our wedding.
And it is plush. I had the nicest couch from Mathis, it's a furniture store in Tulsa. I had the great music, had the vanilla bean smelling stuff. Had Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble is playing. People are going-- Harry Connick. Mothers are feeling comfortable, they're going, wow, this is legit. And I'm not making this up, my wife and I literally did not have a couch for our family. We literally did not have a refrigerator. We literally had no appliances, and we literally we're just barely make it.
-But the customers were like, wow. Because they didn't walk into my whole house, they just walk into that presentation office. So they would come in, and they would stay over this region, they never went into the house. They would just stay right over here in our presentation office.
-So you were living in the mullet?
-I was. I literally had a formal front, and a party in the back. The party was, we had nothing. I was a complete faux finish business. And then, all of our equipment we kept in a mini storage facility that I was paying $90 a month for.
-But the customers never saw that. All they saw was that first impression. So I'm just encouraging you guys, however you want to do it, you're going to have to invest in the formalness upfront. You can still have a party in the back. You can still be living on the cheap in the back, but you've got to make sure there's a certain regalness, a certain branding where they go, wow, Melissa must be awesome. And it's uncompromising. And I'm just telling you, you want people to judge and go, oh my gosh, she must be rich.
I'll give you one more example. I worked with a Realtor years ago. And he drove a car that was not as bad as my car, because I was currently driving-- I just had a pig headedness. I used to drive a brown van that was missing a door because one of our employees had ripped it off. And I'm like, I'm not selling it. So I drove this brown van, so I would drive us around and then-- but this guy comes up and he's a Realtor. And he would pull up to someone's house, he'd pull his car in the driveway, and it was like a Ford Festiva. And I used to drive a Ford Festiva, so don't rip the Festive. Actually I drove a Ford Escort, and '89 Ford Escort Hatchback.
But he would pull in, and people would look at his car, and they're like, he looks like the worst Realtor in town. Even though he's a really good guy. And he couldn't get deals. So I was explain to him, I said, hey if you'll go to Lexus or Mercedes, and lease a car that you only drive to appointments. You can get one for $350 a month. Just very few miles on it, just drive to appointments only. It's your closer. Invest in a suit, and a Mercedes.
So he literally had an outfit he wore, he called The Closer. It was really nice jeans, and he had a sport coat. And he would pull up in his nice luxury car, and the customer would go, oh hey, how are you? Oh, doing fine. And then he would open up his briefcase, he would have his nice items, and the customer was like, man this guy must be successful. I feel confident working with him. Does that makes sense?
So I'm just asking you to be, you and your husband to be very self aware as you're going through this process. And make sure whatever the customer sees is very formal, very regal, high quality. But you can have a party in the back. You can have the cheapest thing going on behind the scenes. No one needs to know about that. But you just want to make sure it looks great upfront. Does that make sense?
-Now, the next thing here for you, that we need to talk about here, is that your customer reviews and ratings. Number 8. Customer reviews and ratings. You need to incentivize those customer reviews and ratings. You've got to get people to share their feelings about your service.
-It's formal-- so what am I saying? Well, when you and your husband are trying to wow people-- I'm just telling you how it is-- when you meet with clients, you want to have a really nice-- do you anticipate meeting clients at your home or do you anticipate meeting clients where you go to them?
WOMAN: Probably where we meet in a neutral place.
-OK, so let's say that you pull in to a coffee shop to meet a prospective client. I'm just giving you all the items you've got to jot these down-- is 1, I would make sure that your briefcase is world class. And you're like, are you telling me that I spend a ton of money on a briefcase. I'm like, no, I think you should buy a brand that people know would cost a lot of money. Because when people see it, they're like, oh, she must be successful. I'm just telling you.
And then your computer, or your presentation, you might want to have it on an iPad or something that's nice. And get a brand that people know. It's not for you. It's for them. It's that first impression. So you say, well, let me share with you about what we do. You open up your nice briefcase. And you open up your nice iPad there, and then you present, and you share, and you show them your beautiful website and your great print pieces.
So your print pieces have to be awesome. This is the print materials, print collateral, really sharp. It has to be world class. And they go, oh, wow, she's got a nice briefcase, has a nice iPad, has nice prints, has a nice business card. Wow, she must be credible.
But if it begs a question, why would a really good publisher have a really bad bag? So let me tell you an example. I call this jackass-ery. But this is what I used to do I used to meet brides and grooms and I had a really good DJ service. I'm not exaggerating. I've won most of the awards you could win for Best DJ. And I literally, literally had the worst presentation you could possibly have.
I didn't have any print pieces. I didn't have any briefcase. I had no collaterals as far as presentation stuff. And I would sit in with the bride and the groom, and I would just take notes on a yellow pad. And they're like, so what do you charge. I'm like, well, we charge $650, and I read the number. And they're like, what.
And then they'd say, do you have any type of sales materials. And I'm like, let me tell you this. My service is so good that if I DJ your wedding-- I will DJ your wedding for free. And then you just pay me afterwards if I'm not terrible. This my contract-- I'll put here, I'll do your wedding for $1. And at the wedding, if I don't screw it up, you can pay me the remaining $600. And they're like, OK.
And they were just-- and just because I was a crazy person, I could just sort of luck my way through a few deals. But as I started working my way up the food chain, I remember I met Alice Hargrove-- and she's the event planner for Boeing-- and she goes, so you have no contracts. And I'm like, true. Do you have any-- do you have a website? Nope. Do you have a-- I never have those. And she said, how are you in business? And I'm like, well, actually I'm a-- she said, do you have an LLC that we can pay or-- no, I'm a sole proprietor. She goes, oh, OK. And I almost lost every major deal because of just how ridiculous my presentation was. And I don't want that to happen for you.
-I don't either.
-Does that make sense? So you have to view this as an investment in your client. So, it's not you being a non-frugal. I'm saying you could find like a refurbished awesome leather bag that's normally $1,000 for $100. And you could probably buy an iPad that's refurbished and have it really nice. And you can do these things on a budget. But you just has to be first class. Because, otherwise, it begs the question.
Have you ever met a man-- maybe he's kind of related to someone. And he's kind of like-- he's not related to your immediate family. He's probably on your husband's side. He's, again, he's kind of not really related to your husband immediately. He probably married into the family. And he's just kind of off-putting. And you meet him and you're like, I don't trust them. And he just feels kind of weird. That's what happens when you meet a salesperson who they're not really formal, they don't have their stuff together.
And how does this relate to the mullet? Well, the concept of the mullet is the most mullet's all about being formal in the front. You got the formal in the front. But the party can be going on in the back, though. So, what I'm saying is you can have a very high class presentation, and then when you can go back to your house and you can be officing in a many storage unit, with no air conditioning, and barely able to pay your bills, and you're still going to get the deal. They just think you're doing well.
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