In this first full episode, Jon starts by explaining how the podcast came about and its purpose - and introduces himself for those who don't know him.
The first main segment this week includes
The second main segment starts to explore video as a significant business tool including:
Future episodes will build on these themes and offer practical advice to help listeners stand out more....
You can find out more about the podcast on the website at: https://standingoutpodcast.com
Hello, this is Jon W welcoming you to the Standing Out podcast!
And let me start by saying a big thank you to all those of you who listened to the trailer of this podcast and have come here to listen today. The feedback and comments I've had for the trailer have actually been very encouraging. And well now here we are with this first full episode.
So you may be here because you're curious or you may be here because you run a business or an organization. Or like so many of us today you're on your own, perhaps working from home. And of course, you'd like to attract more customers or clients to what you have to offer.
And this podcast is of course, starting in the middle of the hugely disruptive COVID virus pandemic. So with all the other challenges that running any kind of business presents, we have the current practical issues and the uncertainty about the economic future. And there's still going to be competition no matter what you do. And generally speaking, customers and clients are not going to be beating a path to your door, unless you can successfully attract their attention and powerfully helping them to understand your potential value for them. To do that, you not only need to stand out from the crowd in the first place, but you also need to be very effective in the way you communicate.
Well, right now, this podcast is not going to be about marketing or advertising or social media, or any of those important areas of business. Those things may well come in further down the line. Because we really need to make sure that we're building our business presence on a very firm foundation on a bedrock of identity that is much more than what we do and how wrll we do it.
in a minute, we're going to start looking at why 'standing out' just isn't the same as 'being outstanding'. And that's going to take us into the reality of what makes a brand stand out and be attractive. And why the idea of a brand is far more than just a great logo no matter how well designed, and why you as a person and the business or organization you represent already are brands, even if by accident. We're going to look at why the idea of a strong brand is just as important for a sole trader, as it is for a big company.
Now the brand that you have, may not be serving you very well, or at least not as well as you deserve. So we're going to talk about practical things you can do to stand out more. But before we get there, we need to be sharing the same language and understand some basic principles - but nothing too technical or jargon-ey though. Then we can get into practical things. Things that you can choose to do for yourself in more depth.
From the reactions I've had to presenting about this elsewhere in the past, I'm pretty sure there are likely to be some 'AHA' moments, and some things that proved to be quite thought provoking for you. Now, just to set your mind at rest all this is not going to happen in this one episode of the podcast just in case you were wondering.
Another topic I'm going to be exploring with you, also starting today is why video is and has become such a powerful tool in recent years, and how you can make good use of the medium, whether or not you're already using it. From making better video content yourself using your smartphone, through to working with professional video production. Again, though, there'll practical things you can do, as well as getting a better understanding. And to change things up in future episodes. I'll be introducing guests from various parts of the business world to share their knowledge, experience and practical suggestions to help you stand out more. So who knows where we'll go in the future.
Now, before we get into our main topics, well, some of you will know me, but many of you won't. So just briefly, let me tell you my story.
My mother, with the best of intentions tried very hard to steer me into a respectable profession, for which I have to say I was entirely unsuited. And instead, much to her dismay, I wanted to be a photographer, reflecting my love of the medium from when I was very young. Pretty much from the first click of my simple black plastic Kodak Brownie 127 camera. I was hooked by being able to capture and create images and later to develop and print them in my darkroom converted bedroom.
Well going my own way led me initially into fashion and advertising photography and then from a while to the movie industry but on the production side rather than behind a camera. And then an unexpected career change found me in the world of high tech, IT and a variety of roles across marketing technical project management and business development in a corporate environment. And later through management consultancy, I should say that at this point, my mother was actually pretty relieved.
But the early noughties saw me change yet again and come around full circle back into professional business photography. And a bit later moving into the emerging world of online video. I also worked with clients in various fields on marketing and business development projects. So I've had a lot of different experiences over the years and certain things have shown themselves to be particularly significant for achieving positive outcomes, time and time again. And those things are standing out well, intentionally, and doing it with authenticity and integrity. And the bit that I've often noticed people and businesses can be challenged by is the standing out bit and how to do it well. And that really led me to have the idea for this podcast. But now let's just take a minute to consider why being 'outstanding' is not the same thing as 'standing out'.
So are you outstanding at what you do? Or is what you offer an outstanding example of its kind? There are an awful lot of outstanding people and outstanding things out there. And yet they don't achieve the recognition and success that they might deserve. You can be brilliant at what you do, but still not stand out and achieve success.
The way I think of standing out is that it's about being noticed, about having a presence and about standing out with integrity, not hype. And if you and I want to stand out and want our businesses or organizations to stand out, we want that to happen in a good way. And in a good way that attracts the right kind of people to us.
It's fair to say there are both individuals and businesses that have stood out in ways that have been less than helpful. I suspect we can all think of people like that - for example, in the world of politics, entertainment, and yes, business. And businesses and organizations also that are noticeable for the amount of criticism and negative press, they're tracked.
So here on the Standing Out podcast, I want to give you ideas and information and tools that if you apply them can help you stand out more and help you stand out well, in the crowded, competitive and challenging environment we're likely to be in.
Now, one little thing before we move on, we're all involved in different things. Some of us run businesses or organizations. Some of us employ others, and some of us don't. Some of us are sole traders or practitioners, some are in the professions and others are professionals or in the trades. I'm generally going to use just the term business, but know that whoever you are, and whatever you do, that includes you too.
So let's start now by digging into the title of this episode, which I've called, you've got a great logo that people aren't buying.
So why the title of this episode? No, I know the answer is a bit obvious. that people don't buy from you or engage with you, just because they like your logo. No matter how clever or well designed or visually attractive it is. Pretty obviously, the reason they choose you, your product or your service is what sits behind the logo or business name and what they associate with it.
It's very common for people to use the word 'brand' to mean their logo and branding to describe logo design and other graphic elements to their business. But that's simply not what the word is about. Many people use the words brand and branding, but don't really know what the words mean.
So let's define our terms first. Take McDonald's. You might have thought that their famous Golden Arches were the brand. Actually the whole of the McDonald's brand is pretty complex and made up of many different parts. And another instantly recognizable logo is the Nike 'swoosh'. And the Nike brand is typically synonymous both with excellence and with sporting endeavor, and represented well by their tagline of 'Just Do It', which they've been using since it was introduced in 1968.
But these symbols are just tangible visual elements for the intangible promise McDonald's and Nike make to their customers. Every business in some way or other makes an intangible promise of some unkind or even a stated one. So let me ask you, what's yours?
So it's common to confuse the logo with the brand itself. The logo is the main visual graphic a business will use to identify their product or service and identify their business, and the consumer will grow to associate that graphic with the feeling or the promise. The confusion begins with the interchanging usage of the words 'logo' and 'brand'.
One way of describing business branding is: 'a feeling or promise associated with a certain company or product.' I like the often-quoted description by Jeff Bezos, who's the founder of Amazon.com, who put it this way: "Your brand is what people say about you, when you've left the room".
it's not a tangible thing. And it's something that we'll be exploring in the future.
Let's just consider for a moment some other things that are not your brand. Along with your logo, the color scheme you have isn't your brand nor is your website They represent your brand, but your brand itself is what sits behind them. And your business name isn't your brand, although it may well give an insight into what you do. And what you actually do, the type of business, organization or profession, and the features of what you do are not themselves your brand. They are part of what goes into it.
And yes, it's a bit of a big subject. But it does have tremendous potential value if you use it intentionally and if you give it some thought. Not having an intentional thought about brand can hold you back. And it can even have damaging unintentional consequences. But don't worry, we're going to take it in bite-sized chunks over the coming episodes.
So let's dig in a bit more.
Now maybe sometimes you've had the thought: "I don't know what it is about them, but there's just something I like." Perhaps you've sometimes felt this way about a business, or a product, or perhaps even a person. Perhaps you like their image, how they think, or their way of doing things. Maybe you liked what they stand for, or their worldview. Whatever the reason, you were likely attracted to them because they possessed qualities or traits or characteristics that appealed to you on a personal level, on an emotional level.
Now your brand is everything your business means to people. The set of qualities it evokes, when someone hears its name, or your name. every encounter people have with you or your business contributes to your brand in some way.
Now, where did this term 'brand' actually come from? Well, it stems from a very interesting origin. In the old days, ranchers and farmers would brand their livestock with an image to distinguish their herds from others. I'm sure you're familiar with that. That image became associated with the farmer, much like the Golden Arches have become synonymous with McDonald's. This was the beginning of logo design. But since then, branding has evolved into a different form.
A brand is no longer a single image, the term 'logo' takes that definition, instead a brand has become an intangible entity. No matter what product or service you offer, there should be something about you that compels your clients or customers to choose you over the next guy. So find that thing. Write it down and bam, you've got a brand.
And while we're still talking about words, what does the verb 'branding' mean, as opposed to the noun 'brand'? Well, branding is a process. Branding is the process used to create a business's unique identity. This brand identity helps communicate what the company's purpose is, who it helps, how it differs from competitors, and how it wants prospective customers and clients to perceive it.
In its own way, this is also true for personal branding. Like people, businesses must be relatable, likeable, and engaging if they hope to prosper in a saturated and competitive marketplace.
And one final thing on words. Branding is not the same thing as marketing. The brand is the foundation on which marketing is built. And I'm going to talk about that more in a future episode.
So what is branding used for? Branding is the way you let people know who your product or service is for, and lets them know what they can expect when they buy your product or service. It makes your case for why you're the best choice out of all the others they're considering. And it's the foundation on which credibility is established. Awareness is built, and what you become recognized and remembered for, and it's the foundation for becoming known, liked and trusted.
Now your product or service is going to leave an impression on your customers and clients long after you've made the sale or done business with them. How you develop that brand identity is the process of shaping that impression, which then needs to be maintained and managed.
Simply put, your brand is defined by a customer's overall perception of you and your business.
If you're a small business owner who has yet to leverage brand building or you're still not sure why you should - well, I have to say that you're missing out on the foundation on which successful business promotion is based.
If you've managed to win clients and make sales already, you're already doing branding. The question is whether you're doing it with intention, and whether it's serving you well. Let's just try and sum it up very simply like this: your brand is your reputation. And what that reputation is, and what goes into making it so is what counts.
So we've covered quite a lot, haven't we, and you may not have taken it all in, I wouldn't be surprised. Well remember you can find a link to the transcript of this whole episode if it would be helpful. Or of course, you can listen again.
And next time, we'll start to explore how you can develop your brand with intention. And I'd like to give you a task to take away to do for yourself. Some things to think about and ideally make notes for yourself. Soi, what do you want people to think or say about you and your business? What reputation do you have? And if it's not quite what you want, what reputation do you want to have? Think about this over the next few days and do make some notes because they'll come in useful as we go forward in this whole area of developing your brand. And now, next up, we're going to start exploring why video has become such an important tool and what makes it so potentially powerful.
So did you watch any video today, or yesterday? And did you watch on your smartphone or a tablet, on a laptop, computer or desktop, or even TV? And it's pretty obvious that video is everywhere. And it's being used for so many different things and in so many different ways.
YouTube is still the biggest platform. Here are some current statistics which are just mind blowing. Every minute 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube! 5 billion videos are watched daily worldwide on the YouTube platform! And of course, you can now find video on all the major social media platforms. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has said on more than one occasion that he expects eventually all the content on Facebook will be video.
Now the use of pre recorded video is not the only growth trend, because live video as really been coming along very fast in the last couple of years. And live Video is more than just zoom which of course, many of us have been using in recent times during the Coronavirus and the restrictions on movement. Many other platforms have also jumped on the live video bandwagon. As you may already know, live streaming services are growing in popularity on YouTube, on Facebook on Instagram, and various other popular social media channels.
Now in this segment today, I'm just going to give an introduction. We'll go into more practical things in future episodes.
Video first emerged onto the Internet probably in the form of a live feed of a band called 'Severe Tire Damage' in June 1993. It was very low quality and conditions were so primitive by today's standards, broadcasting the video of 'Severe Tire Damage' into cyberspace required hogging almost half of the bandwidth of the entire internet! Of course, there were no smartphones and no webcams. And video cameras were bulky, expensive. and pretty much strictly for professionals.
But the rapid advances in technology we've seen over less than 30 years since, has seen high quality video cameras put into most people's pockets. I imagine most of you if not all of you listening to this podcast, have one with you right now. Professional equipment has also shrunk in size and grown in sophistication and capabilities. And the internet itself has grown to cover the planet and superfast megabit communication speeds into our homes couldn't have been imagined in those pioneering days.
But remember that video like so many other things for business is just a tool and isn't a magic potion for success in and of itself. Like any other tool or facility it's how you use it, and how well you use it that counts and makes a difference.
The 'how' we'll explore in future episodes. Today, we're just going to understand what makes it so important. So why do we like video on why do we respond to it so well?
Well, the fact is that the way we're designed we're predominantly visual creatures, and what we see is a large, large proportion of the information that we take in. And the brain has been equipped with four specific areas, which actually like different aspects of what video has to offer.
Not surprisingly, one of those things is faces. There's an actual brain function that hardwires us to use the human face as a gathering point for information and believability. People meeting you almost always look at your face first. And of course video lets people meet you online. The next thing the brain really responds to well is voice. Voices convey rich information and the simple sound of a human voice speaking to us has an amazing way of converting information into meaningful content. Words on a page are just not the same.
But video can deliver voices, music, and more. A third thing is movement. And movement grabs attention. And of course video is very good at creating a moving experience. And actually, the fourth thing is also about a moving experience of a different kind. It's about emotions. Because emotions are contagious, and the body language of emotions is very appealing. And video is really great at emotions. And these four aspects, together mean that video is the most powerful communication tool that's available to us today in business.
Now, when cinema was first invented in the early 20th century, the novelty of movement on the screen was what attracted audiences and the showing of body language and facial expressions.
To begin with, of course, there was no synchronized sound recording. So the black and white silent movies had dialogue captioned on the screen, and there was usually a piano or organ use to fill the silence and provide some emotional color.
And of course, the statistics about uploads to YouTube and how many videos are watched, just shows that we're still in love with this great medium, and how powerfully it influences our lives.
And using video for marketing has grown dramatically. And video marketing as a method and discipline is now well established. Although it's still to some extent evolving. And it's not about how much you spend for business video, but whether it's supporting your brand, and whether you have a thought-through, attractive brand in the first place on which to build your video content.
And because it's such an important medium, and it's such an important tool in the world of business today, there's a huge amount of market research going on all the time. And while I'm not going to quote loads of statistics at you, it's very clear that it influences people's buying decisions. And time and time again research has shown that businesses who use video and have tried video say that video has improved their conversion rates and has had other beneficial effects on their businesses.
So what we're going to do in future episodes is we're, going to look at lots of different ways that you can use video and how to go about choosing what would be good for you. And also some simple things you can do to get better results with your smartphone if you want to make your own videos, which is a perfectly legitimate thing in a lot of cases. And also how you can plan your video content. But we'll go into a lot more than that as well, over time. But right now, we're coming to the end of this episode.
So we've really covered quite a lot, haven't we? We've had a look at what branding actually is - and a bit about what it isn't - and why having an intentional brand can actually be very beneficial for your business. And we've had a look at what it is that makes video such a powerful marketing tool and communication vehicle for our businesses today.
So the next episode is going to air in two weeks time on the ninth of September. We'll be building on some of the themes that we've started talking about today. Please, if you've enjoyed this program, then do tell other people about it and give them the address of the of the website: >standingoutpodcast.com. And if you want to give me some feedback on today's program, then please email me at: >email@example.com<.
So again, this is Jon W saying: "Thank you for joining me here today on The Standing Out Podcast.