Tag Archives: Brand

Let Me Help You Rise Above The Crowd

My 2-year-old son has crazy amounts of energy. We recently spent time together at a local indoor play centre. No matter how hard I tried to watch him, he became invisible among the other children. Wanting him to stand out from all the other kids playing became a frustration for me. The enjoyment of watching him play was lost in the frustration of not seeing him stand out.

Do you feel the same frustration when your business gets lost among the noise and blur of everything around it? If you do, let me share my experience and understanding of design, business and community. In under sixty minutes, I can start you on your journey towards an original, authentic and engaging personal brand.

6 Steps to new personal branding

I visited a presentation this week and listened to a room full of energetic people with many years’ experience listening intently to how their chosen field of work was going to get harder unless they changed. I also noticed how they produced their own marketing material through their own means and not using a skilled practitioner. Most of what they do is marketing, yet marketing for themselves had been left alone.

The biggest message from that day was that “if you stay the same, and not evolve, you will get left behind”

Many people don’t know where to start when it comes to personal branding. To help you out I wanted to give you some guidelines on how to structure your personal branding. Here are Six Steps to improve your personal branding. These can be reviewed at any time and don’t need to be completed in order.

  1. Establish your purpose as an expert
  2. Embrace and expand your STORY.
  3. Explore your competitors as you build your brand
  4. Show Localness & Profile Photos
  5. Craft your individual Branding statement
  6. BE DIGITALLY discoverable as a BRAND

If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I’m happy to connect with you and listen to your story.

Target Markets

One of the main reasons for failure of small business is not understanding your customer. Identifying ‘target markets’ is therefore not just an exercise in segmenting customers by age or income, what is needed, is a deeper understanding of what drives your target customer’s decisions.

For example in Real Estate, the key question when trying to understand your customer is “why”.  When they explain they are interested in a 3-bedroom home in a certain area, you need to understand why. For an empty nester, a spare room may be needed for visiting family, while for first home buyers they may be looking for a room to rent out to generate income.

Understanding someone’s stated ‘position’ is easy, but to be effective you need to understand their ‘interests’ – the why. Moving from positions to interests is the first rule of negotiation, so whether it’s your vendor or a buyer, make sure you invest the time to find out what drives their decisions. This understanding of your customer not only avoids making dangerous assumptions, but can also lead to creative solutions, and delighted and loyal customers.

Contact David on 0800 800 303 to chat more.

David Ferguson
Negotiation Strategist



Who are your clients? What are they concerned about? Why do they buy from you?

Say hello to Mr Potato Head, he is 52 years old, married, lives in West Auckland and has a cat called Zeus.  Mr Head is a CEO of a medium-sized business, loves fishing at the weekend and only goes on social media to check up on his kids.

My question for you, does Mr Potato Head sound familiar? Is he one of your clients?

Can you describe your key clients in a few sentences?

You may have clients from different generations, from different walks of life. They are all at different stages of life too and your brand needs to have a clear message to each of them. Each of your target markets will understand influence in a different way, their core values, attributes and how they deal with money, are also individual for each generation.

Knowing who your customers are and how to help them connect with your business, is key and makes it easier to promote whatever you’re doing and bring them along on your brand’s journey. While we know you’d love to buy a coffee with ALL of them, another way to get to know who they are is to create Buyer Personas. The buyer persona concept will provide you with a handy template around the how, what and why to create your own individual fictional client. You can have as many as two or twenty depending on how many demographics you’re targeting in your business.

Contact Tom on 0800 800 303 to chat more about how to set up your buyer personas.

Tom Newton-Smith
Brand Strategist


Connecting Better

Ok, so it’s early in the morning, some of us have to work and we have got to hit the road fast to beat this crazy Auckland traffic. My thought after going to the Global Speakers Summit is “how do we connect better with either your workmates, clients or even with the community?” Steve Sammartino talks about box life.  We live, drive and work in boxes. We heat and eat from a box and finally die in a box. Unsettling and a great wake up call to how we do life. I even write this post with a box shaped tech, resting on a box sitting in my box office talking to myself after buying a box drink from a person in a box…lol.

Does work have to be box like this all the time? Is your brand in a box, which will one day die confined? So how do we change this? Do we need to change how branding is perceived and done in the future? I have always been told that customers are right from an early age and I truly believe this more and more in these times. For myself, it is about how customers experience your work, your brand, how personal you are, the touchpoint you give and the energy between those connections.

Your brand touchpoints need to be thought about from a head, heart and hands perspective.  How do your clients view your credibility, difference and relevance.  When was the last time you considered the five senses in your meetings, show some emotions and what buzz have you created through the media? Unlike the box metaphors, when was the last time you got out to participate in the local community or build local relationships?

To conclude, think about your client community, engage with them if only to encourage them, find a touchpoint to show you care. If you want to go deeper, explore further, contact us and we can help to deliver a brand strategy that expands the norm, challenges the past and provides hope for the future.

Brand Vision Statement

“The art of building consistent, emotional connections with our customers” Tom Newton.

When we start to analyse a brand, a Brand Vision Statement, is a key component to building a brand. Your Brand Vision Statement are your brands Long term aspirations. Its your Brands Utopia, your dream. Some are long however short vision statements can be made up of a few words only for example:

1. Disney – To make people happy.

2. Oxfam – A just world without poverty.

3. Ikea – To create a better every day life for the many people.

Why does this all matter ?

Your Brand statement is the light house, your guiding light for future decisions down the road.

For example: Our Brand Vision Statement at Ink Consultants is We are a business growth agency. We help businesses succeed by discovering and resolving roadblocks.

Remember, keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

Article from Tom Newton

Five Steps to Analyse Your Market Place

1.         Google search

Google search your industry, your known competitors and related industry participants and print all relevant content that you can find to build a collection of your industry competitors.  Now analyze it.

2.         Mystery shop

Get someone that you trust to mystery shop your competitors checking:
(a)        customer connection;
(b)        needs identification;
(c)        solution development;
(d)        pricing, terms and conditions;
(e)        closing the sale;
(f)        ongoing relationship definition.

3.         Direct analysis and comparison

Review the above mystery shop items to identify what your competitors are doing in regards to service, product offering and client retention ability. Compare to your own service proposition.  Have you ever had someone mystery shop your business?

4.         External assessor

Use an external party to complete a service assessment on your business.  Having someone who knows about how far industry service propositions have developed and assess your business against this criteria will give you a great idea on how to move your business closer to your customer.

5.         International benchmarking

It is always important to look at what the leaders in your industry are doing.  Don’t be limited by your geographic boarder in regards to development of your service.  International markets can help you grow your service proposition.