Five Steps to Creating an Awesome Business-from “Who Are You?” to “I Love You!”

You gotta bring work, guts, persistence — and customers to create a business from scratch. You’ve already done that, right? So how do convert that plain ole’ business into an “awesome business”? You gotta keep those customers coming back again and again. Or, to put it another way, you can help those lukewarm customers turn into white-hot fans.

Here’s a breakdown of the entire process. Here’s how you move a person from the “Who are you?” phase to “I love you!” phase.

Step 1: Recognize

Nobody knows who you are. You are a lone beast in a single worldwide herd of beasts. To the casual observer, you look exactly like everyone else. How will you stand out from the crowd?

Your first challenge is to achieve Recognition. And recognition is the first job of marketing. Most marketing is horrendous. Some of it is sublime.

This marketing campaign from Subaru is sublime.

(Pro tip: “sublime” is way better than “horrendous.”)

Step 2: Remember

Okay, your sublime marketing has finally created some recognition. Now you gotta keep their attention until that moment when they are ready to buy from you, rather than a competitor.

They have to not merely recognize you; they must remember you. This is the first job of branding. Like marketing, most of it is bad. Some of it is so good that it can make up for epic quality disasters.

Step 3: Respect

Great, people recognize you and even remember you. But they haven’t bought anything from you yet. Why?

Well, if they are a legitimate, qualified prospect and yet are not pulling the trigger, maybe it’s because they don’t trust you yet. That means you haven’t earned their respect.

Respect is stage 3 in the process. Earning respect before they buy anything from you requires a special kind of influence.

This is the realm where Robert Cialdini made his bones. Reciprocity. Consistency. Social Proof. Liking.

Step 4: Revere

They’ve finally pulled the trigger and made that initial purchase. All your hard work has finally paid off.

Now you have to fan those flames of respect and turn them into outright reverence. That’s when a customer is not merely “someone who buys from you.” Reverence is when they become “someone who loves you.”

That’s how you retain those customers through thick and thin.

You create reverence using both direct and indirect methods, conscious and subconscious influence.

The direct and conscious path is the job of your customer service team. Deliver quality product, quality service and a quality guarantee.

The most powerful method – the indirect, subconscious approach – is Culting.

The Cult Your Brand methods: Five ways to create raving fans.

Step 5: Repeat

  1. Marketing creates the initial Recognition.
  2. Branding makes people Remember you.
  3. Influencing converts memory into Respect.
  4. Servicing (direct) and Culting (indirect) makes you Revered.

The final phase in building an awesome business is to “dance with the one who brung ya.” Keep doing what works. Continue to refine your marketing and branding messages, improve your customer experience, increase quality.

And most of all, keep deploying those powerful, indirect, subconscious tools that turn lukewarm customers into white-hot fans: Cult Your Brand.



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