15 Common business concerns.

  1. Does BrandLode help web startups?
  2. My market thinks exactly like me. They’re my clone.
  3. The world is my oyster. Everyone needs my product.
  4. A lower price will kill my competition.
  5. But I polled my audience. They said my price is too high.
  6. So what pricing strategy is best?
  7. You guys are control freaks. Why can’t I do it my way?
  8. Hey! Who’s doing the hiring – me or BrandLode?
  9. So do I get any say in how the website and product are created?
  10. Can BrandLode make me rich? Soon?
  11. So how does BrandLode start a project?
  12. What’s BrandLode’s digital product goal?
  13. We discover the intangible you’re selling.
  14. What if I’m not happy with BrandLode – or the results?
  15. So what’s in it for BrandLode?

1. Does BrandLode help web startups?

It’s best when we help companies where they have a proven business-to-business track record. Unproven products are more difficult and risky to market.

2. My market thinks exactly like me. They’re my clone.

Sometimes a business owner understands or is part of the target audience. That provides insider information because you’re an authority. But that doesn’t mean your opinion is the gospel. Clients often are blind to market needs or perceptions. They can’t see the forest for the trees.

3. The world is my oyster. Everyone needs my product.

Don’t expand an audience beyond simplicity. Don’t embellish a list by the inclusion of a seductive bigger audience. It dilutes business resources.

We focus on narrower goals. Why? So we’ll make profits. Being focused is a good positioning strategy. We want to understand your business since we’re investing in your business.

4. A lower price will kill my competition.

Business-to-business markets tolerate a higher-ticket item than consumers. We prefer selling a $1-million item than a million $1 items. It’s more work to sell a million things. It improves bootstrapping efficiency.

At BrandLode, we’re selling your expertise. A low price doesn’t build credibility.

5. But I polled my audience. They said my price is too high.

Never ask the market how much they’re willing to pay. They’ll always say they want to pay less.

It doesn’t matter how much you charge, they want to pay less. When you give them the price tag if they don’t go, “Ouch! Oh my!” you know your price is too low. Also if you give them a bid and they get out their wallet and immediately pay in cash, your price is way too low.

Are people telling you how excited they are about your product? Or promise they wanted more? But they don’t buy it?

A problem with focus groups is they often tell you what you want to hear. Why? Because they want you to like them. Focus groups often give us erroneous data. It’s skewed toward the positive.

People in focus groups have good intentions. They may prove to be buyers in the future. But their behavior is common in human psychology. Ask a person for their opinion, if the don’t… they’ll invent one. Who wants to look stupid?

6. So what pricing strategy is best?

A price skimming strategy is best for niche marketing. This is where we find the cream. We locate your best prospects in the pool of names. Ten percent are usually the ones. If you capture 10 percent and sell them something, you’ll find success.

Penetration strategy is trying to sell a product to everybody. You price low. It reduces the product to a commodity and bidding wars. A low price won’t have the same credibility. You can increase profitability and sales volume by a mere price increase.

7. You guys are control freaks. Why can’t I do it my way?

If you’re hiring us as hands for mere design tactics, we’re not interested. We have strategic brains. Do you want to be in control and be the art director? We understand that desire. But there are times when we’ll say, “Based on our experience, we should – not – do this.” And that will be difficult for you. You may say, “But I really, really want to do this.” Sorry. You’ve fallen in love with a whimsical darling. The idea may need to die.

Mourn your loss. It’s more important we get the objectives right. We then defend them. This project management method is sound. Unsound tactics fizzle away. We don’t argue about tactics if they don’t match the big-picture goal.

There are no tactical arguments once we all agree on objectives. If a tactic doesn’t enhance the objective, let’s not waste time.

8. Hey! Who’s doing the hiring – me or BrandLode?

We investigate you, the potential client. We ask ourselves:

  • “Is this a toxic client? Will they bleed us to death with project feature creep?”
  • “Is this new client motivated?”
  • “Do they have the right kind of personality to be in business?”

Those are hard to answer.

We trust our intuition – what we feel in our gut. We know to get the job done, we must set self-imposed limitations. And if we don’t have limitations, we’re never finished. We need limitations.

We need to feel good about you as a client. We need to perceive a future value in our collaboration. There is an opportunity cost for us when we accept you as a client. The consequence is there are other things we can’t do.

9. So do I get any say in how the website and product are created?

Our project is a collaboration. You as the owner are an important player. You understand a lot about the audience we don’t know yet. We know a lot about making money with digital products. We bring expertise to the table, too.

10. Can BrandLode make me rich? Soon?

Some people come to us and say, “Will you make me a website so I’ll be rich?” No, it’s not that simple. If your product is lame, we can’t help you. You know that. Are your expectations something we can fill? We don’t want buyer’s remorse after the project’s done.

We work with lots of different people. We know projects go south. We avoid deals that may go bad. We both need to win.

We establish goals to push ourselves. But we don’t want to be so idealistic that they aren’t achievable. We want a medium point where we’re still in reality.

11. So how does BrandLode start a project?

We research how many people are in your market and what their market pain is. Based on those numbers, we discover your idea’s unrealized potential. We then do a test. We plan what profit to see in six months. If we don’t see that, then we failed. We need to make adjustments. If we exceed the goal, let’s do it some more.

12. What’s BrandLode’s digital product goal?

We want to multiply your brain. Then you can step away. The machine’s running even when you aren’t present. We sell your expertise over and over again with a digital product.

13. We discover the intangible you’re selling.

As long as we understand the customer’s motivation, we can sell the product. Positioning is the shortcut to the buyer’s motive. If we can’t tell the customers what that shortcut is, then they’ll not understand it. It’s got the wrong labels on it. Getting products and ideas labeled for understanding is marketing communication strategy.

14. What if I’m not happy with BrandLode – or the results?

We want to make sure we meet your expectations. It’s important because we don’t want buyer’s remorse. We don’t want an unhappy customer when we’re done.

Our first project is a test of how we all work together. When we work with you for 90 days, it means we can’t work with somebody else. Even if they come in saying, “We’ve got more money.” We won’t bump your project and say, “Well, we got a better offer. We’ll work for them instead.”

After the 90 days, we’ll know better how we like working together.

Some clients say, “Well, I want a long-term commitment,” and we’re saying, “Well, can we go on a first date first?”

We’re told we’re pretty pleasant to work with. But… because we all have strong personalities, we may butt heads on some tactic. We’ve got to reflect and ask, “What’s the original objective?” As long as we’re all in agreement with what the objective is, small tactical problems vanish. This prevents bickering about the inconsequential. Our goal is to reduce your anxiety, not create anxiety.

15. So what’s in it for BrandLode?

We increase our value from our association with you. There’s more in a project than us earning a living. We’re excited about learning. We have deep curiosities. We love to solve puzzles. We like to help people. We want you to be self-reliant. We want to be self-reliant. It’s a core value.

When we help you achieve self-reliance, we’ve set you free. And you set us free. It’s a win-win. It’s not only about making money. If somebody says, “The most important thing in business is making money,” why not get into crime? You know, why not sell drugs? Absurd.

You need money to grow your idea. For a digital product to become actualized, it needs to make money. So, money is necessary. Profitability is a big deal for us. If you want to add complexity to a project, we’ll ask, “How does it contribute to profits?” We’ll put your feet to the fire.

When intangible ideas become reality, it feels great. For example, a website starts making money. That’s the reality for us. We’ve actualized what we’ve imagined. We like the client who wins. Let’s define what success looks like.

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Steve

niche market strategist

Matt

lead project manager