I am having so many conversations with people who are ready to bungee jump into the world of entrepreneurship. There’s a convergence of excitement and fear, anxiety and passion as well as mania and depression. It is not an easy leap to take and the risks are high but the fact remains, if you come out alive, entrepreneurship is very rewarding.
Everyone wants a brand. Enough friends, family and coworkers have told you that your cakes are amazing. Your candles are divine. Your homemade lotions are perfection. So you know it’s time to make that money. But the church bake sale and lunch room sale, while still exist, are just not what entrepreneurship is anymore! It’s much more intricate. Trinidad and Tobago has developed. There are restaurants and spas and hotels and local shops and many more physical channels for local artisans and entrepreneurs to sell their goods.
So of course you need a name. And a logo. And Facebook. And Instagram. And you begin, right? A profile on Facebook and a shorter version on Instagram. You share pictures of your logo and your cakes, candles and lotions. Some quirky pictures you find on Pinterest that you like and match what you’re doing. Some of you even splurge a little and get a designer make it look original and fancy. Change the colours here and there. Use local words and props in your photos. Some old wood. A banana leaf. A pretty girl. Yep, that’s what I see happening.
Now product is king so if you’re product is good then you’re 75% there. Strategic brand building will push you to the top. I used the word “strategic” because that is exactly what is needed and what is missing. A plan. A plan for your brand. Not your product. Your brand. It’s like having a baby and planning his or her life out and all the details. Year by year. Week by week. Day by day. You control who this person is – your brand.
What will your brand be known for? What are its pet peeves? Does your brand drive? What kind of car? What brands does your brand use on a daily basis? Is your brand a happy customer? Do you share those experiences? What is your brands favourite flavor of ice cream? Travel bucket list? Coffee or tea? Essentially, if your Brand has a Tinder profile, what would it say?
These are the kind of questions I ask myself about TTChatterbox and how I have been able to create a brand authentic that people feel they know me before we meet. And I do this not only because I am my biggest fan but to show, as a strategist, that every brand can achieve and express the same authenticity. Your brand comes from you. It is your story. Tell it!
Authenticity and engagement are the key to influence and influence is power in this game. The game where we each fight for the money in every consumer’s wallet. I do it. I use my influence to market products that I like. Some are through my organic life experiences – things I buy in the supermarket, going out to eat etc. – and others are brands that have paid me to market their goods and brand. I also do photography and styling for brands to use on their own digital channels. But I abide by one rule- I must like every product I post to work with. And once I like a brand, I will defend it even fight for it. And that is known.
So by creating this sphere of influence and through the use of prop styling, above average photography, witty yet informative captions and of course, Instagram, I am able to convince members of my community to purchase the products I share. I try to tell a story with every product I introduce. The brand story. Now imagine your power and your influence if you do the same and you actually own a product?
This is why I do what I do. This is why I love working with brands. TTChatterbox is not only about making a brand look and feel sexy when she gets her hands on it but she also instills the sexiness within the brands themselves! Inspire you to shout about what makes your brand amazing.
Let’s face it! As consumers, we love fun, sexy and interesting things. Especially if they’re useful! It seems that local brands still anchor on the impulse buy. It’s time local brands see their value and start getting on the must-have list of everyone here in Trinidad and Tobago. Do I have a must-have list? Hmmmmmm … that’s the next blog post. Promise!