Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of listening to Jo Malone sharing her business experience with attendees at an Evening Standard Business Connections event. Jo built a business which grew from her kitchen table to become a global brand and then sold it to Estee Lauder. She is now in the relatively early stages of launching her new brand, Jo Loves.
A brand is more than a logo
When talking about her brands Jo focussed on giving the customer a very special experience rather than just what the logo looks like. In particular she stressed the importance of giving the customer a great feeling on their first encounter with your brand. She talked about engaging all the customer’s senses and, although that may be easier for a perfumery business than some of us, it is worth thinking about how we can do that in our own brands.
What is the first impression your customer’s get? Is this consistent with your brand’s positioning? I’ve written before about the incongruence of the luxury hotel using cut price toilet rolls! Have you looked at all aspects of your business to ensure that you present a consistent impression of your brand. I know I have work to do on that one!
Jo made the point that we should never compromise on our product and illustrated this by telling us about pulling a product just before its advertised launch date because she didn’t feel it was right. Her team was very upset with her but when the product did eventually launch it became the brand’s best seller.
Tips for growing a brand
In Jo’s opinion brands often grow too quickly. Her advice was to create the hunger first. Creating something that people want to be part of will give you choices and strengthen your negotiating position. So build a brand people want to buy and the big players will be inviting you to sell through them. We all know how difficult it is to get your product in front of a supermarket but when you have an established reputation and customer demand it becomes much easier.
Jo recommends getting in to print. Build relationships with journalists so that you get press coverage. Find customers to be your advocates. Get people talking about your brand and recommending you and then doors will start to open.
Watch this space
Jo is about to open her first Jo Loves shop in Belgravia, it promises to be a very special experience entirely consistent with the brand values. It will be luxury and aspirational. I’m sure it will be a great success.
If you are interested in building your brand you might like to join our 21 Day Make Money Challenge, it’s free. Although today is day 6 you can start when you like and follow at your own pace. Find the challenge at http://www.21daymakemoneychallenge.co.uk