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This is the first of four posts sharing Megan DiPiero’s advice about how to build a stronger brand and brand message— to add purpose to your marketing, draw attention to your service, and ultimately increase sales.

“I could be successful if only I knew how to get more people in the door.”

“I could be successful if only I could reach the RIGHT people.”

“I could be successful if only I knew the magic marketing formula. I know it’s out there. I just need to find it!”


Have you said those words to yourself before? Is marketing the magic component that’s stopping you from achieving your dream salary?

If yes, I'm going to suggest the real reason that your business isn’t making money, and why all the “marketing” that you're doing isn’t working.

If your business is not giving you the profit you dream of, I would argue that it’s because you've never stopped long enough to define the picture you wish to create. 



When they start out, many people make the common mistake of focusing on getting people’s attention and ‘marketing’ their service. By doing that they're setting themselves up for failure. You can’t market a brand without identifying WHAT it is you're marketing and WHY exactly you're doing it. Otherwise you’re aimlessly working with no real purpose.

You can’t market a brand without identifying WHAT it is you're marketing and WHY exactly you're doing it.

We can learn a lot from people doing well in our industry, and all successful business owners. Their success is not due to the fact that they’ve found a secret marketing formula that's answered all their problems. There is no algorithm or book that says exactly how to become successful, but there is a recurring factor within all successful businesses, and that’s the brand message.

They’ve identified exactly why they’re doing what they’re doing. They believe with everything they’ve got that their product is going to better the lives of the user. And they know exactly what the client experience should be, surrounding that product or service.


Take these two companies as examples. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Subway. Both vendors sell steak but in very different ways.

Ruth’s Chris is selling the experience of upscale dining, where all needs are cared for. At the 100-plus Ruth’s Chris locations, every bite is savoury and exquisite. The mood, the lighting, the music, the smells, all set the stage for a memorable, inviting event. Every last detail says “refined”, from the rich wood architecture to the soft cloth napkin. Good company, relaxed conversation, and fabulous food are all part of the memories you bring home with you. And oh, yeah, did I mention…? There’s steak for sale.


Meanwhile, Subway is selling the experience of convenience. At Subway you run in and run out in just a few minutes, grabbing the perfect meal to help you power through your busy day. The glowing menu sign and the food presentation systems make selecting a sandwich easy. The predictable and consistent ordering routine spares you from any indecision. The “sandwich artist” puts efficiency first, moving your order briskly along. Your busy day has been made that much easier thanks to the fast service, and in no time at all you have fresh food ready to enjoy. And oh yeah, did I mention…? There’s steak for sale.

So you want to do the same, sell steak?

You don’t start by saying: “I would be more successful if I could get people in the door.” You start out by asking "WHICH DOOR?"

“What EXPERIENCE am I going to create?”

Are we talking tempered glass with a shiny decal that says “PUSH”, or are we talking an oak-trimmed double door with arched beveled glass inset and plush welcome mat at your feet? If you’re going to sell steak successfully, you start out by saying: “What EXPERIENCE am I going to create?” 

When it comes to marketing, Subway might very well have the finest approach in the world! Everyone in America has visited a Subway. Everyone in America knows Jared’s weight loss story. Everyone in America knows what a “sandwich artist” is. But for all the magic that they’ve created with that marketing, do you think it would do Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse a lick of good to try and copy it?


No of course not, because they’ve built their brand on completely different client experiences.

To know whether your product and service adds value, identify the experience you wish to create. Identify who you are as a business, and what it is you’re offering. Once you know that, you are able to go to work with purpose, rather than aimlessly trying to find ways to market a service that you don’t even understand yourself.


Keep an eye out for my next post, 'The Bedrock of Your Brand', which offers you a list of questions to determine who you are, what you stand for, and what experience you want to create. 


If you liked this post, be sure to head over to Megan’s website and Facebook group to check out her upcoming business and photography mentoring workshops.

Students who have taken Megan's workshops have gone on to instantly, and significantly, boost their sales average, and vault their boutique businesses to the next level!

Join the Queensberry Insider.

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