Entrepreneurs, Don’t Devalue Your Brands!

I’m gonna make this short because I can. Dear entrepreneurs, don’t devalue your brands!

Discounts Are Bad

At Mayniax Branding, we dig brands. Specifically, we dig brands that are all about a solid purpose, partially because that helps them build a loyal community around said purpose. You know what doesn’t build a loyal community around said purpose? Discounts.

In their article for Entrepreneur, The Dark Side of Discounts, Dan Kennedy and Jason Marrs offer up the following question: “If you’re the type of person who shops only sale prices, think about this: Would you want you as a customer in your own business?” As branders, we sure don’t. We want clients that will stick with us because they believe in our purpose of making the world happier through entrepreneurship. And we want our clients to have loyal communities built around their communities, too.

If someone’s discount shopping, it’s usually not because they’re loyal or believe in what you do – it’s because they don’t value your business. I typed “business,” because if it were a brand, they’d likely value it. Heh heh

And so is Diluting Your Brand

Diluting your brand, especially by putting your name on a zillion different services – even if they’re related – is bad juju. Here’s why.

In 1981, Al Ries and Jack Trout came out with a book titled, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.” In it, they talked about our over-communicated society. That’s right – they were talking about our over-communicated society before the world wide web (1990), social media (1997). Hell, even cable T.V. didn’t get huge until the 1980s!

The idea back then was focus – narrowing down your offerings so your brand has a better shot at sticking in people’s brains. With our over-communicated society getting more over-communicated by the second, we’ve gotten more drastic and even more focused: one brand, one product, one target market. For instance, Mayniax Branding just does branding, and we want to build our community around entrepreneurs whose purpose it is to help people.

Focus: A Brand Strategy Assignment

If we decided to do Mayniax Printing, or Mayniax Advertising, or Mayniax Monkey Bars, “Mayniax” would no longer just be about branding, and would confuse the people we want to help – though Mayniax Monkey Bars does sound pretty fun.

Focus speaks to simplicity, as well, which makes things easier to remember, and use.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are no absolutes. Well, except maybe that statemtent. And that everyone hates beets – right? Here are the exceptions to the above:

1. It’s okay to discount seasonal items to make way for newer inventory. After all, the only thing worse than seeing Christmas stuff in September is seeing it in February.
2. It’s okay to discount older models. Last year’s TVs need to go to make way for this year’s monitors!
3. If your place is closing – possibly due to too much discounting.

Told Ya This One Would be Fast

That’s it, folks! Hope everyone’s having a great day, and is kicking ass in their own entrepreneurial way.

It’s probably a good thing I’m The Big Guy, and not The Rhyme Guy.

Stay gutsy, gang!

The world is broken, and we believe only entrepreneurs can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.

Wanna set up a happy fun time chat with Ann Arbor’s favorite branding team? Then click here, fill out the form, and we’ll get back to ya!

Hubspot: Six Reasons Why Discounting is Destroying Your Sales (And What to do Instead)
Kissmetrics: Can You Buy Loyalty? The Downside of Discounts
Entrepreneur: The Dark Side of Discounts
Inc.: Small Business Should Not Discount: Here’s Why
Harvard Business Review: Ditch the Discounts
Conversion XL: Why Simple Websites Are Scientifically Better
UX Matters: How Cognitive Fluency Affects Decision Makingworld wide web (1990)