How to Grow: Branding

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Running a business takes passion.
Running a brand takes discipline.
Brands don’t make decisions because they saw someone else do it, or because it “seems like a good idea.” Brands don’t let the popular winds of broader culture dictate their calendars and strategies. Brands don’t react. They act. Brands don’t follow. They lead. JoshuaOneNine works with local business owners who want to act like brands and lead like brands... because that’s how you grow.

But to avoid mission creep and Shiny Object Syndrome, you need roots that firmly plant you in place. To know you’re going the right direction, you need a map. To properly define boundaries, you need a Constitution. To avoid wandering off into irreverent, silly myths, you need a Bible.

At JoshuaOneNine, that Bible is called the PVB, which stands for Purpose, Vision Brand, and it’s clear, concise language that identifies who you really are, and once established, every future decision is measured by it. It is the rock that keeps you disciplined, and allows you to determine the difference between a good idea and a should idea.

The JoshuaOneNine PVB
Practice what you preach. Here’s the JoshuaOneNine PVB:
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JoshuaOneNine believes you are worth a new creation, and we’re shaping a community that feels local, but never small. We’re a relational marketing agency that creates and distributes strong & courageous content for local brands.
Every JoshuaOneNine client has their own PVB, and this is a mandatory, essential, foundational part of the process during the onboarding for any new client. Here’s what it includes:
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PVB Identity Conference: Competitive Positioning, Core Values, Customers  
PVB Results: Research, Conclusions, Recommendations
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Visual Distinctives: Logo Suite, Icon, Wordmark, Color Scheme, Style Guide
Sound Distinctives: Music, Voice
Language Distinctives: Name, Slogan, Secondary Taglines, Typefaces & Fonts
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Key Idea Differentiators: Words we Own & Use, Feel/Tone/Mood
Contrast Differentiators: Ideas we Avoid, Words we Avoid, Tones/Moods we Avoid
When finalized, these elements will be the core of what it means to look like, sound like, feel like, and act They’re the most valuable assets your brand possesses. Without them, you’re just another small business. Fortunately, you want to be a local brand.

Already Brave Enough to Reach Out?

Send an email, tell us how your local brand wants to make the community better, and get the relationship started. Or keep reading for more on how to grow...

How to Grow: STRANGERS

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Growth means reaching complete
strangers who don’t care about you.
To grow, you need new customers. This might seem obvious, but it’s not. Try this: when you peel back the marketing project list and see what everyone is working on, how much of it turns out to be about retention, up-selling, email lists, merch, newsletters, listening to regulars, fundraising, event planning, or developing a “content calendar” for organic social media posts on InstaTwitTokBook? None of those are growth strategies. You want to think they are. They aren’t.

As a local business owner, you’re often so enamored with the input, thoughts, and opinions of the people you already know that you forget you only grow by finding people you don’t know.

The path to growth is not what your family thinks, nor what your regulars think, nor what your colleagues in the industry think. These people’s opinions are valuable in other areas, but not to growth…because they no longer think about your business like new customers. They can’t think like strangers. To grow, you need to care how strangers think. do strangers think about you? They don’t. That’s the point.

Even in a small city, and no matter how long you’ve been there, thousands of people have never heard of you, have no idea what you do, and absolutely do not care. And yes, this includes locals who have lived there all their life, not to mention the hundreds of new people who move to town every year. You are not even the slightest blip on their radar. And yet, reaching these totally apathetic, disinterested newbs is your only ticket to growth.

Seem complicated? Actually, it’s super easy. Barely an inconvenience.

3 Truths About Strangers

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Strangers Don’t Think About You. At all. Because this is true, how much time and attention do you think strangers have for you? You’re not still writing 60-second radio ads, are you?
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Sleep is the Enemy, and He Attacks Nightly: Strangers already don’t think, nor care, about you, and then every night the eraser comes and threatens whatever miniscule progress you might have made. All the work you did goes poof on the pillow.
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Strangers Like What They Buy, They Don’t Buy What They Like: Understanding this counterintuitive truth is the key to unlocking (and uncomplicating) your growth. Strangers don’t need (nor have time for, nor pay attention to) your long-winded attempts at persuasion and education.
Your growth problem isn’t that “people just don’t know enough” or that you “haven’t given them a good reason” to choose you. Your growth problem is that strangers don’t care, they forget everything you told them every night, and they’re gonna try you before they like you anyway. JoshuaOneNine understands how the implications of these truths relate to your growth.

Courageous Enough to Grow?

Send an email, tell us you’re curious about how to effectively reach new strangers, and get the relationship started. Or keep reading for one more free peek behind the curtain at how to grow your business into a brand...

How to Grow: SET THE STAGE

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Don’t feed steak to a baby, and don’t
give applesauce to the boss.
Marketers often refer to the Customer Funnel, or the Marketing Funnel, or the Content Funnel, or the Sales Funnel, or the Sound Smart by Naming Your Process Funnel. At core, the idea is that a customer’s relationship with your brand is more like a journey than a moment. Which means different people get different content at different lengths with different calls-to-action on different platforms for different reasons. The trick is knowing what to say where, and why...and also when, and how long for how much, based on who.

Catch all that?

JoshuaOneNine developed a proprietary version of the funnel to keep track of everything. It looks like this:
Marketing Funnel Diagram
This means nothing to you now. But it will...

Intrigued by Cryptic, Round Diagrams?

Send an email, tell us what you think it means, and get the relationship started.
If you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little farther. See the clients JoshuaOneNine has helped turn into Local Brands, or jump right to the How We Work page and dig into our relational approach. Spoiler: we don’t charge hourly. You’re welcome.