The American Optician

Spring 2017

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1 9 As you embark on your dream of managing or owning a business, you must define who you are and write that definition down. This is the vision you have of your business, and it's the vision you want the public to have of you. The ways in which you project that image to the public are known collectively as "branding." Branding needs to be clear, specific, and consistently reinforced. As John Lennon said, "trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that you'd end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You've just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it." Applying this quote to business, we might word it as, "trying to sell to everyone is a way to ensure you sell to no one." So how do you find out who you are supposed to sell to? POSITIONING YOUR BUSINESS The first step is determining your market. Are you in an upscale area of town? Are there many optical BUILDING A BRAND Part six in a series exploring obstacles managers face—and how to fix them. By Kevin Harrison boutiques around? If not, then a high-end approach may be best. If you find yourself in an area known for lower budgets, then you may prefer to approach your market with lower-priced products you know you can get extra special buys on. In order to complete this first step, you have to make a decision. Do you want to provide what your market wants or do you want to create a market that stands out from the competition? This entire first step is called positioning and it's an essential part of branding. DEVELOP A TRADEMARK STYLE Branding relies heavily on nonverbal messaging. During the 1988 Democratic primary, Senator Paul Simon branded himself with his bow ties and horn- rimmed eyeglasses. It didn't get him elected, but it got him noticed (a point we will expound on later in this article). Harry Carey, famed broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, was branded by the bold large black eyeglasses he wore. Sally Jessy Raphael branded herself with bright red glasses during her heyday. Each of these celebrities branded

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