Zoran Spirkovski
Published in

Zoran Spirkovski

The power of “No”

Your brand should not say yes to everything, because that’s not much of a brand

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

At the core of every strong brand is a solid and well-defined identity. I’m not talking about the logo, nor am I talking about any visual elements. I’m focusing solely on the values, beliefs, and experiences between you and your customers.

Regardless of whether you are a business or a freelancer, each and every interaction with a customer further defines your brand.

  • How far are you willing to go?
  • What type of people do you say “Yes” and “No” to?
  • What must never be done in your interaction with a client?

Answer these three simple questions and you will see that it’s not easy, unless you have a well-defined brand. Naturally, the impulse to say “I’ll go as far as necessary” spontaneously appears, but would you really go that far?

Would you pick up your life and travel to your client’s city to provide support during an emotionally draining time, or a celebration?

Celebrations are most likely, but the moment emotions enter the fold, most people are out of the picture. They want nothing to do with that because it’s a commitment. The longer you stay in the picture, your clients will start to rely on you for emotional support, which is generally bad for business.

It takes time, energy, and empathy to go that far.

However, if a client, a pure business relationship does reach out for emotional support, that’s not a bad sign at all. It means that your brand is human. People can relate and expect the same things they do from their friends.

That’s a powerful experience, and if you do it right, you’ve earned a client for life.

However, let’s be real. Most brands won’t bother to stay on the line for five additional minutes to ask and talk about personal experiences.

They will say “No”.

Let alone travel to another location to provide face-to-face interaction.

Extreme examples like these are easy to process. They are not happening at the moment, and they are far from the “normal.”

But we often end up saying “Yes” to things and ideas we would rather say “No” to, in an attempt to avoid emotional stress on our client’s part.

In doing so, we are hurting our brand significantly, damaging our prospects to not only earn more money but also actually help your client.

Clients don’t want you to agree to everything, otherwise, what’s the point of you being involved at all?

Instead, you need to be a balancing force that enables better decision making to take place. You should remain empathetic, and ask subtle questions that drive home the point.

  • Have you considered that XYZ is not really in line with your brand?
  • Is there another way that we can achieve (result)?
  • How does (decision) relate to our core audience?

What are some other questions that you like to ask your branding clients?

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Zoran Spirkovski

Zoran Spirkovski

Zoran publishes a blog post on Medium every day. He writes about whatever is relevant in his mind on the day he writes. Follow to get updates.