“How to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand” With Fotis Georgiadis & “How to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand”

To me investing in building your brand should be the top priority for your business. If you are successful in creating a clear brand message to the consumer, they will be more likely to try your product or service. General marketing and advertising is a secondary necessity to help maintain a strong brand. As part […]

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To me investing in building your brand should be the top priority for your business. If you are successful in creating a clear brand message to the consumer, they will be more likely to try your product or service. General marketing and advertising is a secondary necessity to help maintain a strong brand.

As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview Ben Premo.

With over 10 years of banking experience under his belt Ben is putting his knowledge to use by helping others avoid financial missteps as Founder of TrueFees. He discovered a need for more transparency in the world of banking after working in various consumer-facing roles. His solution not only benefits the consumer but also benefits financial institutions that are committed to providing better products and services.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After working a number of years in the banking industry I was exposed to both good and bad. One of the negatives that consumers are faced with when having a bank account is paying for numerous fees. I saw how fees could have a significant impact on someone who is living paycheck to paycheck. I wanted to create a trusted resource that consumers could turn to when looking for a banking experience without all the fees.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Looking back now I’d say using GooglePlus was a funny marketing mistake. I spent a lot of time and energy creating content for GooglePlus, which is no longer running. I learned it’s best to focus on fewer social media platforms for better results.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

There are a lot of beneficial consumer finance sites out there, but they all seem to promote the same megabanks. There is a growing number of digital banks that don’t nickel and dime their customers with ridiculous fees. What makes TrueFees different is our commitment to only list financial institutions that meet our low-cost standard.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

TrueFees is currently collaborating with an online service that will offer significant cash rewards to its users. Those people that use their checking account responsibly will receive earnings that are much higher than any interest rates available today.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

A lot of times people think of physical appearance or design when they think of brand marketing. I think it’s much more than that. Brand marketing encompasses the entire story or message of your business and how it relates to the consumer. It could relate to how it makes someone feel or how it encourages someone to improve their lifestyle. It’s important that brand marketing be clear and simple. Product marketing should focus on getting the consumer to engage by using or purchasing what your business offers.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

To me investing in building your brand should be the top priority for your business. If you are successful in creating a clear brand message to the consumer, they will be more likely to try your product or service. General marketing and advertising is a secondary necessity to help maintain a strong brand.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

1. Every company big or small should have a website to help build a trusted brand. Someone is more likely to engage with your business if you have an online presence. The best part is it’s easy and affordable to create a site for your business in 2020.

2. Once your site is active it’s also beneficial to publish testimonials from your customers. This is a great way for building trust with potential new customers that have not tried or purchased from you before. Make sure consumers can easily locate your testimonials on your website.

3. A third strategy is creating a social media presence. A lot of times a consumer will visit your social page first before going to your website for more specific information about your business. Choose one or two social media platforms that allow you to reach your target audience. Don’t feel like you need to be on every social media platform just because your competition is.

4. Another great way to build trust for your brand is to be featured by a reputable media source. That can be easier said then done especially if you are a new business. An example of a service I use to increase the chances of building credibility with the public is HARO (helpareporter.com).

5. The public appearance of sponsorship is another strategy that can build trust for your brand. Getting involved and being seen at public events is a great way to interact with consumers and tell your brand story. A service that helps connect potential sponsors with event creators is called sponsormyevent.com

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

The first company that comes to my mind for building a beloved brand is Apple. They do a great job telling a story with their marketing. Their products are great, but they focus more on how they make you feel, look, and improve your overall life. Ultimately people strive each day to improve their lives in some way, and Apple has done a great job in marketing to address that need. To best way to replicate Apple’s success is by creating a clear message that your service or product is life-changing.

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand-building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

Building a trusted brand does not happen overnight, and there are multiple factors that go into it. I think measuring a brand’s success only by its sales can be misleading. Sales can naturally fluctuate depending on the type of business and the industry. I think measuring customer growth and retention over a period of time is a better way to measure a brand’s success.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

Like any other marketing you should have a purpose for using social media. I use social media as a tool to echo my brand’s message while trying not to sound too corporate. It’s also a great way to interact with potential users and clients. If you’re just starting a business it’s important to focus your attention on only one or two social media platforms.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Building a successful brand is a process. To avoid burnout set short term goals that can be accomplished on a daily or weekly basis, and be sure to celebrate small successes. Try not to waste energy or stress about long term goals. They will never come to fruition if your motivation has gone.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

My idea for a movement would have to do with people helping people through free financial advice and real life lessons about money.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen” — Michael Jordan. This quote has always been motivating for me. Growing up I loved playing sports especially basketball. It’s now something I can relate to starting my own career path.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have lunch or breakfast with?

It would be great to sit down with the founder of nerdwallet, Tim Chen. He has built one of the most recognized brands in personal finance. I’m sure there is a lot I could learn from him when it comes to creating a service that benefits both the consumer and financial institution.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can connect with me on LinkedIn or follow TrueFees on twitter.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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