Smart Women, American Girl® and Building Your Brand

A few weeks ago, I took a vacation with my family to New York City. While there, we visited the American Girl® store. My daughter Jenna loves this store, and it's easy to understand why so many girls are attracted to this brand. When you enter the store, the "experience" begins. This got me thinking about how Smart Women could learn from American Girl® how to build a business image or brand that lasts.

If you are a woman entrepreneur, your goal is to create brand awareness with your ideal client. It's essential that you develop a marketing "mantra" that communicates to people on a continual basis what benefits you offer your clients and how they will be transformed or better off after they work with you.

American Girl® does this beautifully. They have a unique product. It's not just any doll. You have over 20 choices of dolls to choose from, and you can customize the doll's look and personality. For example, you can create a doll that loves sports (Jenna's favorite), nature, or one from a specific historical time period. The entire store is set up so you can experience all of the dolls in different settings and choose exactly which one is perfect for you.

Here are a few tips you can use to boost your brand awareness for your business. These are effective whether you are just getting started or have been in business for a few years.

1. Create a logo - What is it that you do for your clients? Choose colors and a logo that represent your business. For example, my marketing has a lavender and ivory color scheme, and my logo is the nautilus shell because it's my belief the nautilus shell is a near-perfect representation of a woman's life. The American Girl® has the famous star graphic, as they want every girl to know she's a star no matter who she is or what her preferences are.

2. Create an "experience" - Think about the process you use with your clients. Is it enjoyable and relaxing? For example, if you are an attorney, think about what you can do to make their visit memorable. Maybe it's serving their beverage in a beautiful glass with a colorful, thick napkin (maybe with your logo on it?). From the first phone call or meeting, you need to develop your stand-out style in order to create a lasting memory with people.

3. Give them what they want - Make sure the services you offer are what the client wants and not what you want to serve them. When I first started my Women's Success Circles over five years ago, I offered an all-day, one-time-per-month Success Circle. I had women who enrolled in the all-day Circle; however, most women could not devote an entire day to this process. Guess what? I was offering what I wanted them to have-not what they wanted. Once I created a half-day program, women flocked to the Circles. I had to make a change to what they wanted and give them the benefits and transformation they were looking for.

Now some of you may be reading this and thinking, "I'm just getting started, Joy. I'm a solo entrepreneur and not even close to being American Girl®." Pleasant Rowland, the founder of American Girl®, was a teacher, writer and publisher of children's books. She created the American Girl® idea out of her love and interest in history. She had no formal business training, and yet her Big Idea is known to millions of people. When you find a process or system that's working, I invite you to notice how you can learn from it and use it to enhance your Big Idea, Dreams and Goals.

Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.



Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach and Motivational Speaker. A highly skilled group leader and business consultant, Joy has helped scores of women design the lives they choose to live. Helping women realize and achieve better ways of living is her passion, her purpose, and her business. As a wife and mother of two, Joy understands there is more to life than one's career. Like many women who are drawn to entrepreneurship, she inhabits ...

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