WHAT IS A BRAND AND WHY WOULD YOU WANT ONE??

Big topic, really big!! To put it bluntly, your brand is the public face of your business.  It provides the first impression, the middle and then the final impressions your audience takes away with them.

 Yet, this could be an element you haven’t given a whole lot of thought to, at least not from the “big picture” perspective.  Many small business owners are so focused on doing all the pieces necessary to create and run a business, they may have the following viewpoint: “I’m taking care of the details of my business…my brand will take care of itself”.

 The trick here is that whether you are paying attention or not, daily you are “branding” you business!  Everything from your business card and voicemail message to how you deliver a product or provide customer service…every bit of it declares your brand!

 Your brand is giving people important information about you.  It helps them to decide who you are and how your business fits in a crowded market. In an informal way your brand educates them about just why they should choose to do business with you! When they see your unique competitive offers or hear about the benefits you provide – they understand the guarantees you stand behind and the performance you will consistently strive to deliver.  Pretty potent stuff, huh?! 

 To take this one step further…branding is like having a relationship with hundreds (or even thousands) of people, whether you know them or not!  It begins as a one-sided conversation initiated by you, telling your public who you are and what you can do for them.  That’s a start – sort of like an introduction.

 Unlike the way we can be “all over the map” as human beings, an effective business brand needs to be well thought out and consistent.  With a solid brand in place, your market is clear about when to come to you and they feel confident that you won’t disappoint them.  Your really big and important job is to continue to show up like you said you would; delivering on your brand with quality and integrity. 

 So why would you want a brand??  The experience of designing your brand imprints your business with a lot of who you are; your style, priorities, limits and passions.  Once you’ve polished up this expression of “who you are” to your market, it provides a compass to guide you in any number of marketing, partnering or product decisions. Your essential question then becomes “does this fit our brand?”.  With a good brand foundation, the answer can be a lot easier.

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