me and my brand.

We have found that branding is something small to mid-size business owners rarely consider or often think of as being reserved for major corporations. Branding is every bit as important for small to mid-size firms. It exists whether a business owner is aware or not. Do you know what your brand says about you?

What do customers and your industry think about you and your business? What is the thing that comes to mind when your company, your product or you are mentioned? What is the commitment you make to your clients? The answers to these questions are your brand. If you aren’t sure, you need to find out! Your clients need to feel what your brand stands for and you have the power to shape it.

In business, far more people have heard of your business than actually know it personally or even you. What they know, what they associate it with (if anything) is your brand.

So branding is about creating a desired impression in the minds of people. This is more important for small business than almost anyone else because there is so much pressure from competition out there. But if you are able to do it, the benefits are many. For the small business, a favorable brand carries with it:

  • Increased income potential
  • Solid business
  • Success
  • Credibility

Here are some steps to take in creating an identifiable, strong brand:

  1. Understand how you are perceived: How do people perceive your business now? Is that how you want to be perceived?
  2. Decide upon your Unique Selling Proposition: What makes you or your business unique, different, special or what niche is available that only you can fill?
  3. What are client’s expectations? What do your clients typically expect of you? What unique attributes do you offer that best fit client’s expectations?
  4. Make it personal; do you trust a corporation or a person? Whom would you expect to give you better customer service? Whom do you think is more honest? A person! A good idea for a small business is to tie his or her own name/personality in with the brand. People like and trust people more than businesses.
  5. Put it all together: A great brand will offer something unique, something that people want. It will be based on honesty and integrity, it will both attract and repel clients, and finally, it will offer perceived value.

Once you decide what your brand will be, then get the word out consistently and repeatedly using every means available to you; website, newsletter, e-mail, advertising, public relations and the growing social networks.

The desired result is that you will create a memorable business that stands for something, you!

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6 thoughts on “me and my brand.

  1. I think the one thing really missing from branding and why so many get it wrong is the fact that you must exclude something to be a successful brand. Either by price, expertise, or industry. Brands are exclusive and not everyone can have them and that is why they are so successful. Companies like Shell, BP, AT and T, and Verizon are not brands they are just highly recognizable companies. All they have to do to be competitive is offer you a service at a lower price and they will make money. This is the problem most people make when trying to be a brand they try to be all things to all people. Look at Apple for example they cornered the higher end market and purposely made themselves out reach for so many people and it works perfectly. It creates that want that need and that something special that not everyone can have.

    • Thanks for the read and input Jay. However, I believe brands are not exclusive and everyone has one. Large corporations with large cash flows allow for a bigger “picture to be painted” but in ones own niche your goal is to be the best brand possible. Price is another subject!

  2. Hi Shalah and Randy, thanks for sharing your thoughts on branding and it should be a must read and DO even before you start your company.

    This quote by Syrus -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publilius_Syrus – which I have come across this morning came into my mind: “Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it”. Nothing new under the sun, I mean he lived in 1st century BC!

  3. Shalah/Randy – thank you for interesting blog post.
    “So branding is about creating a desired impression in the minds of people. ” – love it! I had a interesting conversation with one of my clients (small business owner) and he said that he doesn’t need to build his brand because he has a lot of clients and he doesn’t need to look for more …well -> that’s fantastic but because of that it’s easier to make sure that the professional/personal brand is taking care of, right ?

    • Even more important today! However it must be a nice position to be in to not need business, seems it would make one go stale! Brands need constant curation and sometimes a refresh or repositioning.
      Thanks for the read and input, r&s

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