A brand is the “big idea” behind your business. It sums up your customers’ expectations. In fact, a brand isn’t really what you say it is, it’s what your customers say it is.
No matter what you decide when it comes to your brand, keep in mind, it’s actually a reflection of your business reputation.
“It’s never too late to be what you could have been” – George Eliot
I know that most small business owners don’t believe branding their business is all that important, especially not in the beginning. But in fact, branding often doesn’t enter the equation at any point.
Do you need to create a brand?
There’s great competition in every type of business. You need to set your business apart. You need recognition and awareness. One way to do that is to build a brand. People identify with brands. They become loyal to brands. A brand triggers recall and arouses emotions. Your brand stands for something in your customers mind.
All businesses – big and small – have a brand within them. It’s a matter of finding a way to bring it out to make your company stand out from the competition.
Branding helps position you as the expert in your niche – and it can catapult your profits faster than many other components within your business strategy.
While big businesses usually shell out a lot of money to make a brand for their company, it really isn’t necessary to spend so much. To get started, you simply need to decide what you want to be known for and develop a tag line or motto for your business.
It could come from your logo, the promise of excellent customer service, the quality of your products, or the buzz you generate (or want to generate) in your niche.
Can’t think of something great? Get ideas by watching television commercials or flipping through the pages of your favorite magazines. What are some of the brands that catch your attention? State Farm’s commercial is highly memorable and meaningful. They have a jingle that nearly everyone can recall at any time. “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” But it’s not just a jingle – it’s their brand. It invokes feelings of trust in their target audience.
In the case of Payless shoe stores, what do you think makes them stand out from their competitors? Customers pay less for a pair of shoes there. Their branding is in their business name.
What would work for your business? It’s time to start thinking about your brand. Do you have one? Do you have one that doesn’t work? Could it be better?
If you have a brand or an idea for your brand, let us know what it is in the comment section. You could get some valuable feedback!