Your Small Business Brand – What a Personality! (Part I)

Your small business. It has its own great personality, with an intangible essence and a certain perception to those at any level of awareness of it. So, realize it or not, your business already has its own label or “brand” – whether it’s a good one or a not so good one – and it’s the recognizable “face” that differentiates your company from the pesky competition.

Love it, like it, or hate it, YOUR BRAND IS YOUR IDENTITY! It’s who you are, who people perceive you to be, and should be treated as one of your company’s most valuable assets.

Simply said, your brand is not just your logo and slogan, but the image, impression and reputation behind them as well. It’s also what people consciously or unconsciously feel about your company, and it’s the overall “trigger inducer” when deciding if to get involved.

Let me add quickly and emphatically:

Building brand awareness is often not a focus for busy small business owners, but regardless of how small small is, retail or B2B, your business needs existing brand strategies to strengthen its image to secure an edge in increasingly competitive markets.

Control Yourself

Brand sells. Your business needs a solid brand reputation or you’re at a disadvantage. Today, branding has become much more than just a trendy business word and is an essential element of selling in the new economy. It conveys your uniqueness, focus and values through the art of creating a consistent, recognizable and unified voice or personality. Unfortunately, in many organizations, confusion reigns as the unified voice or personality is really multiple voices and personalities. Their strong, proprietary image becomes diffused, weak, confusing and out of control.

Bart Crosby, one of the first marketing experts focused on branding, jokingly but compellingly said, “Cowboys all know you can’t brand nuthin’ till you tie three of its legs together, slam it to the ground, control it and sedate it.”

The key word here is control.

There are sometimes many mixed messages spiraling out of an organization, pulling in opposite directions, and you need a logical, methodical branding strategy to plan, attack and control those messages.

Next: Part II – Brand Consciousness Exercise

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