“You can forget what you heard, but can never forget an experience….”
Let that sink in a bit….
So, if you are in business and all you are thinking about is just how to make profit, you are in for a shocker. Your business exists only to the degree to which you give your customers a worthwhile experience and your profit is the result of how well you made them feel.
So, when it comes to small business branding, you must realize that it is ALL about the customer.
And let me tell you…
This a lesson I had to learn as well. I was chasing the money instead of focusing on the customer experience. A hard lesson learned but learned nevertheless.
What Is A Brand?
Here is the conundrum that many small businesses have….when thinking of a brand, they automatically start to think of the Big Name brands like Coke, Nike, Apple, Oprah Winfrey and so on. They have this perception that to be a brand you need to have this BIG image.
So, let’s break down what a brand really is…
A brand stands out amongst competition and gives customers something to rally around so, they have to be intentional about the brand.
Ok, so how does this apply to your business? Several key factors to keep in mind. They are:
Branding makes you stand out, and if you are to stand out, you had better stand for something!
You are NOT in control of your brand!
You can set your brand’s direction, but how your brand is perceived is determined by your customers and potential customers.
Turn your satisfied customers into your brand’s ambassadors – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks. Spend time nurturing relationships with such people.
- Who are they?
- What can they give and receive in order to help your brand?
Ultimately, successful brands recognize that if they help their customers succeed, the customers will, in turn, help the brand succeed.
- Think Long Term: You must come to terms with the fact that brands are not built overnight, so your brand strategy should focus on the long term. Think five, ten, fifty years ahead. Think marathon, not 5k.
- Be flexible: Your brand strategy should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in the market, customers, and competition.
Always remember, if you think BRANDING, think STANDING OUT!