Branding represents a tremendous growth opportunity for any type of small business owner, including entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and especially “thought leaders” such as speakers, coaches, trainers, and authors. So, why is branding such a confusing topic to so many?
What’s So Great About Branding?
Well, for starters, most owners think that branding is about having a logo, perhaps a tagline, a website, and anything else you can see. Branding, however, goes much deeper than this, beyond what the eye can see. When done correctly, it can place your product or service miles ahead of the competition and breathe new life into your business. Owners are always looking for an edge and the “visual stuff,” quite frankly, is not going to bring home the bacon. But, when done correctly, branding paves the way for rapid sales growth.
So, what exactly does it mean to “brand”? And does it require a lot of time, money, or energy?
Branding, in a nutshell, is about promising an undeniable experience to your customer. And, in the process of doing that, making sure your customer gets instant recognition of that promise and how your brand will benefit them.
Branding allows us, as owners, to stand out and get noticed in our marketplaces by differentiating our products or services in a distinctive way. We can say, “I’m different” and really mean it, demonstrate how we’re superior to other alternatives, and ultimately make a bold promise to the customer about what we can be counted on to deliver. Through effective use of the English language, we can attract even more customers by putting out a brand message that connects, engages, and moves people to take the actions we want them to take.
As consumers, we have thousands of choices across an array of products and services all over the globe. Our ability as owners to get noticed and preferred by the people we wish to sell to as if we were recommended by a trusted friend is our end goal.
While it seems that many owners are doing some, if not a lot, of marketing by creating websites, utilizing social media and other business-building tools at their disposal, they are also neglecting the use of branding as a sure-fire way to help get new customers, increase sales, and improve cash flow. It kinda doesn’t make sense, right?
Why Isn’t Every Owner Branding?
So, why isn’t every small business owner branding and how is that good news for you?
The answer is one of the basic reasons so many of them fizzle out and ultimately fail: lack of knowledge.
Specifically, lack of how branding works, why it’s crucial, and a general misunderstanding of the vital role it plays to not only keep your business viable but contribute to its success.
The good news is that as owners, we face sales and cash flow issues every day and branding is a critical tool in our “customer acquisition toolkit.” Reprogramming our mind to focus on how branding can change the trajectory of our business is often all it takes to build the confidence you seek to overcome those issues. The even better news is that many owners are still not cashing in on branding (and perhaps never will) so by utilizing this tool you have a golden opportunity for mega impact than those not willing to get on the band wagon.
Making sure you avoid the pitfall of believing that branding is reserved for corporate brands with big names and giant budgets, and not underestimating the power of a powerful brand, you can still mirror similar success for yourself.
Now, I know that may sound pie-in-the-sky-ish. However, the sky’s the limit if you know how to create a strategically-based powerful brand.
Here are 5 Keys to Branding Success for Your Business
1. Strong Brand Purpose Statement
Successful branding starts with establishing an inspiring, underlying purpose for your brand. A well-crafted vision and mission statement that connects with your core audience on a deeper level can motivate them to purchase your brand. Every component of your brand stems from it – a call to action for exceptional performance consumers will fall in love with.
2. Clear Differentiation
Creating a distinctive brand that offers something distinctively beneficial to your customer will generate more sales. This allows you to be, do, and say something different so you are seen as the preferred choice. It means you can avoid being perceived as cookie-cutter, rubber-stamped, or carbon-copy in an era where consumers want unique, fresh, and original. It also means later on you can present your brand “marketing content” in a manner that screams how you are different and better.
3. Unrivaled Value
Great brands like Nike, Amazon, and FedEx market and sell “me-only” value. The allure of what makes your brand innovative and the ability to say to your market you offer something others can’t (i.e. they can imitate but cannot duplicate) are incredible draws.
4. Irresistible Promise
Everything you want someone to buy is captured in your brand promise statement. Although telling consumers about the product or services you provide is great information to share, this is not what they want to buy per se. All you want to tout are mouthwatering benefits, staggering value, and outstanding, desired customer outcomes that make a heart-connection, not a head-connection, for rapid sales to occur.
5. Compelling Message
If there is any step in your branding you don’t want to gloss over is your messaging. Is it engaging or dry and boring? Does it send a lightning bolt to the heart of your targeted buyer? Your message is how people connect with your brand so you’ll want to be as emotionally-based and value-driven as possible. With the objective to load up your messaging on any communication platforms you choose (i.e. websites, social media, videos, etc.), you’ll find attracting buyers, getting leads, and more conversions easier and a lot more fun.
Are You Utilizing the Power of Branding?
I truly hope that you’ll consider branding so you can join the many small business owners who are getting more customers, increasing sales, improving cash flow, and growing their bottom line.
I’d love to hear your questions and comments about creating a strategically-based powerful brand. Please respond in the comments and let’s keep the conversation going. I hope you’ll connect with me via email Gerry@dare2bdifferent.net.
When Gerry Foster was a kid, his goal was to be a TV talk-show host or a professional basketball player. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, developed a fascination with this whole thing called ‘branding,’ ended up creating his own brand development company, and has become known as one of the top Small Business Brand Strategists in the nation.
Gerry is the founder of the Big Brand Formula which shows small business owners how to create a big brand, and a strong message that sells, even if your budget is small so you can excite, ignite, and delight the market you’re selling to.