How things have changed! When I started my first business I selected a name for the company and that was the extent of my branding effort. Marketing to me was getting my name out, and print was about the only choice I had. During the first ten years my logo was changed four times, each time a different way of displaying my company name.
As a small business owner my print budget was overshadowed by my much bigger competitors. Most firms marketed with the concept that “bigger is better,” thus advertising space in newspapers and magazines was a display of who had the most money.
In my opinion, branding is a very important part of growing a business, and it is much more than just a pretty logo. In his book “Get Scrappy” Nick Westergaard gave a definition of what a brand is:
A brand can be any noun (person, place, thing) that needs another party to take action (purchase, promote, advocate, and so on). A brand does this by creating a series of ideas and touch points that build a larger message which draws the desired audience close, engages then emotionally, and inspires them to take action.
He went on to say that a brand is more than: a logo, your slogan, your website, your business cards, how you engage customers, what others say about you, what you do on social media. Yes, all these things build your brand.
Your mission can also double as your tag line; it should contain a promise of what you can do for your target market. The next part of your brand should be your story. It has to be short and convey how you can make your customer’s life better. We are exposed to thousands of messages every day, therefore, a short communication has a better chance of being “heard”.
If your mission statement (or tag line) and your story (three words) convey those two messages, your off to a good start.
There is much more to branding, but what I shared here is a good start. It’s never too late to change your brand, especially if it’s ineffective.
My team and I created the following for our company:
No Small Business Left Behind
Believe – Belong – Succeed
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