Large companies have a lot going for them when it comes to their brand. Their logo is instantly recognized, their products and packaging are familiar to the market, and they often have a brand advocate who represents the brand in the marketplace, like a gecko, a group of talking candies with distinct personalities, or a big green giant. Small businesses have unique challenges when developing a brand since they are the brand and the brand is a very personal business element. Your brand is the entire sum of what you do, what you excel at, and the experience your customers have with you.
I met with a client this morning to help him with some marketing/sales challenges. So I took the opportunity to share this blog with him and see if it made sense. He thinks it does.
1.Make sure your customers know the face behind the product
2.Be an advocate of your business, not just a salesman
3.Deliver a product that is as good as it can possibly be
4.Define your brand promise, based on reality, and can be proved
5.Be honest and authentic about who you are. Talk the talk; walk the walk
6.Differentiate yourself from the competition
7.Keep your brand message and visual identity professional and consistent
8.Create a dialog with your customers
9.Give customers a great experience at every point of contact
10.Be consistent and genuine – be YOU!
- Things to brand:
1.Product and packaging
3.Collateral materials (business cards, stationary, brochures)
4.Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs)
Some big company branding:
McDonalds – fast food with a consistency of taste and service, from Toledo to Timbuktu
Starbucks – quality coffee in an inviting, casual atmosphere – your living room away from home
Zappos – any shoe you could want, backed by amazing customer service
Some small company branding:
Yodelpop (a marketing firm in Milwaukee) – Creative marketing that’s distinctive & delicious. We are Yodelpop because we help people get their message out (there’s the yodel) in a way that has impact (there’s the pop). And if you knew the owner, Jackie Lalley, she is the brand and the brand is her.
Jimmy Luv’s Bloody Mary Mix (A Milwaukee manufacturer) – It’s all about spicing up your life, “Shake the bottle, Wake the Luv”. Everything Jimmy Roeglin does is branded; product, website, social media – and very consistent.
A.J. Bombers (a Milwaukee & Madison restaurant focusing on hamburgers) – Casual and comfortable, our focus at Bombers is FUN! We also happen to make great burgers. “Happiness, w/ a side of Burgers.” The entire restaurant is filled with fun stuff to see and do. And their burger won the Travel Channel’s Food Wars. Their brand promise is based on reality and can be proven.
I personally know Jackie Lalley and Jimmy Roeglin. They are their brand; they talk the talk and walk the walk. I don’t personally know Joe Sorge, A.J. Bomber’s owner, but people that know him say the same about him.