Small businesses get started in a variety of ways. Most small businesses have gone through the rigor of developing a business plan. However, the really successful small businesses also think about how to build a brand not just a business.
Build a Brand with Distinction
It is critical to be distinctive if you want to build a brand. Let’s be honest and admit that few small businesses offer something that no one ever thought of before. So, how do you make yourself attractive to your customers? You must create a distinct and engaging brand personality.
Your brand should be like the person your customer wants to do business with. You want to be memorable and stand for something. You must be distinctive enough that you can build a brand. Otherwise you will just be another supplier in the category.
Build a Brand with Consistency
Once you’ve created this distinct brand personality you must be consistent. The only way to build a brand is to stay with the message. Small businesses frequently chase everything that gets in front of them. Avoid the tendency to become reactionary. Stay on your message with your personality. It is the repetition and consistency that will build a brand for you.
Small business owners frequently get tired of their own brand long before the customer does. Just because you are bored with something doesn’t mean it isn’t working or that your customers are bored. You live with your brand every day, your customers probably don’t. So don’t fall into the trap of change for the sake of change. If you want to build a strong brand it can take time.
Build a Brand by Evolving
There will be times when you need to change. Make certain that you evolve the brand. Listen to your customers. Their perception of your brand is your reality. Keep the brand fresh and relevant but true to your original core values. After all those values are what made you distinct in the first place. Don’t lose that. Evolution is part of building a brand. However, demolition is not a good way to build a brand so don’t just blow up what you’ve built.
Build a Brand with Guts
To build a brand you must also embrace it. Don’t be afraid of what it is. Don’t pull your punches. Sometimes to be true to the brand you built you might not be attractive to another part of the marketplace. If you water your brand down so that it includes everyone you probably don’t stand for anything. So go ahead and be who you are. If you’ve done your homework you will have your audience. Others will find you attractive because you stick to your core values. It’s OK if some people don’t like who you are as a brand. That means you stand for something.