We are firm believers that if you want your business to grow, then a strong brand is absolutely essential, however in the small business world we see too many companies completely neglecting their branding, opting for what we call ‘blanding’ instead.
ACTION: Mark yourself out of 10 on each of the following points. 10 being definitely a brand, 1 being definitely a bland.
1. A brand will have a great, punchy brand name that is memorable and easy to pass on. A bland will have an unoriginal name that took all of a couple minutes to think of, usually a couple letters followed by the word “services”, “training” or “consultancy”.
2. A brand will have a great mission, brand values to stick too and a reason for doing what they are doing, which comes across when dealing with them. A bland will be working solely for the money.
3. A brand will have future goals and aspirations, and knows their business will need to change in certain ways to reach that goal and keep up with modern trends, whilst keeping true to their values. A bland will have been doing things the way they have ‘always been done’, and will be still doing them that way in 5 years time.
4. A brand knows their customers well, listens to their problems and provides great customer services. A bland doesn’t really get to know their customers that well and sees them more of a number, a job, a headache.
5. A brand will have awesome high quality, well designed marketing materials including a brand focussed website. A bland will have a website that looks like it was made in the 90s and the same business cards that they had when they set up.
6. A brand embraces changes in marketing, and understands that their marketing should be interesting and engaging, and uses content marketing to provide real value to their potential customers. A bland will bombard potential customers with advertising messages with the view that if you throw enough out there, something will stick.
The Lesson: Be great at branding and rubbish at blanding!
Did you score 40 or above? If so well done, you have a BRAND! 40 and below, look at each of the 6 points, and look at where you can improve.