Understand this: your brand is an important part of your business, so don’t take it for granted.
We’ve seen a lot of micro businesses do what we call ‘sacrificing’ their brand, by moving into completely different markets or doing something completely different, whilst operating under the same brand name, usually looking at the promised financial rewards of different markets, but not realising that they could be damaging the credibility they built up in the first place.
We aren’t saying you should never diversify. Sometimes diversifying your business is a great way to move forward, for example the designer who moved into print, as you can take the core values that represent your initial business, and easily apply them to the new one. But when you do something that is completely different, that has completely different core values and messaging behind it, using the same brand name just dilutes the overall message.
By sticking to one brand message, your customers know what you stand for and never get confused, the brand grows ever stronger and so does the company. That’s one of the first things we learnt in business and it is so important in many aspects. It’s easy to let things slip when competition gets fierce or you aren’t making much money but if you don’t falter, and stay true to what your business believes in, then you will come out of the other side in a stronger position.
This also applies to taking on new businesses. If you wear more than one hat, then it’s hard for people to keep up with what you do, and you lose that ‘expert’ title you once had and become a jack of all trades, an expert in none. This is what we did when we first started, put our fingers in all the pies because we hadn’t stuck at any one thing long enough to be seen as an expert in that field to make much money from it. Soon as we focussed on one business 100% and stuck with it for a few years people recognised us as experts in for the long haul not a quick buck, passed work our way and we could charge more for it. It’s a long game to play and tough at the beginning but it will be worth it.
ACTION: Think about your branding for a second. Do you know what you stand for? Are all your products and services aligned to this brand message?