For people who work in marketing, you won’t be surprised to hear us talk about the importance of brands. Don’t worry, we know it’s pretty self-serving. But, just for a few minutes, forget that a marketing agency wrote what’s to follow. Forget the fact that we’d like to work with you. And forget the fact that we’d like to get paid for it. Just hear us out.
Brands are not simply logos. Apple’s brand is not just a half-eaten apple. Nike’s brand is not just an eye-catching swoosh. And, even though we’ve just used two of the biggest companies on the planet as examples, brands are not just for global players. They’re just as important for the independent village coffee shop or the local insurance broker.
A brand is, ultimately, that gut feeling that people have about a business. It’s the sum total of the feelings and experiences they have with a business when they encounter its various touch points. The feelings come from a lot of things; brand appearance, products and services, the name, the vision, the staff, the business cards. Even the letter you send asking for payment.
The world is getting smaller and smaller. Social media, love it or loathe it, means we are all more connected. We’re all closer together. Small business owners, with a well-developed and authentic brand, have a huge opportunity to make an impact that simply wasn’t possible even five years ago. But, to be clear, well-developed and authentic doesn’t mean investing serious money. At its heart, it means caring about your customers in everything you do. Some businesses are just too big to do that. Small businesses are not.
Being authentic means having a story that rings true. It’s about consistency and genuinely caring. Most of us know when we’re being fed a load of nonsense. And nonsense kills brands. Because, at the very core of it all, a brand is not what the business owner says it is. It’s what the customers say.
If you’d like to talk about your brand, we’d love to hear from you.