February 19th, 2020
4 steps to consider when Brand Building
28 Sep 2016 Dominic
Brand building is essential for any small business – your company’s success this year and beyond depends on your ability to shape a brand: your career’s, product’s, department’s, or company’s. You can look at working with as many partners as possible and try to hoodwink Google however ultimately I believe you have to everything in your power to commit to building a brand – here are my 4 main tips:
FIND YOUR “PRE-EXISTING COMMITMENT”
We hold this fantasy about great entrepreneurs being oracles who somehow recognize and move on new opportunities more quickly than others. However many entrepreneurs have shown that they actually make a commitment before the opportunity arises and so are poised to step into it when an opening appears. They understand before the launch that they need to commit to brand building.
Your pre – existing commitment is key here. This stems not from a calculated market view but from a an internal passion which is always-there, always-searching – a filter through which you scan for opportunities.
What pre-existing commitment are you willing to pursue, regardless of when the market offers you a profitable opportunity to do so?
YOUR BRAND IS A FAN BASE, NOT A LOGO
The term “brand” brings up thoughts of logos, colors, and products – in other word intangible conceost built into the fabric of a brand through design and marketing agencies. However surely the ultimate achievement for a brand is to deliver what all brands want – “a loyal fan base.” When you think of a brand as something to be looked at, when you admire it, you turn your back on what really matters: your fan base. Instead, think of your would-be fans: who are they, what are their passions, where do they spend their time? This is the crux of building a brand – understand what is needed to acquire this loyal fanbase.
If you thought of your brand as your fan base, rather than its elements and colors and meanings, what would you do differently?
BRAND BUILD – STAND FOR SOMETHING MORE THAN PRODUCT
One problem for lots of brands is that they “get stuck in one product: If you are a footwear company, you are always selling footwear. If you are an eyewear company, you’re always in eyewear.” A product-defined brand is inherently limiting. Neff Headgear has top-selling watches, sunglasses, and snowboard gloves. When they think of expanding into a new product they ask two questions: (a) do our retailers know how to sell this and (b) does our “gut” tell us this fits. Think of Dyson – an excellent British brand who constantly innovate.
If your brand were not defined by your product or category, what would it stand for?
SEARCH TIRELESSLY FOR THE OPENING
With your pre-existing commitment in your heart and your fan base in mind, find your opening. If one angle doesn’t work, back up and try again, then again, until you find a way through.
One company I came across is Neff – they started out selling T-shirts. The owner would paste stickers on signs, win over local taste-makers, and seek out the coolest snowboard shops. This created a small ecosystem in which his brand started selling. But he wanted to replicate this on a larger scale. For that he needed nationally known snowboarders to wear Neff gear. But he quickly learned that the best snowboarders were prevented by current sponsors from wearing other people’s shirts.
So he studied their contracts one night and realized, “These apparel deals said nothing about the head!” Snowboarders couldn’t wear Neff T-shirts, but they could wear Neff headwear.
Unfortunately, Neff didn’t make headwear. So he went to the local dollar store, bought a stack of beanies, removed their labels, and wrote his last name with a black marker on each one. At the next tournament he convinced several competitors to wear his Neff hat. When two of them stood on the medal podium, “Neff” inscribed prominently over their heads, he knew he had found his opening. “The heavens opened … I am no longer Neff clothing; I’m Neff Headwear.”
These are distillations of my own thoughts from some recent brand building research I was undertaking – what is challenging in the world of small business is just what the apetite is to build a brand vs play safe and go for the quicker / easier option.
With so many algorithm changes every year and focus on one rich seamless and accurate experience for browsers, small businesses need to move away from the quick fix mentality and really try to address exactly what they need to do to deliver a true brand building experience for their customers.
Tags: brand building
- Acquisition (3)
- All Posts (41)
- Amazon (1)
- Analytics (5)
- Brand (9)
- Conversion (9)
- Customer Surveys (2)
- Email (2)
- Google (6)
- Mobile (2)
- Paid search (5)
- Planning (8)
- Platform (3)
- Presentations (2)
- Promotions (3)
- RAF (1)
- Retention (4)
- SEO (6)
- Site Search (1)
- Small Business Blog (3)
- Social Media (4)
- Strategy (5)
- Trading Tips (18)
- Traffic (5)
- Uncategorized (6)
- Why me? (7)