When you think of branding what is it that you see? The dollars you have to pay the commercial people to develop a brand? The indefinable KPI’s that don’t easily justify the money spent on brand development? How about the tenuous link of how the brand has contributed to the bottom line?

As a small business owner with little or no exposure to marketing and branding the risk you run is to accept this as unimportant and focus on other parts of the business. If this is your approach, how then do you get your message out to current and prospective customers? If you intend to grow your business what is your strategy to win customers over and gain market share? I would argue that there is a need to review and then reconsider the marketing of your business. After all there must be something in this “branding” if so many of the iconic products & services we know today spend so much of the company’s profit to maintain brand recognition; think “Coke”, “Apple”, “ANZ”, “Mercedes” etc.

While you may be a small organisation and don’t have the resources of these large iconic companies, you still want to raise your business’ profile, gain the attention of new potential customers and not rely only on the faithful customers who have returned to repurchase your wares. You should not restrict the tools you use to waiting for the phone to ring.

So what is this “Branding” all about? All branding delivers a message. It says buy our product and you will get something in return. The very large iconic brands are saying if you buy our product your life will be better. And how do they deliver that message? One way is by associating themselves with people who we admire. And how did they get to be so admirable? By using the product that they are promoting! And we as consumers believe this and buy their products.

Brands like Apple and Coke go even further. They get us to imagine what the future will be like, and that in that future, they will be there supporting and enhancing our lives, our prospects and our fortunes.

While this is my very simplistic overview of marketing and branding, I believe branding plays a very significant part in the success of all businesses. Branding allows you to identify what you and your business will promise to your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it allows you to show how your offering is differentiated from your competitors'. If done well, branding might even give your customers a perspective of their future life with the products and services you offer.

Answers to the following questions will quickly help identify what brand image you are targeting for your products & services and therefore what brand recognition you should aim to develop for your business:

  1. What is your company's mission
  2. What qualities do you want customers to associate with your company?
  3. What customer’s problem do your business’ products & services solve
  4. What are the features and benefits of your products or services (remember there is a difference between features and benefits)?
  5. What is the legacy you want you business to be remembered for

The key is to be true to yourself and the vision you want to create for your business; that you can be trusted by you customers to do what you have promised. Trust is hard won and easily lost. Create a vision and stand by what you represent. 

If you would like to discuss this further or review any aspects of your business please contact Robert on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for a 16 point business audit and report