Many small companies believe a brand is no more than a name or a logo. In contrast, some incorrectly believe that brands are very expensive, unaffordable and only for bigger businesses.
Every Business Is a Brand
The truth is that every business, regardless of size, is already a brand whether it deliberately sets out to be or not. That’s because it’s what people say about your business when you are not in the room. It’s the impression they are left with when they come into contact with your company. It doesn’t need to be expensive.
What You Stand For
Your brand is not your name or logo – these are identifiers, how someone recognises your business versus your competitors. They are what stand for your brand. Your brand, on the other hand, is what your business is seen to stand for. Branding is the art of managing perceptions and how you want your business to be perceived.
Don’t Just “Bland” In
How your business is perceived is something you can and must influence if you are to stand out. Be a distinctive brand rather than as distinctly bland. This is your identity, your way to ensure you don’t just bland in with the competition. It’s your means to ensure that your business is not seen as just a.n.other anonymous brick in the wall – just a.n.other me-too bland rather than the go-to brand.
Don’t Jump on the Blandwagon
It is important to “Think Brand – not bland” unless you want to risk becoming another example of the bland that time forgot. New businesses often dive headlong into execution mode. Wasting time, effort and money designing logos, building websites and posting on social media before they have identified their message and what they stand for.
Necessity the Mother of Re-Invention
In the case of established businesses, it is vitally important they periodically step back and take a long hard look at themselves from the outside. What matters is what they are seen to stand for by those viewing them from an external perspective. Most businesses change over time, often very significantly, due to changes in their market or new competition. However, to remain relevant, they should periodically review how to manage their perception.
For a new business, an effective brand can add huge value and be instrumental in helping it to stand out from the crowd. Connect, communicate and engage effectively with its target audience, and become the go-to brand in its category rather than just a.n.other me-too bland. For an established business, a review involving thinking brand not bland can refresh, revitalise and re-energise it, keeping it current and relevant. Giving it a new lease of life as a distinctive brand.