In business coaching I find that strong, consistent, well-managed brands will produce higher market values and competitive advantages for the businesses that develop them. Each time a customer interacts with your brand, the experience they have plays a part in defining who you are as a business. Brand management is what turns a small business idea into a household name.
Start small - are you delivering a message that will be appealing to the general public? From logo choice to website colour schemes - every small detail may play a part in how your business is being viewed by the public.
Strive for customer identification - catchy slogans and taglines are used because they are more likely to be remembered. When your tagline is created with your unique core differentiator in mind, it can also keep the entire team focused on your vision.
Develop your elevator speech. In any given situation you may find yourself being asked what it is you do for a living. Have a precise, informative and brand-dropping answer for this question that you can call upon in any networking setting. Remember the free business coaching webinar I presented on effectively communicating what you do? Let me know if you want a link.
Share your expertise - in fact, BE an expert in your business. Organise talks, workshops and informative seminars to further your brand recognition.
Conduct industry research, ranking your competitors based on size, business model and reputation. Map out where you want your business to fall in relation to your competitors and focus on targeting that segment of the market.
Conduct internal studies - examining your business' strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. Do you have what it takes to corner that segment of the market that is missing? Remember, we have a very effective business coaching process to help you identify some exciting opportunities using this philosophy.
Consider a Public Relations firm to manage your reputation. PR is also a powerful tool when handling small-scale brand disasters, putting out fires before they can spread. You can even engage a stand-alone PR person who focuses on the small business sector and can perhaps add real value on a small-business budget.
Tackling the management of an online presence or brand can be overwhelming. Start with the 'hub' (your website, company blog, social media sites, etc.) and focus on a stringent monitoring system of all comments and mentions, both positive and negative.
Once you secure the 'hub' you can begin the 'hunt', reaching out further into the web, seeking opportunities to introduce your brand.
Reputation plays a large part in determining your businesses profit statement. An article in the New York Times once noted, "Your customers are talking about you, and the whole world is listening…" Sure, for most of us our world may be very small, however it is still listening!
And brand management ensures that your world likes what it hears.