What is the essence of a great brand? What truly makes a brand connect and how can a smaller business
Is it having a striking logo that people will remember like the Apple symbol, Ferrari’s dancing horse or the iconic McDonald’s golden arches?
Maybe it’s a catchy strapline like “Just Do It” or “Because You’re Worth It” that will connect well with the audience and likely remain long in their minds?
These sorts of elements are certainly essential to the composite of building a strong brand, but they are not what truly defines a brilliant brand and sets it apart from its competition.
The identity of a brand is about so much more than just the logo, the imagery, the straplines and the font. They go far beyond these tangible and easily defined areas and in fact it’s the core values and personality of an organisation with its audience that really defines what makes up how well it resonates and connects.
Jeff Bezos of powerhouse Amazon once said “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
The real power of great brands comes from the things that sit behind the logo and visual delivery and connect the identity of the organisation it represents and its values and mission.
These are areas that as a small business can be much harder to define and to build, but when they’re done well they can transform even a small business with limited budget into a powerhouse of branding.
Many small organisations and startups often find it tough to know how to really build a brand that represents their business or that connects with its customers and prospects in a meaningful way.
So often the reason for this is that they struggle to look at their organisational – or brand – identity in a holistic way and define the elements that will make up its place in the market.
A brand is made up of so many elements and characteristics, in much the same way that a human being has its own unique personality and only by defining and remaining true to these can you hope to build something powerful.
Even the smallest organisation can create huge value from ensuring they understand what values they want their organisation and their brand to have and how it should speak to their audience.
In order to really create a brand that will connect, you must first answer questions such as “What is our mission and purpose?”, “What values and traits are essential to our business?” and “What is the tone and voice of our business?”.
These questions might seem like only the kind of questions a global enterprise scale business might need to ask, but they can result in massively impactful results that can help shape a brand identity to a whole new level.
By answering these sorts of questions and ensuring that everything you do remains true to their answers, you can achieve a clear, consistent and powerful identity that transcends far beyond the logo it sits behind.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a one person show running a garden maintenance business, a catering van, a convenience store, a personal trainer or anything else; your brand is truly defined and built on these pillars.
It might indeed seem more work than needed, but let’s be honest, unless you’re lucky enough to be one of the rare organisations who creates a market themselves, you need to stand out, to differentiate and to give yourself the best chance of connecting you can.
If you can focus on these areas before you do anything else and keep the answers you create in the back of your mind whenever you do anything that reflects on your organisation, you set yourself up to build something much stronger.
Everything you do from your social media, your marketing, your sales outreach, your website and email communications, your after sales and service and even your invoicing and finance is connected in some way to the answers from these questions.
Build not just a brand but a personality and you set yourself up to create something more powerful and more impactful than the most innovative logo design and create a platform for incredible things.