Today a report from Interbrand indicates Apple has bumped Coca-Cola from the “top brand” list for the first time in 13 years. As you reflect on this, there is one question you should ask yourself – if I cannot be Apple or Coca-Cola, what can I do to build the loyalty that these two companies have grown? The answer: build a brand that is unshakeable. Easier said than done. But it takes time. So start right now.
The number of exceptional one to one relationships you can create directly impacts how well and how fast you can grow. Referral programs, word of mouth magic, expansion of products and services, personal growth all stem from excellent relationships.
Hundreds and thousands of excellent one to one relationships build your business.
Great businesses are built on brand equity. Brand equity is the value of your brand. The value of your brand is created by continual effort to align what YOU want your brand to be perceived as and what THEY (the customer, the fan, the champion) perceive you as.
Excellent businesses with excellent brand equity have excellent relationships with many customers, because the way the company wants to be viewed and the way the customer views that company match.
Whether you sell one to one services or one to many products/services, each individual feels a personal one to one connection to you.
They have a personal, singular relationship to you, even if you view them as one of the masses. So don’t.
Your “brand” building effort matters so much, continually, because it is the core strength of a healthy business that is in a position to grow and serve well.
The Makings of a Small Business Brand
Your brand is created by the perception by the customer of all these things combined:
- customer service
- language that sounds like you
- your true personality shining
- experience with you
- visual dynamics
- quality of your work
- how well you tell your truth
- other sensory impressions ( location of events, how you dress, etc)
Brand Cannot Be Built Successfully Without:
- professional looking design (if you must DIY, DIY it well)
- knowledge of who you are and what you uniquely bring to the table
- execution of ideas in a brand-focused manner at every detail
- honesty (every person has a bullsh*t meter)
- consistency consistency consistency in EVERYTHING (visual, language, messages, ideas, what you stand for)
- patience (it takes years to build a brand, there are NO shortcuts to creating a human experience that anchors a brand)
The marketing mechanics of your business can grow and roll with greater ease and less cost by investing in understanding who you are and building a brand-focused business. Let a brand vision of your business be a beacon that guides your decisions. It helps you and it helps your customers.
Grow better. Grow faster. Get a brand focus that fits and work it.