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Start-Ups

Living Your Brand

By Townes Haas   |    December 4, 2014   |    2:40 PM

How to live your business’s brand, every day

Branding your business, and executing that vision, is imperative for success. When your company has a solid brand promise that customers recognize and understand you’re far more likely to keep them around for the long haul.

However, there’s more to living your brand than just having an excellent product and great marketing.

How to create your business’s brand

You don’t need an expensive branding campaign to define your company’s vision. A logo, well-designed website, and marketing materials are certainly important, but you’ll want to spend some time simply thinking about your overall business goal. Run through these steps to begin defining what your organization is all about.

What are your core values?

Decide what your company values most – what are its strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals for growth? Spend some time thinking about the purpose of your business and whom you want to help. Think of that target audience when you’re developing branding.

Every business has a personality. What’s yours?

What is your organization’s personality? Your company might be funky, personable, serious, or any number of other traits. Decide how you want to be perceived and make sure that your employees, marketing materials, and products align with those traits. Just don’t aim to be something you aren’t, because customers can sense authenticity.

Stand out from the crowd

Is there something that differentiates you from the competition? Point it out! While your brand personality alone can differentiate you, try to think beyond that. Maybe you have stellar customer service, or decades of experience. Your skills and your team’s abilities are uniquely yours, and are an integral part of living your brand.

How to maintain your brand

Once you have your ideal brand in mind, it’s time to maintain that image. No one wants to eat at a restaurant with “world famous” chili that’s mediocre at best, after all.

Every individual employee affects your brand, more than any other factor

According to Colorado Biz Magazine, 68% of customers who are dissatisfied with a company are turned off by the “indifferent attitude of a single employee.” That’s a statistic worth paying attention to. You can have lofty ambitions about your brand, but whether that vision is successful is ultimately up to your customers.

Insisting that your small business adhere to its brand vision is good for retaining that top talent, too. When employees work for an honest company with a clear mission and standards they’ll know exactly what’s expected of them. Additionally, when your employees have been carefully selected to complement your brand, there’s a better chance that they’ll be passionate about the company.

Put your brand onto paper and review it often

No one else has to see the paper, but take the time to write down what makes your company’s ideal brand. Map out your brand’s personality, your ideal employees, and your core values. Revisit this document often so that these values stay fresh in your mind. If you aren’t living your brand, make some changes. Don’t be afraid to revise and let your brand evolve, either.