They say you can't judge a book by its cover.
One of the members of the SME Strategy Facebook community asked the other day:
Social media and the Internet make it easy to build your brand online. Social networking, websites, directories, and content creation are all great ways to build your brand to educate people on who you are, and why they should care.
Have you ever gone to a networking event and there's someone else there that has the same business as you?
Don’t you just hate that question?
What is a brand?
You hear about brands every day, but what is the difference between a brand, and a business?
A brand is a business that had developed a personality.
Why is your business name so important?
Is it so people will know who you are, or is it for people to know what you do?
Growing up in Vancouver, I watched alot of Canucks games. Over the past decade that I have been watching, "Budget Brake and Muffler" would buy several tv ads druing the games, promoting their locations around BC.
Budget brake and muffler has been specializing in brake and muffler repair in BC for over 37 years. It wasen't until recently that they went though a major change.
This well known, well respected company, realized that they were only getting a small part of a very large market.And after 35 year, they re-branded and changed thier name to: Budget Brake and Muffler Auto centers.
It dosent seem like much, but those 2 extra words can make a huge difference when it comes to peoples decision making, when looking for auto repair.
The same logic can apply to SEO. By adding extra(appropriate) keywords to your titles you can appear in search criteria that you might have otherwise be over looked in. For example: before the name change , you might not have gone to Budget to get your oil changed because all they fix are brakes and mufflers.
As Budget Auto centers have shown, its never too late to change, even if it means changing your name to increase the profitability of your business.
Marketing and branding are the things that complement a product, and they usually outline the environment/ social situations when a products should be purchased/consumed.
Through marketing and branding you create a identity for your brand that is then perceived by consumers. As a marketer, you have the brand messaging that you want to communicate, but in the end its all about how the consumer interprets the message.
Take Corona Beer for example. It's light , refreshing, and perfect for those hot summer days. Traditionally their ad's involve people lying ocean side, relaxing in the sun.
Here's the problem: Because of their branding people were only buying Corona in the summer time, resulting in many months of under performing sales.
What did Corona do? They released a new set of advertising encouraging people to "find their beach" , in other words "buy corona regardless of the weather". The message does no change dramatically, but the environment/social setting does.
When creating a brand identity for your small business, and marketing it to your consumers, make sure you understand not only the message that you are trying to communicate, but also how it is interpreted by your audience.
By adapting their advertising, Corona increased the amount of potential opportunities for people to consume their product.
How can you tweak your existing messaging to encourage your consumers to increase the usage of your product?
A small business owner needed help driving traffic to his online business, and had a few questions for him.
He had a start up dating site, but the questions apply to any small business or website:
My questions were:
What makes your site/ business different than your more established competitors?
What is in it for me? (the customer)
How do you make money? (the site owner)
What's cool about your website? (product/service) What is the WOW factor for your customers?
Can you answer these questions for your small business?