For most of us when we hear the word ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ we think logo, some of us may think about colour schemes etc. but branding goes way beyond your logo as Amanda Jobbins from Sage persuaded us at the Dublin Web Summit.
So if it’s not our logo what is it?
‘Brand is about uniqueness’ – Amanda Jobbins
It’s a common marketing problem, sometimes I will sit down with a group of people and ask them what their ‘thing’ is, why would someone choose you over your competitor? What makes you unique? It really is the most important thing for you to know about your business and for small businesses it can very often be ‘you’ that is the differentiator, your approach, your personality, your customer care. In these cases your personal brand becomes your brand.
Once you know your ‘thing’ you have the foundation of your brand.
‘a promise about what you can deliver to your customers’ – Amanda Jobbins
If you have been in business for a while and are struggling to find what is unique about you look to your staff. Amanda said that company employees were the first place she looked. They shared customer stories and discovered what it was that those customers liked about Sage.
If you don’t have staff think about your own experiences with your customers, try writing down their stories, what do they need on top of what you have to offer? For example, I work with small business, often they need other business and marketing advice, they need a web developer, they need an accountant, they need to know how to manage their time effectively. I should focus on helping them with these needs by creating and sharing content.
Amanda’s talk got me thinking. Part of my brand, or I like to think it is, is being a resource for social media help. I find people with social media questions on Twitter and answer them. If a question is common I blog about it. This gives me the resources to answer customer questions and questions from the public effectively and attracts them to my business.
But enough about me, what can you do to enhance the uniqueness of your brand?
- If you have great friendly staff how can you feature them?
- If you are fun can you create short vine videos that will make people smile?
- If you are helpful can you build a list of resources, both your own and curated content that compliments that?
- If as Amanda says your brand is a promise of what you can deliver make sure you are delivering.
‘Customers can make a quick decision between us and them’ – Amanda Jobbins
Good branding can give us a competitive advantage, it’s a shortcut to identify us with. Everything we do, our logo, our visuals our attitude, the attitude of our staff should reflect that.
‘A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person’ – Jeff Bezos
Amanda used this quote in her presentation. As I mentioned above I believe this is where I continue to believe small businesses have an advantage. My brand is clearly going to be founded on me and my personality as I am a one person business. Larger organisations need to spend longer nailing their personality to ensure consistency. We too will grow, we take on new staff so we need to think about how we can remain true to our brand when this happens.
‘Brand = consistency and trust’ – Amanda Jobbins
Amanda believes that if you get your brand right if you are consistent your build trust amongst your customers and trust equals loyalty.
So next time you talk about branding forget the logo, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, your brand is your essence.
More from the Web Summit later on.