3 Considerations for Your Small Business’s Brand

by in Marketing Your Business

As a small business owner I think a lot about my company’s brand. I ask myself questions like, “how am I perceived by others?’  and “how do outsiders view my company?” I keep three things in mind as I strategize about my company's brand.

You are your brand

People cannot separate you from your brand. If they like you, then they feel favorably toward your business. If they think you’re a jerk, then they don’t want to do business with you. This goes beyond how you treat people. The way you dress, your language, your social behavior, your charitable alliances, your friends and hangouts, all those things speak volumes about you as a person. Since you are your brand, they speak volumes about your company.

Intent versus impact

Years ago someone said to me, “we often judge ourselves based on our intent, while we judge others based on their impact.” It is true. We know what we are trying to accomplish, but those outside our circle of close business associated and friends don’t. They evaluate our business based on their experience with it. How do we impact them. Do we create value? Are we more noise in their already-cluttered life? Do we care? Are we authentic? Remember that everything we do in business – from email communication, to product delivery to customer service – is being judged on how it feels to the recipient without much regard to our intention.

Three words

One easy way to keep a pulse on your brand is to ask those around you for three words. When you put together marketing materials show it to a variety of people – some close to you and some that have no connection to your business at all (like a coffee shop clerk on a slow afternoon) . Ask them to look at it for just a minute and then use three words to describe it. You can do this with your website, with your customer service, with your products. Limiting their description to three words requires them to  avoid fluff and say the most important thing.

Who else spends time thinking about their business and personal brand? What changes have you made recently to try to strengthen your brand?

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About the Author - Carrie Rocha

Carrie Rocha has been a WAHM since January 2010. She and her Brazilian husband, Marco, have two young girls. In June 2006 the Rocha’s decided to get out of $50,000+ in debt. Two and a half years later they’d reached their goal. Compelled to help others based on what they’d learned, Carrie founded PocketYourDollars.com. When she’s not online she’s eating chocolate, being a media correspondent on consumer issues, public speaker, or busy writing her soon-to-be-published book Pocket Your Dollars: 6 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make (Bethany House, 2013).

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tricia August 21, 2012 at 3:25 pm

This really hits home with me because I am very personally associated with my brand. I think more people know me as “sunshine tricia” than as Tricia Meyer! It can definitely be an asset once it comes to trust but that comes with the understanding that if you make a false step personally, you can tarnish that business brand as well. I love your idea about asking people for three words. Can I steal it and put it on the Sunshine Rewards facebook wall??

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Carrie Rocha August 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Yes, of course! One thing to keep in mind though – is that if you ask publicly on Facebook, then you’ll probably only get positive answers because people are too nice to say anything different. It’s fun either way, but I’ve done a Google doc-type form before where I ask people for 3 words and require an email address – since totally anonymous answers can be flat out rude and mean. Hope you learn some good stuff!

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Tricia August 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Good point. Maybe I will do both and then combine them. One for the ego boost and the other for research. LOL!

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Carrie Rocha August 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Exactly!

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