Your Small Business Won’t Grow Unless You Get Your Head Around Brand
Have you ever visited a business only to feel like you’ve entered the wrong building?
Something isn’t right. On their website, you were met with images of people dressed in casual gear, laughing at each other at the communal pool table, and sitting in beanbags while snacking on Doritos.
Now, in front of you, stands a serious guy in a dour grey suit, asking that you fill in a GDPR form and an NDA in triplicate before the meeting can begin.
What happened to that brand image portrayed on the website?
Where did it go?
This is such a common problem with modern businesses. They inject huge amounts of effort and creativity into their initial branding projects, only to leave it all behind when they get down to business.
This is dangerous and it’s indicative of why most small businesses don’t understand the value of their brand.
Hands up – it’s probably our fault
As a creative agency, we’re conscious that we’re often left to simply ‘get on’ with the branding process. But what if we haven’t fully explained the value that will inherently lie within the work we create?
It’s easy to be impressed by beautiful logos and a captivating website, but the substance that lies within needs to be fully embraced if there’s to be any success.
So, we’re going to use this blog post to explain why you need to get your head around brand. And we’ll start with a brilliant example.
Yeehaa! Spaghetti totally ‘get’ their brand
Head to Spaghetti Agency’s website, and you’re met with a marketing company based in the fictional town of ‘Spaghettiville’. Only, they’re not, obviously – they’re in Warwick.
But that’s the point. Their brand is so clear and fascinating that you immediately get drawn in. Who are these guys? They’re not actually cowboys, are they?
When you meet the team behind Spaghetti, you realise that, a) they’re not actually real cowboys, and, b) they completely understand the value of their brand.
This even extends to their choice of car colour (their cars are blue, and one is liveried), and the abundance of Wild West imagery that adorns not only their website, but their exhibition stands, office, house, and social media output.
Spaghetti’s motto is “no bull, just beef”, which relates to the way in which they communicate with clients. If you approach them for online marketing services, they’ll tell you how it is (unfiltered) and ‘shoot from the hip’ with solutions they know will work. It’s about as Wild West as it gets.
Does the Wild West have anything to do with marketing? No, of course it doesn’t. But fruit doesn’t bear any relation to computing, and meerkats have never, ever been experts at insurance.
What matters here is the brand, and as you can see from Spaghetti Agency, holding on tight to everything which makes you unique is the best way to stand out in a huge crowd.
Aligning the brand with your team
To gain market share and trust, you need a brand which is woven into absolutely everything you do.
Clearly, that means the team needs to come along for the ride, too.
This is why it’s vital you align your brand with your team. It needs to fit them and become something with which they fall in love. In return, that brand image you created at the start will never evaporate and you’ll experience much lower staff turnover, to boot.
When undertaking your initial branding process, make sure the entire team gets involved. If you create a tone of voice with which they’re uncomfortable, they’ll never use it. If you ask them to deal with customers in a certain way but it goes against their principles, a conversation needs to be had.
What’s holding back your team from exuding your brand throughout their working day?
The net result of a successful brand
If you get this right, you’ll be far more Spaghetti than the dour-suited guy we met at the start of this blog.
It’s all about carrying that brand ethos, look, and feel through to everything you do. Spaghetti’s founder, Todd, starts his emails with ‘howdy’ and his voicemail signs off with an enthusiastic “yeehaa!”. Can you confidently say you’re as serious as he is about putting into action all of the promises you made in your brand guidelines document?
When you get this right, the rewards are handsome. It’s harder than ever to develop a completely unique product or service these days, which means the differentiator is often the way a brand feels.
The net result of a compelling brand which acts consistently, no matter where you encounter it, is simple: a quality stream of leads, more of the right kind of customers, and increased revenue!
This is arguably more important than ever in today’s online market. You need to get your positioning statement and branding right from the start.
We appreciate this is a lot to take in so let Be Smart help you. Get in touch to discuss growing your small business by developing your brand.