Can you build a business without building a brand?

The online space has exploded in a matter of weeks. With people finding solace in connectivity, doing anything from fun videos to learning a new skill to catching up with friends and family, or pub night with a few mates. The interweb is abuzzing.

Imagine a few months from now. Yes, there’ll be those who go back to their 9-5’s, and children will go back to school so maybe some traffic will dwindle, but I believe the race to capture attention in cyberspace has just begun.

As a small business the big question is will you stand out?

It won’t be enough to have another online health membership, a masterclass on how to get your money mojo back or a course to teach how to master Instagram. Services will start to become commoditised. You’ll need to find a way to stand out from the rest; a differentiator.

This is where a clear brand positioning and a consistent, strategic approach to marketing can really help. By building an attention-grabbing brand you’ll future-proof your business.

First let’s explore why building a brand is a sound decision:

  • Differentiation

To stand out in a sea of sameness you need to provide something different, do something different or behave differently, or maybe even a combination of all three.

Having, doing or being different gives you a competitive advantage. It’s what you want to become known for. When people think of this thing, you want them to think of you. Whether that’s an innovative product or program or the way you message and engage with people. Imagine attracting your dream clients with absolute ease. You can by being distinctive and clear on what you offer.

What will make you stand out; what will add the extra to the ordinary?

Questions to answer:

-What do I have to offer that’s different to everyone else? This could be a product, a niche service, a bespoke model or framework or even a process

-What can I do differently to anyone else? Maybe there’s an untapped market you’ve identified, or a problem you can solve that others can’t

-How can I be different? Is there a tone of voice, or approach to marketing, or something you stand for that you can take ownership of and leverage

  • Relationship

Brands aren’t fly by night. They build long term relationships with their clients and potential clients. They invest time, money and energy on listening to their clients, providing suitable and relevant solutions and caring what kind of experience people have with their brand. They nurture and protect their clients, they understand how important they are.

Great brands do this consistently over many years, making sure to deliver what they say. They become household names, familiar to their dream clients. People come to know what to expect which builds credibility and trust.

Questions to answer:

-How well do you know your clients? Can you name a few of your most loyal clients? Find ways to keep close to them, rewards for behaviours you want more of, incentives to share their views or bonuses for referrals.

-In times like these how are you making your clients’ lives easier?

  • Adaptability and flexibility

As a brand builds trust and a solid reputation, when a change of plan is required in order to meet market changes, it’s easier to do because there’s an existing fan base of loyal clients. These clients know and trust the brand and are way more understanding if something goes wrong.

Having a relationship means being authentic and able to have meaningful conversations with your clients, so they always feel they’re being heard.

When people trust you it’s less of a risk to stretch into other markets, or test collaborations with like-minded brands.

Questions to answer:

-If you changed your approach, offer or way of doing business tomorrow, how would your clients feel?

-Are you adapting to what’s happening in the current climate and tweaking your offer and messaging to become more relevant?

  • Charge a premium

When you build a reputable brand with a track record, you’re able to charge a premium. If your brand is delivering a valuable service, that gets tangible results, time after time, people will be prepared to pay higher prices. As long as the value equation stacks up.

Value = Price + Quality.

Part of the value equation is how urgently or desperately someone wants their problem solved and what results they believe they can get.

Questions to answer:

-Are you able to charge a premium for your goods or services?

-What does your value equation look like and is it relevant to the dream clients you’re targetting?

In conclusion, selling doesn’t have to be a slog, as I spoke about previously in successful selling, as long as a person’s expectations are met, they’ll be happy.

With these four reasons in mind it’s pretty hard to argue that building a brand is anything but a smart strategy to embark on.

Right now when everyone is either floundering or pivoting, scrambling to adapt or carrying on with business as usual, it’s a great time to re-evaluate your business strategy.

To answer the question can you build a business without building a brand with another question… why would you want to?

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If you’re a business owner who wants to go from best-kept secret to an attention-grabbing future-proof brand,  I have a comprehensive 1-on-1 program to help you position, define, and build your brand blueprint and strategy.

Interested? Please reply in the comments to set up a clarity call.

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