Every business, regardless of size, but particularly small businesses, should embrace the necessity for brand establishment and especially brand exposure as a form of life for their business. If they do not, it may result in the lack of life for their business.
On the surface a business’s brand is their identity (and logo) to the world, however in reality it is much more than simply an identity or logo. It is what the business is all about, its beliefs, its mission, its values, and its purpose. So as you can see, a business’s brand is more than just what it looks (or sounds) like and special care should be exercised to establish and promote its brand.
When a business’s brand is promoted properly it aligns itself with an audience that shares what the business’s brand is all about. The audience share’s the brand’s beliefs, way of doing business, mission and reason for operating. The brand’s audience begins to migrate beyond just customers, clients or purchasers and into followers and eventually fans (hopefully loyal fans) of the brand. As this takes place, often the business that operates the brand becomes unseen, or in the shadows, as the brand’s followers recognize the brand, not necessarily the business behind the brand.
For many small businesses the accomplishment of this can be sure bliss, as it builds a customer base that becomes a small army of loyal followers and in some cases also become promoters themselves of the business’s brand (What better sales force than one that cost you nothing and promotes your product or service freely by choice?).
Examples of larger businesses utilizing brand creation and exposure (sometimes to the extreme) are professional sports teams. If I mentioned the name The Kraft Group, you may not associate that name with anything, or you may associate it with Kraft Cheese products (if you are a cheese lover). However unless you are an avid football fan, you probably would not associate it with the NFL Football Team (and multiple Super Bowl winner) known as The New England Patriots, owned by The Kraft Group.
The team isn’t called The Kraft’s, it’s called the Patriots. This is a classic case of a business operating in the shadows while at the same time exposing (and promoting) a brand that the business controls, and along the way developing a following of loyal fans that share the brand’s mission for existence, while spending millions on products that promote the brand’s logo. (Life currently for the Kraft Group is good!)
No dollar spent on brand exposure can come close to matching the exposure gained from loyal fans of your company’s brand that promote your business (often by word of mouth) without it costing you a cent.
Of course not all businesses will grow to become the owner of a professional sports team, but the same principal exists regardless of the business’s size (or industry), which is: create the brand by establishing values, a mission, and a purpose for the business and then work diligently to expose and promote that brand to the audience that will share in the business’s values, mission and purpose for existence, remembering that as the saying goes………”You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, so make it a good one”. And I might add to that saying: “make it a lasting one.”
May your brand become a success.