How can your business become a great brand one day? What is your brand? What values, actions, and things best reflect my brand?
What is your story, how do you tell it, and why? And of course, our favorite question, what the hell is branding?
Your brand is much more than your “brand identity” and “brand guidelines”. So it’s obvious that branding is so much more than a logo. It’s more than what your banner packs and website page look like. It’s more than matching fonts and colors across your businesses meeting room and your employee’s business cards. The colors palettes and typefaces that your marketing department decides will represent your company is all well and dandy, but it’s still so much more. Your brand is the single powerful voice in your direct market, it’s what signals you as a disruptive (different?) competitor and what helps you create that meaningful connection and last impact with your audience. At the end of the day, it’s how you tell your story and your “why”.
Most small business owners go to market start a business not with a grand vision, but with an idea—an idea that can mean so much to the owner and might have an incredibly rich story behind it, but many times they have trouble telling it and explaining in a way that’s easy for people of different market segments and audiences to understand. So what happens is that the message and the richness get diluted and somehow, someway, everyone must understand it, as you do—but they find out that they don’t, and most never will. At Uproot, we think it’s incredibly important to develop a powerful method of storytelling that is directly incorporated in your brand message. It’s vital for your business to have one for survival and standing out in a crowded marketplace.
A common story we hear when we talk to business owners, is “Our customers just don’t understand how hard we work to make this, it shouldn’t always be about the price, we want them to understand how much value they’re getting when they choose us” This rings many alarms back at our office. We think if you know your story, but it’s getting lost. Nobody will ever get to hear it, and that’s a huge marketing problem.
If you ever catch yourself saying a phrase similar to that, please take a step back and remember why you started your business in the first place. Also, if you can’t communicate the value your business brings to the marketplace, the problem might not always be branding. This is the business world after all. Sometimes your product or service sucks. The market doesn’t forgive or discriminate, however, if that’s not the case, let’s keep talking about the latter.
Branding is like painting a picture of your companies beginnings.
What won’t and what will your business stand for? What values, personality, and ethics will your business have if it was a person? This is as much market leadership choice, as it is a design choice. The pretty marketing flyers are designed in Photoshop and other design software, but your brand, that’s made day in and day out from actually living it. So your job, as a CEO is to live it, define it, and keep innovating with it so you’ll be able to tell that same story no matter what the next generation is reading it from. This is your lone authorship, it is your job to navigate your business through these waters. The best brands we’re built in one season, or year. How you handle this will always be remembered, and is crucial to your companies success.
As an exercise, think of your favorite brands. The best beer brands. haha just kidding. Think of the brands that evoke a certain emotion inside of you that makes you want to be part of the story. Now that’s badass branding at it’s finest. These are brought to you by the top minds in the business. Not to play favorites or be biased, but when it comes to awesome branding, our parent hosting company, Flywheel does an amazing job at branding. That wasn’t our key decision why we partnered with them, but boy is they great at storytelling and showing how that story is bringing value to there clients. Take notes, everything from their design input to their customer service is spectacular and on point. We know we’re talking to humans, but it’s like Flywheel is an entity of its own. The emotions and thoughts that come to mind from all the points of contact with this brand have created this entity.
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