Using A Brand to Make Your Name in the Industry
One of the first and most crucial steps in building a small business is creating your brand. Everyone recognizes the gold arches of McDonald’s, the blue and white AT&T ball, or the Nike swoosh. These symbols have become inseparable from their brand. Your company needs branding that becomes one and the same with the company’s values and culture. Creating this brand is on of your first steps into the marketplace. Think of something simple and instantly recognizable to be synonymous with your company, and then use it to help forge your niche in the market.
Use your brand as a sign of expertise
A brand portrays an expertise, or legitimacy, to potential customers. If all customers see is a plain old company name, they usually move on to something else. Think of when you walk through any retail store. You see a product with just the word “jeans” written on them and you will most likely move on until you see a recognizable brand like “Levi’s.” This choice stems from your preconceived opinion on the product based on the brand.
What you want people to do is to see your brand and stop to look. A brand name can be comforting. For example, it can convey quality in a product and buyer’s remorse can instantly be minimized. This is what a great brand can give your customers—guilt free shopping!
Use the mistakes of others to your advantage
Most likely you are not going to be the first in your field. This is a good thing. The first company to do what you are attempting to do was picked apart in the marketplace. Every blemish and issue was brought to the surface for the world to see and review. Take advantage of this. Study and examine those blemishes and issues, compare and contrast them to your brand and learn everything you can from them. Go out, pound the pavement and look for your competitor’s customers. Find out what they love about your competitor’s brand and what they wish was better. Use your brand to highlight what your company can do as opposed to competitors.
Use your brand to create transparency
Think about why people hate big businesses. People commonly view big businesses as heartless or shady. It’s because big business isn’t just big, it’s huge! When a corporation becomes that large, they lose touch with their customer base and the relationships that were forged to build the business and brand are now gone.
Startups can utilize their brand to prevent this big business problem. You have the unique advantage of being small enough to stay connected with your customers. Keep them in the dialogue you are having with your business partners and about the future of your brand. People are more comfortable buying a product that they feel they had some say in creating. Satisfied customers are repeat customers, and repeat customers tell their friends!
Pedal to the metal
Pedal to the metal, full steam ahead, damn the torpedoes…whatever saying you prefer! Now that you have your brand and you’ve identified the holes in the market and the mistakes of others in your field, you’re ready to go for it. Now is the time to find and solidify your place in the market and get your brand out there. Remember our keys outlined above; use your brand as a sign of expertise, use the mistakes of others, and create transparency. If you keep moving forward with your brand in mind and those keys close in your hip pocket, you will be on your way to making your name in the market through your brand.