Brand Your Vision Not Your Business

Brand for the Success you Want

We have all heard the saying ‘Dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ and the entrepreneurially famous saying ‘Fake it till you make it’. There is a flood of blog posts available online about the pros and cons of living by both statements, but the purpose of this one is just to outline why you should apply it to your business.

The thing is that business owners often let their branding exercise stagnate because they are so focused on making an accurate representation of the current business. Of course, I don’t want you to misrepresent the size or stature of your business or make false claims- that’s not going to get you any success. What I do mean is that, when you do your branding, you need to be focused on where you visualize your brand in the future.

Seeing is believing and that’s great news for your brand!

In the land of online presence, we tend to judge a book by its cover. That’s why you know a business is trustworthy when it has a huge number of followers and likes on social media. That’s why a sleek, well-designed, professional looking site garners more attention and loyalty than a poorly designed, amateurish one.

It does matter how expensive your online presence looks and feels. Not convinced? Well, look at it this way. You won’t enter your precious credit card numbers in an amateurishly designed website to make a purchase even if their offering was straight out of this world. Now the same offer appears on a site that is impeccably designed and that feels ‘rich’ and luxurious and you won’t think twice before typing in the numbers.

Brand BIG!

Branding BIG applies to businesses, big and small, brand new and established. If you have just kick- started your new venture, you don’t want to highlight to your potential customers that you are just a day old. Brand it like you would a trust-worthy business, an established brand that has seen several summers. After all, you do intend to give the same (or better) service and product quality that your more, long standing competitors are offering, don’t you? Then, make sure that you do not end up distracting your potential customers with your lack of ‘history’ in the marketplace.

Another important aspect you should remember is to pander to your customer’s desires. Everyone loves to be part of something big or something that everyone else really wants to be a part of. In shopping terms, that translates into a deep desire to buy a product or service that is best-in- class thing or that is worth far more than its price. By tweaking your branding so that your customers have this ‘feel good’ emotion about investing in something that is coveted by all, you set yourself miles ahead of competitors.

The Branding- reality equation

Okay, so we really can’t brand big or ‘fake it till you make it’ if you can’t make good on what your branding promises to your customers. That’s clear misrepresentation and you are not trying to cheat the audience. What you are trying to do is present your business in the way that you want your future customers to see you.

So, you absolutely need have the skills you are advertising and you must be able to provide your clients the service or product quality that is promised in your branding. A question that many people ask is this: Can this apply to all types of businesses? The answer is a resounding Yes! Whether you are a tradesman or a service provider or a retail store, this rule applies equally to all. Say, you are a tradesman, maybe a plumber, a carpenter or an interior designer. Your brand is marketed well and that gets your potential clients to trust you because they trust your brand and they perceive you as a representative of that brand. Now, it is up to you to demonstrate how you have the same professional standards as any world class brand but you also have that special personal touch that small businesses offer.

Remember that your customer is not going to complain if you give them more than they expect. By offering more (with the personal touch) than big brands can give, yet match the big brands in all other respects, you actually resent yourself as the better option than the world-class brand. That gives them the choice to be part of something that is market best with an advantage that the other big brands can’t match! This is the biggest advantage of targeting the market you want with your branding for the future you want for your business.