Branding 101: What’s a brand anyway, and why is it worth building?

In this Branding 101 post, we’re taking a look at what building a brand really means for your small business. Your brand is the collection of things that differentiate your business from your competitors. Lots of things can fall into that collection: name, logo, design style, messaging—even your tone of voice on social media.

So, why is your brand worth building? As the authors of Love is the Killer App write, “Presumption rules in an attention-scarce economy.” Here’s what that means:

First, consider the world we live in:

  • As we move through an average day, we each encounter thousands of marketing messages, from logos on shirts to bold messages on billboards.
  • As we spend more time online and using our mobile devices, this number is going to continue increasing.

In other words, we live in an attention-scarce economy.

Second, consider our human nature when it comes to making choices:

  • It is very difficult to convince someone to try a new product or service; they’re much more likely to go with the brand they’ve used before.

In other words, our natural behavior is to “presume” that we’re better off using the brand we already trust than trying something new, even if there’s a chance the new brand might be better. So, because “presumption rules in an attention-scarce economy,” your company’s brand is extremely important.

Here are some simple steps you can take to build your brand now:

  1. Evaluate your name and logo—are they strong and will they remain relevant for many years to come? Also, develop strong core messaging.
  2. Ensure your online presence reflects professionalism (your website, your social media pages, etc.). If you’re a fan of The Big Lebowski, here are some guidelines you can follow.
  3. Monitor your online reputation by searching for “Your Business Name + reviews” and deal with any negative reviews.
  4. Through event participation and sponsorships, connect your brand with organizations and causes that matter to you and your customers.
  5. Understand that building a solid brand takes years, but every little step is important.

Have some other ideas about how to get started building a small business brand? Let us know in the comments!

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