From war paint to tattoos, piercings to implants, we have always striven to separate ourselves from our fellows. In today’s business world, the same holds true: entrepreneurs cannot remain with the herd, they must stake out their own piece of identity. An identity makes an individual likeable, relatable, and persuasive; the same qualities that any business wants. In today’s Information Age, an identity is power.
A business without proper branding is like a person without a voice. Sure, there might be many great qualities about them, but if they cannot speak then few people will take the time to get to know them and uncover these attributes. Too many companies lack proper business branding and their problems can turn to failure for two main reasons:
1. They Are Not Memorable
Imagine a slide. At the top of this slide is a new business when it first opens: the line is out the door, the neighborhood is excited, sales are booming. The staff members and the owner are delighted by opening night and believe that, as long as they concentrate on their fundamentals, customers will always return.
Without business branding, the company begins to slip down the slope. Customers lose interest and have a harder time remembering the business because there is no brand. Without a sticky, clear message, a company will have a much harder time retaining its customer base; however with a memorable logo and message, that business is pushed back up the slide. Momentum builds, the neighborhood takes notice again: there is a definite theme going on that people can relate to and this means money.
2. No Clear Niche
Companies like Rubbermaid, McDonald’s, and Toys R Us are successful partly because their brands are iconic and they cater to target audiences: Rubbermaid, homeowners and parents; McDonald’s, people on the go with not much cash to spend; Toys R Us, kids that love fun. Proper business branding gives consumers a clear picture of who these enterprises are, what they do, and whom they best serve. Too many new businesses do not specialize like the big boys do, and by having no target audience and no brand to reel them in, entrepreneurs deprive themselves of a critical way to make money and stay in business.
The time to succeed is now. Business branding makes you remarkable, it makes you memorable, it makes you profitable. Companies like Kleenex, Google, and FedEx began with no clear message either but now their names are synonymous with the products and services they provide. All it took was the will to find a brand, to find a focus, to find a voice. Your time is now.