Branding is a term used more frequently than ever before. The reason, as consumers we are becoming more attached the decisions we make about the things we buy, the people we buy from and the impact of those decisions.
Running a small business is busy and often stressful. So many businesses spend so much time on getting through the day – getting the work done, getting the products out, you spend little time as your own brand manager.
Now, why focus on it when you are on your own or in a small team? The thing about the brand is that it can become more valuable than the product itself. The most obvious example is Coca-Cola, now one of the worlds biggest brands and companies. They have a global and dominant footprint that is hard to bypass on a daily basis. The fascinating thing is that they are coming under increasing pressure to change their product to stem the flow of sugar into our diets through soft drinks. (I appreciate that this is a personal choice to consume…)
They recently announced a 5-year development process took place to develop a product that arguably has the role of ‘saving’ the company as sales are on the downward slope. Coke No Sugar took five years to develop so that it tasted the same as the original recipe but without the sugar content.
Thats a long time to rescue a brand that has the worlds eye on every decision it does and doesnt make – shareholders looking for returns and health advocates demanding the reduction of sugar in the foods and drinks we buy.
So how would you deal with a major incident in your business? And it will happen.
8 tips to start being a brand manager:
- Know what your brand stands for, its values and how you want to act
- Have a plan to respond to those negative events positively – people want to forgive you
- Make sure you know all you can about your audience and don’t assume anything
- Spend time challenging the way you do business, it is never perfect
- Consistency – make sure that at all touch points you manage your message
- ‘Care’ about your people, business and customers – caring goes a long way
- Be part of your audience community – build connection and common ground
- Forget the competition, be the best version of you.
The tips above are a starting point and not the end goal. It’s about the interactions you have each day that define your decision making process. If you have bad service at a café – how quickly do you decide to go elsewhere next time. But they treat you well each time you are willing to forgive when they make a mistake.
As your brand manager your job is never done, but build a culture and structure around your business where brand plays a bigger part than getting the sale, momentum will drive results.