How to Brand Your Business for Survival

A satellite view of a huge hurricane

It’s a jungle out there in the business world. If you’re running a small business, one piece of equipment you must have with you on the journey is a well-crafted brand.

Why? Because a distinctive brand that you communicate consistently is your best business ally. It’s like a silent business partner that supports everything you do.

Don’t believe me? Let me show you how your business survival just might depend on your brand.

Crafting your brand helps you get your head in the game

The process of creating a brand forces you to examine your business, to step back and really think through what you’re doing. This extra time and attention leads to a revived commitment to making it work. It’s like a retreat or a spa visit for your business.

Working on your brand will clarify your vision for your business. It will lead to all sorts of “aha!” moments about which direction you should take. It will crystallize your thinking.

Branding helps you focus. One essential step to branding your business it to define who you are going to serve — your ideal customer. Knowing who you serve helps you eliminate prospects who aren’t a good fit, and focus on those who are.

This means you’ll avoid buying ads where you shouldn’t, or pursuing ideas that will just waste your time. Your brand becomes a beacon that guides your business decisions.

A strong brand puts your business on the map

“Buyers make most decisions by relying on their two-second first impressions based on stored memories, images and feelings.” –Malcolm Gladwell in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

A solid brand predisposes your prospects to liking your company.

You know that feeling you get when you go out on a date with someone new? You meet them and you can see that they’re freshly showered, they’ve picked out something attractive to wear, their grooming is impeccable, and they have a smile on their face.

You think, “Wow, this person is interested, and they’ve made an effort. I’m going to give them a chance!” That’s exactly what a well-crafted brand will do for your business. Your business will survive the “two-second first impression” test.

A well-executed brand has business advantages

You can sell your products and services for more. When you’ve found your ideal customer, they’ll be willing to pay for your specialized expertise or product, and the remarkable experience they’ll have with your business if you tell them with your polished, professional brand.

A well-made brand gives you confidence — to sell, share and get your business out in front of people.

It puts words in your mouth. You won’t have to try to figure out what to say when someone asks you what your business does, because the brand development process will lead to standard wording you can use when writing and speaking about your business. Your brand message becomes your rallying cry!

A great brand is bigger than you

The dream of every business owner is to turn prospects into customers who then turn around and recommend your business to people they know.

When you have a great brand — a BIG brand — your customers will know what to say about your business, and who to say it to. Both brand-new customers and repeat customers will help spread the word if you make it easy by clearly presenting who you help and how you help them.

Your brand helps to paint the big picture and establish your vision. You’ll help your customers to make the connections between everything you offer because understand the driving force behind your business.

Why brand your business?

A well-crafted brand will reach your ideal customer, create desire, make your business decisions easier, and help you get the best price for your offerings. For your business to survive and thrive, you need a great brand.

Ready to start working on a brand that will support your business? Stay tuned. I have a solution almost ready for you, and I’ll tell you all about it soon.

In the meantime, let’s talk in the comments: what do you find especially challenging about developing a brand for your business?

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson coaches people to build profitable online businesses. She's an online educator, author, and keynote speaker. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business. Have you taken the free Focus Finder quiz yet?

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12 thoughts on “How to Brand Your Business for Survival”

  1. Excellent points Pamela!

    I’m currently reno-ing my site, tweaking my messaging etc., and you are spot on with this post. It takes a lot of processing and evaluating to get your branding clear and simple. It took me a long time (and I’ll probably tweak it a bit), but now things are starting to falling into place – where before it was like trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.

    Thanks for the post – Theresa 🙂

    • Theresa, it’s good to hear this.

      Congratulations for making progress. The sooner you have a brand you’re happy with, the better for your business. Good luck!

  2. Excellent topic and right on cue! This is my current project at task. My biggest challenge is that it is easy for me to see through on other business about their brands but when it comes to my own I get all tied up. I’m a fine artist and I’m having difficulty narrowing my target market. I’m hoping your solution might help with this.

    • Good luck, Sue. It’s especially challenging to work on your own brand, but it’s especially satisfying, too. You learn a lot in the process, and it strengthens other areas of your business!

  3. Well, initially it was hard just picking colors. But now I’m working on developing products and my biggest challenge is in knowing how to make each product feel distinct from one another but still tied to my overall brand.

    • That is a challenge, I agree. Sometimes you can keep the same basic graphic look, and just change the accent color you use. That helps your pieces to look related, yet distinct.

  4. The most challenging part for me is always narrowing down WHO the customer is that I want to serve, and then branding around them. I’m starting a new business venture and working with a totally different perfect customer than I have in the past, so I have to write and think for each customer differently. It’s like talking two different languages actually.

    • As you begin to interact with your new ideal customer you’ll gain more clarity.

      There’s a bit of guesswork and intuition involved at first, but you can always correct your course once you’ve spoken with real prospects (rather than the imaginary ones you have to use for reference at first!).

  5. As you say, it’s as much about the no’s as it is the yes’s with a good brand. Not going down those blind alleyways or chasing after the wrong market can make the difference between breaking even and making a business profitable.

    What is really a challenge in early days is taking on clients you know are not good prospects for what you do, but will bring in that early income, so you work too hard to make it work with these “poor fits”.

    • You’re right, Darlene: it’s hard at first. Those “bad fit” customers end up taking so much time you could be spending on finding customers who are a good fit, it’s a no-win situation. But sometimes bills have to be paid, and you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

      The most important thing is to know who you’re aiming for and not lose sight of it. Sometimes you have to get there more slowly than you’d like.

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