I recently spoke to a group of technology service company owners about branding. The event was in Las Vegas and put on by a company called Kaseya. My mission in my talk was to convince the audience about the value of proper branding.
I started my speech by explaining what branding is and isn’t. I told them that branding isn’t a logo or colors; it’s really your promise and the ability to keep that promise. For example, VOLVO promises safety and keeps that promise through the way they build cars. But then they built a convertible that goes against their promise in some ways, at least in the mind of the consumer. It’s been said that perception is reality when it comes to the mind of a consumer. So, for folks who frowned upon the aforementioned convertible, suddenly VOLVO wasn’t so synonymous with safety.
After establishing this base with the audience, I went on to share three ways they could build a stronger brand.
1. Brand Positioning
In branding, you should narrow your focus and position around your strengths. In order to get into the mind of a prospect, you have to be willing to sacrifice. You simply can’t convey everything you do in the short period of time you have to grab their attention. Your positioning should be about the client and not about you.
2. Brand Consistency
Consistency is crucial in branding – consistency in how you talk as a company, consistency in how you act and consistency in how you look. Consistency builds trust over time and trust brings referrals, among other things. But consistency doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. I like the 80/20 rule: 80% consistency, 20% full of surprise.
3. Brand Culture
In any sort of service business, your company’s culture will have an amazing way of bleeding into your client relationships. A great brand culture is one where your passions shine through. Your culture is your brand and it should remain consistent with everything else.
After my talk, I realized how much of this “brand culture” idea also applies to the soloprenuer. For a solo business owner, your culture could be your working environment, your attitude, sharing your individual passions with clients or being attractive to the the right people. Regardless of your approach, the way you act as a company is just as important to the solo person as it is the large company.
Over the next few posts, I will dive into “A Culture of One” a bit further. What are your initial thoughts on company culture for the solopreneur? Do you think your culture is a key part of your success?