If you grow your business beyond your brand, you are doomed to fail.
Read for 4 minutes
The opinions of entrepreneurs' contributors are their own.
Few of us have the luxury of being brand experts. Many of us cannot afford to hire an expensive branding agency to conduct a branding study.
Most small business owners are busy with the day-to-day running of their business. They usually invest the money they have to spend on sales and marketing in generating demand. This is a very logical decision as every business needs to maximize their sales and minimize expenses to keep the lights going. However, if your business has been successful and has grown, you may find yourself in a slightly different situation.
Similarly: Six reasons why branding is more important than ever
Many companies that are successful and growing reach a point where that growth subsides. At this point, entrepreneurs often begin to think about adding new products or services in new areas that go beyond their original focus. If you ignore your brand's role at this point, you do so at your own risk.
A brand is more than the name of your company, your products or your logo. If you've done a good job running your business, providing your products and services, and the experiences that come with them, then your brand stands for something – and can be worth something (brand equity). But what your brand stands for is something that you ultimately don't control.
Yes, you can invest in brand positioning to shape your brand identity, but ultimately it is your customers and non-customers who determine your brand identity. This fact is important if you are looking to expand your business into new areas that you are not currently doing or to sell new products and services that you are not currently selling. The brand you have built by this point will either be a win or a liability as you grow into these new areas.
Similar: 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Digital Branding To Stand Out
Your business exists because customers give it permission to exist. It can only grow into areas that potential customers allow. If Taco Bell decides to get into the healthcare business, would you think they are credible? Would you trust them to diagnose and treat you?
The direction you want to grow your business in and the direction potential customers trust you need to overlap. If your new products and services are not within the mental circle of trust that exists in the collective minds of your prospects, you will be in trouble.
I focus on "prospects" when talking about your areas of growth as your trust circle may overlap with new people who know your brand and are not currently your customers as you venture into new areas. Hence, you need to pay attention to your brand positioning with customers and the likely customers of your new products and services. This ensures the future growth of your company.
So how do you find out what your brand stands for?
Unfortunately, there is no way to find out without investing in interviews. Here are some options:
Pay a branding or research agency to do it for you, paying a handful of clients who will quickly get to the heart of what your brand stands for and whether they see you as believable in the new area you are considering Customers who give you the time and honest feedback to allow you to spend more time understanding why they would do business with you now and what other types of products and services they would entrust you with
Whether you lack money or lack courage, there are options above to help you overcome any limitation.
I hope you read the warnings in this article, find the suggestions useful, consider them as you are considering potential areas for your business to grow, and choose the products and services that you want to invest in and that you both want credible and able to work with outstanding performance. .
Related: Why Personal Branding Is A Secret Weapon