The title seems obvious, but the truth of the matter is that not everyone in business realizes this. You may have read our earlier blog about defining your brand, but does that mean that you actually realize how important it is? Think about your own tendencies. Whom do you more easily trust? Well-known companies that you’re comfortable with or relatively unknown companies that you must research? Notice that we didn’t use the words “big” or “small” in describing these companies because size doesn’t matter in this instance!
There are many, many elements involved in brand building. We’ve touched on a few of them in past articles. Today’s focus is “why does it matter?” It matters because perception is reality. Amy Cosper, Editor in Chief for Entrepreneur.com, said in a 2015 article “Your brand is your voice in the marketplace, and it is your proposition for disruption. It is your opportunity to create something with lasting impact. It is how you tell your story, and it is absolutely key to your success and your survival.” Your survival? If your business is to survive, it must have an effective brand that makes a statement in the marketplace.
What happens when you fail to manage your brand? Your company is likely to fail. Take the Hummer for example. A must-have in every McMansion driveway back in the day, Hummer failed to realize that the gas-guzzling giant SUV was doomed thanks to increasing oil prices and a new focus on environmental protection. The New York Times said, “Over the years, Hummer shifted from a brawny status symbol that drew attention on the road into an automotive pariah.”
Consider your business today. Are you going to become the next Hummer? Are you ready for the next 5 years? 10 years? Determining a long-term branding strategy will help ensure you don’t make the same mistake as the doomed line of SUVs. It’s very important to have third party input on your brand strategy. While you may know the ins and outs of your business/industry, not everyone does. As a matter of fact, you can almost guarantee that nobody knows your business like you do. Effectively managing your brand will ensure that those not in the inner circle are familiar with the most important aspects of your business…as determined by you!