I was reading some of my favorite blogs yesterday and came across a great article on the subject of branding from my good friend Dallon Christensen at White Board Business Partners. He was discussing the subject of branding and business success. In the article he discusses his transition from a technician to a business owner and the lessons on branding he learned along the way.
- Be willing to start at the bottom – We all want to accelerate the brand-building process. Unfortunately, building a great brand requires starting at the bottom and doing the right things consistently. Building a brand is truly a marathon. You must be willing to invest the time and avoid shortcuts.
- When in doubt, narrow your target market – Southwest Airlines has the most recognized brand in the airline industry. Southwest started its business flying between three Texas cities. Southwest’s focus allowed it to do business on its terms and create top of mind awareness for its unique service and on-time arrivals.
- Communicate the value you provide – The Whiteboard Business Blueprint requires you to determine how you deliver value before building your brand. If your brand is inconsistent with your value, customers will never buy from you. Imagine if Apple communicated low cost computers as its brand while building value through its great design and ease of use. Customers would not trust the brand.
- Be careful about growing your brand too quickly – Dell provides a cautionary tale for this step. Dell was once known for building customized computers quickly. When Dell expanded into other electronics lines, they lost significant credibility with customers. It is tempting to grow quickly, but your brand can quickly dilute and impact your business.
To me these are all incredibly important thoughts but my “most important” is #2. When in doubt, narrow your target market!! By narrowing your target market you can become more of a valued expert to those you are working with. You can make your knowledge base more target centered and leave the rest to someone else. It is always easier to capture the attention of a smaller market than a larger one. If your product/service has real value in that smaller market, you can enjoy greater success than you will trying to be all things to all people!!
You can read Dallon’s entire article here.