Gone are the days of large faceless corporations with huge advertising budgets and celebrity endorsements. Yes, they technically still exist, but they are not as effective. Increasingly savvy consumers want to know who made their clothes, how their food was grown and that the companies they support share their world view. Today’s consumers are more likely to trust Yelp reviews than a billboard or a mommy blogger than a celebrity mom.
This has created the perfect opportunity for small businesses to flourish with the help of social media and a strong brand message. If you’re ready to take advantage of this change, here’s your guide for developing a compelling brand message and sharing it within your ranks as well as with the world.
Forget the What and Embrace the Why
The first step to building a brand with a heart and soul is identifying why your brand exists in the first place. What was missing from the world that your brand delivers? Why do you feel passionately enough about your brand to share it with others?
If you don’t know, Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk entitled “Start With Why” may help. Sinek explains why consumers are so willing to buy a TV, computer and cellphone from Apple and why it’s the only tech company to have such success in industries that were previously considered unrelated. The answer is simple: Apple focused on why they make the products they make. While their competitors focus on a laundry list of features and pricing, Apple focuses on the beauty of design, the ease of use and the interconnectivity between devices.
Focusing on the why of your business instead of the what makes your brand message more clear to yourself, your employees and your customers.
No Empire Was Built Alone
Entrepreneurship is often a lonely and arduous venture; however, believing you can build an empire by yourself is only going to slow your growth. Good leaders work to make themselves dispensable, teaching others what they have learned and empowering them to be leaders as well. Once you master an aspect of your business, share that knowledge with others and empower them to take over the task for you. This frees up your time to tackle the next task.
One look at the multi-million dollar company Amway’s LinkedIn page shows you why they’ve been around for so long and have over 10,000 employees. The company offers profit sharing, tuition assistance and health and wellness programs to ensure that its employees feel like they are part of a family that wants them to be healthy and successful in all aspects of life.
Giving Back Gives You Wings
It’s easy to get bogged down with daily tasks and put giving back on the back burner. But setting aside just a few hours per month to work with a local or national nonprofit is a good way to give your brand message a heart and soul. Donating a portion of your profits for the month or sharing your support for an organization on your social media helps communicate exactly who you are as a brand. It shows that you’re here to give back, not take away, from the community.