7 Elements of Small Business Branding

Every business can increase the value they offer their customers by promoting one of the above. Before choosing which one you’ll offer customer, it is important to understand what drives the consumers to buy. Many ecommerce businesses think the secret to success is ‘low price.’

  • Trust – can you deliver ‘on time?’
  • Security – Does your program focus on client’s privacy and security?
  • Relationship – Can clients IM you, ask questions, follow the project step-by-step?
  • Increase Customer’s Potential – Can you offer something no one else can offer?
  • Social Standing – Can you make them look wealthier, sexier, more influential?
  • Power – Do you have what it takes to increase your client’s power?
  • Free – Consumers who are motivated by price can feel they are being ‘treated right’ if they give their clients something real. Not an ebook – but a membership or passing on an association newsletter.

23 Elements of a Healthy Brand

A healthy strong brand has definitely has some other attributes than the best or the biggest. A healthy and a strong brand generates also more results than just bigger sales. A healthy strong brand sustain a product over time through consistency, excellent communication, providing value to its target customers. These and much more.

Here is a checklist of 23 brand health criterias as presented in Peter Cheverton’s excellent book Understanding Brands (Creating Success):

  1. is based on a proposition of genuine substance and value to the target customer
  2. communicates a clear and powerful brand definition
  3. communicates a clear ‘emotional charge’
  4. communicates an attractive and relevant personality
  5. wins, builds and retains customer loyalty
  6. is well known by the target customer
  7. is held in high esteem by the target customer
  8. communicates and evidences a unique match between the company’s capabilities and the customer’s needs
  9. is a source of competitive advantage
  10. is an investment of increasing value that others will want to own
  11. maintains its relevance over time by evolving in response to changing customer expectations and perceptions
  12. increases the profitability of the business is consistent with the business strategy
  13. makes sense within the business’s brand architecture
  14. provides a protective ‘halo’ for growth strategies
  15. provides a barrier to entry for new entrants or substitutes
  16. is uniquely positioned in the market and creates a relevant space in the customer’s mind
  17. communicates and demonstrates a clear sense of value
  18. interacts consistently with the customer on as many fronts and on as many occasions as possible
  19. cements the brand definition into the customer’s mind through interactions and positive associations
  20. is managed and supported consistently over time
  21. has values that can be applied consistently and successfully to all parts of the marketing
  22. mix and through all promotional media
  23. makes people want to get their hands on it

Key Elements of Small Business Branding

Jay Lipe is CEO of EmergeMarketing.com and the author of The Marketing Toolkit for Growing Businesses : Tips, Techniques and Tools to Improve your Marketing is identifying the Keys to Branding Your Small Business.

Name: the First Step

How different would you be if your name were Clem or Matilda? Your company name sets a tone for your brand, right from the start. Names can be generated from invented words (Xerox), initials (IBM) and founder’s names (Johnson & Johnson). Some of the best names, though, communicate a benefit (U-Haul or Budget Car Rental).
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5 Key Elements in Managing a Brand Portfolio

A business needs to stay relevant in a dynamic market in which new categories and sub-categories are emerging, mergers or brand extensions are taking place. Too often a brand finds its market share declining despite retaining strong awareness, image, and even loyalty. Customers are simply no longer buying. A brand portfolio strategy can help address relevance. Managing brands in a coordinated way helps a company to avoid confusing its customers, investing in overlapping product-development and marketing efforts and multiplying its brands at its own rather that its competitor’s expense. Here are five key elements to consider in managing a brand portfolio:


Differentiation is the only alternative to price-dominated competition. However, achieving a sustainable point of differentiation is difficult. Offering base points of differentiation that are effective is generally short-lived as competitors copy them quickly.

A portfolio solution is to create branded differentiators, branded features, services or programmes that provide a sustainable point of differentiation.


Most brands can use more energy. The energy gap problem is particularly troublesome, ironically, for market-leader firms in mature categories that often have an enviable reputation of high quality, trustworthiness and innovation. Such brands nearly always tend to be viewed as boring.

The portfolio solution is to create a branded energiser, a branded product, promotion, sponsorship programme or other entity that will enhance and energise a target brand. The target brand which may be boring, can be linked to a brand that has substantial energy.


Most companies desire growth in order to create organisational vitality and to realise the objectives of investors. Even if a growth sub-market is discovered for which competition is modest and an attractive offering is available, a brand asset will be needed to enable the growth option.

A portfolio solution is to create and leverage brand assets. A brand extension strategy leverages brands into adjacent product classes. In doing so it is useful to build brand platforms that will eventually span many products, perhaps using sub-brands rather than looking to incremental extensions.

The concern in any extension decision is the impact that the extension has on the brand – in addition to the help the brand will give to the extension. An ill-conceived or badly implemented extension can damage the brand. Brands can also be used to extend vertically. The super-premium market is attractive as it contains most of the product vitality and attractive margins. Vertical brand extensions are often compelling but they represent delicate brand portfolio issues because moving up involves brand credibility and moving a brand down involves risk.


Consumers and employees become frustrated in trying to determine what the firm stands for in the various product-market settings. There is also a lack of brand-building focus, resulting in ineffective use of brand-building budgets. A portfolio strategy can enhance focus and clarity. One route is simply to reduce the number of brands, especially those that are strategic.

Another route is to clarify the roles that the various brands would play, develop them for success in those roles and make sure they are used consistently. Still another is to leverage the corporate brand within the portfolio. This usually represents the people, values and culture of an organisation and it is often ideally suited to being an endorser brand.

Start and end with the consumer

The starting point for marketers is to define categories as consumer do. The marketers need a disciplined way of evaluating their brands’ opportunities, like analizing the need states – the intersection betweet what customers want and how they want it.

Related readings:
Brand Portfolio Strategy by David A. Aaker


Key Attributes of A Great Brand

A great brand is hard to find and even harder to build. It doesn’t matter if your company is Wal-Mart, your own small grocery store or yourself, every one of them want a great brand, one that exemplifies its best qualities and makes every customer want to purchase its products or services. No one-element makes up a brand. It is both a physical and emotional trigger to create a relationship between consumers and the product or service.

What are the qualities, the attributes, that turn a brand into a great one? I’ll try to put up a list of them here, and I’m looking forward for the readers of this blog to fill in the gaps that might come up:

1. An idea
Behind every brand is a compelling idea, which captures customers’ attention and loyalty by filling an unmet or unsatisfied need.

2. Uniqueness
Does it differentiate you from the other organization in your market?

3. Attractiveness
Does your brand appeal to people? A great brand makes sure that consumers can understand your promise and are attracted by it.

4. Honesty
Customers want to believe the promises made, and they are quick to spot insincerity and over-exaggerated claims. Make sure your brand promises are achievable and can get to the customer.

5. Consistency
Regardless of brand choice and implementation, consistency is one key attribute of a great brand. You must ensure that every aspect of your organization, from marketing materials and Web sites to customer service personnel, maintains the values outlined in your brand.

6. Long term thinking
A long-term approach, makes easier for a brand to travel worldwide, transcend cultural barriers, speak to multiple consumer segments simultaneously, create economies of scale, and let you operate at the higher end of the positioning spectrum. Consumers are looking for something that has lasting value.

7. Relevancy
A great brand has to be relevant. It has to meet what people want, it performs the way people want it to.

3 Elements of an Effective Brand

In order for your brand to be effective, it must be visible, and consumers should be able to recognize it wherever they see it, they hear about it or think about it. It should stand out in a crowd and always create the same look and feel. In order to achieve these goals, your brand should be:

  • Consistent
    Using your brand consistently is imperative. The logo should never differ, and your mission statement or slogan should carry through to every element of your business. This is also true of consistency between the online and offline sectors of your business. Your bricks and mortar presence should be interchangeable with the image you project on the Web.
  • Visible
    The more you reinforce your brand identity, the more memorable it becomes. For example, each page of your Web site should feature your logo. Market your business with advertising, using your logo and slogan. Get your brand out there whenever possible-on your company vehicles and on the products themselves.
  • Unique
    The business world is a sea of brands. In order to develop successful marketing strategies using your brand, your business has to stand out. Emphasize what you have that the competition doesn’t. Tell your consumers what makes your business different than all the rest

.Effective branding carries the message of your business succinctly and consistently wherever consumers encounter you. Your logo, look and feel, and slogan reinforce the values of your business and project your image efficiently to customers. Following these guidelines will help you create a brand that makes you stand out in a crowd-and stay fresh in the minds of consumers.

Tags: effective branding

6 Components of Branding

Branding is not just a logo or trademark. It incorporates many components that work together to form the destination brand concept. Their management is part of the brand strategy. The value of the brand is described by the term brand equity. Brand positioning and leveraging are branding management approaches. The identity, image, personality, essence or soul, character and culture are the brand components.

Brand identity

is how brand strategists want the brand to be perceived. It is a set of unique brand associations that represent what the brand stands for. These associations imply a promise to customers from organization members. Brand identity should help establish a relationship between the brand and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self expressive benefits.

Brand image

is a key component in the formation of a clear and recognizable brand identity in the market. Brand image is related to how the brand is currently perceived by consumers. In other words what is the reputation of the brand in the marketplace.

Brand character

is related to its internal constitution, how it is perceived in terms of integrity, trustworthiness and honesty. This is also related with the promise of the brand to deliver the experience associated with its name.

Brand culture

is about the system of values that surround a brand much like the cultural aspects of a people or a country.

Brand personality

is the set of human characteristics that are associated with the brand. It includes such characteristics as gender, age, socioeconomic class, as well as human personality traits such as warmth and sentimentality.

Brand essence (brand soul)

represents the emotional elements and values of the brand. Essence should be part of a long term positioning that does not change with every communication

Tag: Brand Components

5 Components of a Brand Promise

Brands are so much a part of our lives that we forget how much we depend on them. We use brands as shorthand to make our trips to the grocery store easier; we use brands to reassure us about our purchasing decisions; we even use brands to define ourselves in society.

A brand is a promise. A kept promise. With a brand, you set customer expectations. When someone buys your product or service, they count on those expectations to be fulfilled.

The components of your brand promise are based on:

Consistency of experience.

This is the absolute critical component in building a brand. Whether I go into a McDonald’s in Boise or Beijing, I expect my french fries to taste the same, and I expect to see those golden arches.

Consistent look-and-feel.

At the most basic level, to build a brand you must develop a strong brand image. You know you are in a Starbucks even if you don’t see the name over the door. Consistent look-and-feel extends to your logo, colors, typefaces, decor, employee clothing, and more.

Consistent quality.

It’s not enough to deliver a consistent experience to your customer. The experience must also be of a certain level of quality. McDonald’s french fries don’t have to be the best french fries in the world, but they have to be good french fries and they have to be fresh every time.

Distinct competitive position.

A brand must stand for something and differentiate you from the competition. Three strong brands of superstores have very different competitive positions: Wal-Mart, low prices; Target, hip discount. These positions make it easy for a consumer to choose the brand that suits them.

Repeated exposure.

To remember your brand, customers must hear it or see it over and over. Of course, building brand awareness takes money, and that’s a challenge if you are a small company. The key is to clearly and narrowly define your target market. Then, make sure those potential customers see you many times by repeatedly advertising in the same publications and attending the same networking events.