It is often the perception of small businesses that developing brand strategy is only for large companies with big budgets. Whether they know it or not, these small businesses are already developing and executing a brand strategy, but its not one that has been consciously defined and actively managed. This is because, as industry expert David Kincaid of LEVEL5 Strategy Inc. argues powerfully in his new book The Value of a Promise Consistently Kept, every component that goes into the delivery of a business, makes up that business’ brand.
A brand is the outcome of impressions; which quickly becomes the reputation of a business. Far more than the elements that can be seen with the naked eye, these impressions are formulated by every interaction that a stakeholder has with a company, its product or service.
First impressions hopefully lead to a stakeholder’s first interaction with your business and result from the elements that can be seen: the name, logo, advertising, website, tone of communications, etc. and from a positive first impression a business will generate ongoing impressions. These are the results of every touchpoint a stakeholder has with your company: your product/service’s delivery on expectations, your customer service, your corporate culture, etc. Ongoing impressions quickly formulate a stakeholder’s beliefs about your company – his or her personal truths. These truths are incredibly powerful, as a quick google search can reveal the brand of a business, as defined by the collective truths of the public. Positive or negative, this will become your next stakeholder’s first impression.
Based on our expertise, defining a brand begins with identifying a business’ Mission, Vision and Values and then building all aspects of the company to reinforce your Mission, Vision and Values in the minds of your stakeholders. This high level strategy will provide a reference point for every plan, process, product and service.
For example, when TACK10’s founders defined the business we wanted to be in, we started with the Mission, Vision and Values that we set out to achieve. These are as follows:
To deliver world class Business, Marketing and Sales strategy, planning and implementation services for companies seeking extreme growth.
To challenge the global consulting ecosystem by providing unmatched commitment and relentless performance for our clients, driving unparalleled results for all stakeholders.
Does your senior team develop brand strategy and manage it actively? Is your team living by the brand strategy your senior team has set? The Mission, Vision and Values of TACK10 guide every decision and action that our team lives by.