What does it take to develop a brand?

marketing tips for small business in brand development

Looking for marketing tips for small business? Curious as to what it takes to develop a brand? Jump right in- that’s exactly where you’ve landed.

In the last couple of blogs, I have taken a deep dive into branding.

Here’s me charting the journey to a product name that I began with Why should you develop a brand instead of naming a product?

Are you ready? Want to dive into these marketing tips for small business on branding? Great, let’s do this thing!

If I could sum up what is involved in creating a brand in one phrase, it would be “know thy story”.

The reality of marketing, branding and generally how marketers speak to consumers is even though there are tens of thousands of words available, most of them have been beaten so hard, so many times, the words have lost all meaning.

Think about words like ‘gourmet’, ‘healthy’ or phrases like ‘guilt-free’ in food. Or straight from the marketing buzz word factory- ‘monetisation’, ‘solution orientated’ or ‘consumer friendly’.

Do you believe them? Is the trust still there?  Of course not!

These words have been stuck in a juicing machine and had all their essence and meaning sucked out of them. And instead of making a cool, calm, tasty word beverage, a lot of marketers have used them to make a big ol’ mug o’ crap. One of the marketing tips for small business should be not to follow the herd down the rabbit hole to these used and abused phrases lest you damage your credibility with your customers.

So how do you brand a product when the perfect words have been stretched like your good knickers around a rhino’s bottom for some ludicrous runway parade?

Getting to know you, your product and being truthful about what you offer while drawing on the human being’s powerful love of story as you can muster.

And that means spending a LOT of time getting to know a person, their product, and the audience it’s intended for. Even if all three are you!


Hi potential new brand, pleased to meet you

Getting to know someone’s product is a lot like meeting them at a dating event.

From the initial look across the product, you’re attempting to create some magnificent whoopee that a lot of people are going to talk about for ages. So bring your honesty and be prepared for a lot (and I mean a lot!) of “getting to know you” style conversation.

I don’t just offer marketing tips for small business via my blog. I run workshops to help with branding and marketing as well. Spending time with those sorts of conversations and exploring your brand intimately helps.

Following what I do in an initial branding workshop, discussion usually takes this form:

A)     Explaining the types of names companies use

B)      Looking at the important points that need to be considered when dealing with the company and/or products

C)      Tapping into the emotional side of the product

D)     A high level identification of the customers

E)      Understanding what the brand intends to do within the market

F)      Shape an identity (who is it, what do they do, what are the strengths and so on)

These are the building blocks of where you start. By no means are you expecting to be at F with your texta in hand drawing the first prototypes if that’s not where the conversation takes you. Nor should you spend enough time to win the World Cup explaining the kinds of names companies use. There has to be balance.

Be prepared to go with the flow, fluctuate and get varying degrees of help, make sure you have water (because you’re throat will get very dry) and spot when it’s time to take a break.

Your arsenal of tools on the first day will consist of:

  • Ears
  • Butchers paper
  • Textas
  • Hands unafraid to scribble til they bleed

Treat it like a first date where you set down how you expect the future relationship to go, put on your best listening costume and be prepared to ask a heck of a lot of questions. Listen patiently, make notes and basically suck out as much brains of the person sitting in front of you as possible and you’ll be somewhere close to the right track.

It’s messy and mucky on the first day and you’ll spend a lot of time digging, most of it with your teeth.

However, beyond making notes, you can only jump into this in earnest after you have set a wee bit of framework down on which to build.

And that friends, is the very next topic- the framework you need to know more than anything else. What’s in a brand name? 

Want more marketing tips for small business or startup? Check out my blog’s marketing section now!

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