Develop your brand – define your company culture

As the owner of a small business, chances are you’re not working standard business hours. You might be going over the books at 5 am on a Tuesday and finalizing estimates on a Saturday night. Do you want to talk to customers then? And do you expect your employees to be available? Remember, your brand is your reputation as a business. The culture you create within your company impacts the impression people have of you. It’s all part of developing a strong brand. Define your company culture. Your company culture is the atmosphere, dynamic, and expectations in the workplace. Not only do clients pick up on the culture, it affects how employees talk about work (and, in turn, what others hear about your company). Are your employees satisfied at work? Do they get along? Do you want to do things as a group outside of work, like play softball or volunteer? When can customers reach you? Is there any time that’s “off limits”? When do you expect employees to be available? Building a Strong Brand. You’ve identified your motivations and values, determined your company’s personality, and defined the company culture. Now, if you’re more than a one-person show, get your employees on board. Everyone on your team has an opportunity to make an impression. Since you’ve taken time to develop your brand, everyone should be promoting the same company vibe (whatever you’ve determine that to be).   Finally, you need to communicate your brand to your audience. Your brand is expressed through the interactions customers have with your company – direct and indirect. That might mean face-to-face contact, an...

Develop Your Brand Identity

What motivates you? A couple weeks ago we looked at the difference between branding and marketing. Click here to read that post. Basically, your brand is your identity as a company – your core values and the reputation you (the company) have in the world. While you can’t control how others perceive your business, you can consciously develop your brand identity and culture and make a positive impression. To start, identify your motivations and values. Why did you start your business? Why do you want to help your target customers? What makes you unique? What do you want people to say about your company? How do you want people to feel when they think about your company? The answers to these questions define why you do what you do and what you value as a business – they are the foundation you need to develop your brand identity. The next step is to define your company’s personality. Do you want to be casual or formal with customers? Chummy or polite? Humorous or serious? Stylish or classic? Premium or a good deal? Strike a balance that you are comfortable with because you need to be consistent. If you choose to take a chummy tone, are you willing to chitchat with a client for 30 minutes after you’ve concluded your business? Clarifying your company’s values and personality is part of developing a strong brand. Next time we’ll look at how company culture impacts your brand. Stay...