Fear drives many decisions in life and in business. And branding (done well) means shedding insecurities and making a statement. It means having an opinion. It means choosing NOT to be commonplace, run-of-the-mill, average and one-of-the-crowd. It means choosing not to be invisible.
That’s hard for a lot of us. If you’re overly humble and shy, branding will not come naturally. But for business success it is something you must learn. Think about the typical classrooms you sat in when you were younger: a small group always sat in the front, had their hands up and really participated in the conversation with the teacher or professor. The majority sat in the middle or in the back where you were smaller, hidden and… get ready for it… SAFE.
Many of these people in the middle and back take jobs at other companies. They like the safety of numbers and are risk-averse. Being center-stage is not their style. But there are some in the middle and back of the room that have great ideas, strong opinions and can take a measured risk. These are the people who have businesses or products that took steps toward greatness, but stumbled along the way… often when it was time for the curtain to go up. They lacked confidence in their idea (fully). They didn’t invest in design, branding, signage, packaging or any other essential professional necessary to take something to market the right way. It’s what we call the DIY trap of business ownership. It simply doesn’t work. Or rarely works.
Look around your local area. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a big city or in the suburbs or even a rural community. The most successful businesses often look the best, exude confidence from their place of business, and their people are fairly consistent. They have a business culture. It doesn’t matter if you’re Coca-Cola or the local diner. You have a brand. And it is either helping you or hurting you.
At Modern SBC we have counseled literally hundreds of businesses about their brands. What’s holding them back? Why can’t they move forward? How do they create appeal? Very often we can sum it up one of two ways: 1) Fear or 2) a DIY mentality that is unrealistic and highly egotistic. Both will kill your business.