Build a GREAT Brand !Sep 12, 2023
Over the last few weeks we have talked a lot about valuation. We have covered how to value your business today, and how to increase the value of your business moving forward. But the one element that sometimes gets forgotten in these discussions, and is all too often undervalued by traditional business brokers and lenders, is the element of your brand.
Your brand is more than your physical assets or business as it stands today. Your brand is the intangible, at times inexplicable things that make your business unique.
Creating a GREAT brand is more than just creating a good business. A GREAT brand is your way to establish an identity with your customers based on product, service, or organization.
Here are three qualities essential in developing a GREAT brand:
- Clear Identity: A good brand has a clear and well-defined identity. In other words, your brand is more than your location or your existing customer base. It is the intangible that sets you apart from your competition. While your location may be part of your brand identity, your uniqueness must be more than that. This is literally, your secret sauce. And it isn’t just about making sure you have that secret sauce or signature recipe. The bigger question is if your brand uniqueness is identifiable to your customers.
- Consistency: One of the most important elements of developing a brand is consistency. And in our franchise accelerator program, this is one of the first questions we ask. Is your customer getting the same product or service each time they walk through the door? For your brand to go from good to great, you must strive to maintain a uniform look, feel, and message across all touchpoints and with all employees. In other words, while we want you the owner to be part of the story, you are not your brand. And for your business to scale, you must be able to step away with the confidence that your customer receives the same level of quality in service and product whether you are there or not.
- Innovation: I believe innovation is one of the key indicators of the longevity of your brand. It isn’t talked about as much as some of the other elements of branding, but to me this is the differentiator. It isn’t just about your brand today. The key differential between a good brand and a great brand is all about driving your brand to build on itself for tomorrow. Think about McDonalds. In June they launched an entire marketing campaign around their character Grimace and a new purple Milkshake.
McDonald’s doesn’t just continue to promote the products people love, they are constantly developing new products that fit what their ideal customer is looking for. And this marketing campaign was a great example of the importance of innovation. With one new product and clever marketing push, McDonald’s delivered year-over-year sales growth in June, regardless of what was going on around them.
I believe by embracing these three elements, it is possible to grow your brand and your business in any economy. So I challenge you this week to take a look at these three elements in your business. With the understanding that building a good brand is an ongoing process that requires strategic planning, consistent effort, and a deep understanding of your ideal customer. Successful brands evolve with the changing landscape while staying true to their core identity and values.
So regardless of the news and what people may or may not believe about the economy for the remainder of the year, I believe exceptional growth is possible. And if you are doubting your ability to rise above the industry average, look no further than Grimace and what the purple Milkshake did for McDonald’s in June 2023.
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