What Your Brand Tells Your Community
Here are the Show Notes from the Episode:
**keep in mind that show notes are raw and only highlight what is in the episode. Listen to the show for the full content**
Episode 9 – Your Brand and What it Stands For
Episode 9 of the Local Small Business Podcast
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast, I am your coach Tammy Adams.
How is everyone doing today? For those of you that have been listening to the podcast, I really appreciate you coming back and finding value with what I’m trying to accomplish.
I also appreciate how you are letting me work out the kinks of learning how to do this podcasting and hopefully you will continue to see more improvement as we move forward.
I always find it amazing how like a fish out of water we feel when trying something new but as our skills improve our confidence grows.
You might even feel like this in your business when you tackle something you haven’t done before.
Honestly, this is the fun of the adventure. How we get a reputation of knowing a lot. Each of us know a lot about what we have experienced.
The key is, are you learning along the way? Are your experiences different each year due to your growth from the learning or are you reliving the same year over and over? Are you challenging yourself to constantly improve?
When people ask me why I’m doing the podcast, I always have the same reason. If I can help any local small business owners grow their business and find success, I’m happy. I know I could help folks one on one and I will continue to do coaching but I also know that with a podcast, I can help even more folks at once.
Better yet, I know that all of you can help each other as well. I really hope as we progress with the podcast we can continue to find ways for all of you to share your best practices with your fellow local small business owners.
Some of you have achieved some great stuff with your business and hopefully you will be willing to share with others. I’m not quite sure how I will work this in but it is a goal. As I mentioned on the last episode, if anyone is open to sharing some best practices I can at least read on air, please feel free to head to the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com and either leave a voice message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to share your best practices with everyone.
Ok, let’s jump into today’s episode. We are going to discuss your company’s brand and what is stands for.
Keep in mind that your brand is part of your marketing but it is much more than this.
What comes to mind when I mention the following companies?
Apple? Coke? Nike? Walmart? Jaguar? McDonalds? Oprah?
As I mentioned each company, what popped in your mind?
Did you think about what they sold?
Did you think about how they made you feel?
Did you think about how iconic they were?
Each of these companies have built strong brands. It is more than about their logo. While yes they have a powerful logo, the reason they resonate with folks is more about how their products or services make us feel.
Yes, even Oprah is a brand. She has built an empire off her brand. It is much larger than just who she is. It is what she has come to stand for with many people.
An important thing to remember right off the bat is – Your Small Business’ Brand is What the Community Tells You it is.
When you started your business, you probably had a brand in mind. What you wanted your community to think about when they heard your company’s name. Remember there is a difference between what your company does and what your company stands for.
The first thing you must realize and some of you have already discovered this, first and foremost you have come to realize that your business is YOU. Every job you do, every customer you speak with, every interaction you have is an extension of you. And Yes, even if you have employees. Your employees represent you. It is important that you never forget you and your small business are one and the same in the eyes of your local community.
In our last episode, we discussed customer service. So if you believe in excellent customer service, then when folks think of your business they will think of great customer service. Just like I shared with my example of QT. You noticed when I shared why I felt so passionately they had great customer service, it came down to how they made me feel. Just like I mentioned a second ago. And every person who feels like I do that I have spoken to, had that same “feeling”.
Some other examples would be. If you never fix your mistakes, then your brand will say you don’t stand behind the work you do. If you use inferior products then your brand will stand for not having the highest quality work.
The key is to remember, everything you do is part of your “brand”.
I have an example that I like to use when discussing this.
Let’s say there are two local small businesses We have
ABC Carpet Cleaners & XYZ Carpet Cleaners
You could say they both clean carpets. This is true, this is what they do.
But is that what comes to mind when the community hear their name?
Let’s say we have a customer names Mrs Jones. And she has some family coming over for Thanksgiving. She realizes she needs to get her carpets cleaned and gives the XYZ Carpet Cleaners a call.
So, the owner of XYZ showed up over an hour late. He came in moaning and groaning about the last customer and how filthy their home was and how long it took. Because he was running behind, he zipped through her house and didn’t quite do a great job on the various squeeze juice box stains her kids left.
Then as he pulled his cleaning equipment back out to the truck, he took out a solar light and a plant with the cleaning hose. He looked at the wreckage and shrugged his shoulders saying…Oh well”. When Mrs. Jones asked about it he said it was like that when he got there. Even though she knew better.
After he left, she noticed one of the rooms he did was still soaking wet as he didn’t get the water fully out of the carpet. When she called him to come back and fix it he said didn’t have the time and for her to just open the windows as they would eventually dry.
So, what do you think XYZ Carpet Cleaners brand is?
Do you think Mrs. Jones is going to recommend them? How will she respond on Facebook when her community page asks for their thoughts on him and his company? It is safe to say that XYZ’s Brand is one of not caring, poor service and poor execution. Do you think that Mrs Jones will ever have them come back out again?
So now, Christmas is rolling around and Mrs Jones has even more folks coming this time and really needs to get these carpets done. This time she gives ABC Carpet Cleaners a call.
Obviously she wasn’t about to use the last folks. The owner of this local small business had a great reputation. He had a reputation of always being on time. Customers seemed to love his promptness.
When he arrived, he had a big smile, and thanked her for trusting his company with her home.
He spends a little extra time on those juice box stains because he knew if he got them out, she would be very happy. It took a little more time than he planned but he knew he could get it out and he didn’t up his quote even when she asks what she owes for that extra work.
As he was leaving, and since that plant is in a bad spot, he too hits it. However, this small business owner immediately apologizes to Mrs. Jones and offers to replace it. She however says don’t worry about it, that darn plant gets hit by everyone. She appreciates his honesty.
Later that week when a fellow Facebook person asks about a great local Carpet Cleaning company anyone can recommend, Mrs. Jones gives a glowing recommendation about ABC Carpet Cleaners and insists people must give them a try due to what they stand for and the job they did.
I know that was a long example but hopefully you can see that all the small decisions both small business owners made along the way, contributed to their brand.
If it was up to you, Who Would You Choose?
Hands down ABC has a Brand everyone will want to use. Like Apple, Neiman Marcus, Nike, Virgin, or any other Brands that we think of as great, ABC Carpet Cleaners has figured out how to be memorable and stand for something everyone wants
If you could be a fly on the wall and hear what your customers or clients think about you and your business what do you think you would hear?
Oh, but you can! With the power of Facebook, you can join all your local community pages and see who they recommend and why they don’t others.
If you do this, have thick skin. You might not hear what you hope. Use the information to improve. When others are mentioned pay attention to what the good and the bad things are being said. What are they wanting in their favorite brand? They are telling you.
There is no greater way for a small business owner to get insight into what their customers are wanting from their small businesses then listening in to the conversations on Facebook. If you aren’t doing this, you are missing a huge opportunity.
Even if it has nothing to do with your business, they are still sharing what they love and what disappoints them. Great feedback for you. Remember what I try and preach. Learn from others mistakes! Learn from other’s success.
Your community is giving you this valuable feedback you just have to take it!
So, as we begin to wrap this up. What do you think your brand is in your community?
Both your personal brand and your companies.
I have known folks that they personally are well loved but people hate the company they work for. I’m sure you have shopped some place due to a person and when they left, so did you. The reason was, the main person who drew you there is no longer there. Your loyalty was to them, not the company.
Is this the case in your company or business? It might not be you they love but someone on your team who has a better brand than you. Food for thought.
What will be the steps you take today to ensure that your brand is exactly as you envisioned?
What do you think your community thinks of you? Do you know?
Remember that conversation a few episodes ago on ego and not letting it get in the way? Well this is one of those times.
Don’t be a mama or papa bear protecting your business. It is what it is, you need to know what your reputation is in the community and either strengthen it if it is good or blow it up and restart if it is bad.
I challenge you to put time and energy into identifying your unique “brand” and how you will get your community to have those great Feels that all great brands bring.
If you spend more time on your logo vs on your brand you have a problem. Your logo is part of your brand but it isn’t your brand. Your brand is how you make others feel. Never forget that. You want that logo to stand for something that makes people feel good.
Remember a logo of a bed can mean many things. A good nights rest with sweet dreams or an uncomfortable night with lots of nightmares. It is what that logo means to the person seeing it.
What does your logo, your brand bring?
So with that, I will wrap this up. And remember, if you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
Also don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the speakpipe button or just shoot me an email. Coming soon I will begin answering your questions on the podcast.
See you on our next episode where we will take another question from our listeners…
Bye for now…..
Have a Question You Want Asked on Air? Shoot Me Your Question
Podcast Website: LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Leave your Message on the website with the SpeakPipe Button or just email me at Tammy@LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Episode Show Notes: Episode 9 – Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Our Training Materials for Local Small Business Owners: TrainingforLocalSmallBusinessOwners.com
Starting a Local Small Business Website: StartALocalSmallBusiness.com
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