The brand development process is just that – a process. So many small business owners want it to be a task to be completed. Something to check off your list of things to do. It’s easy to understand where someone might get that idea. After all, the term branding was first used to describe burning a mark into the flesh of cattle. I’m sure the cowboys who perform this job are glad that cattle branding is not an ongoing process.
In the case of business, it’s called the brand development process for a reason…. because it’s a never ending job.
Brand development includes your logo and the colors used in your web design. It’s your brochures, banners and business cards. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s much, much more.
The reason the brand development process is so important is because it shapes how your marketing messages are received. A logo is important is because it helps communicate what your business is all about. The design of your website is important because it helps to communicate what your business is all about.
Brand development is the way you “package and present” your business to the world. Marketing and promotional activities like advertising are how you communicate that message to the world.
Brand Development Process
Gary Vaynerchuk gave a speech in New York where he shared KEY insights into the brand development process. In a nutshell, Gary points out how important it is to build a brand, but also illustrates how passion and transparency are both key essential ingredients to the brand development process.
In case you didn’t know, Gary has created an EMPIRE through homespun videos where he shares his passion for wine. His passion plus his blog has made him a celebrity around the globe. He’s done a GREAT job of building his own “brand” – so much so that he’s had over 40 offers for television shows as a result of his brand development process.
Many are focusing upon this line in Gary’s speech:
“If you’re pumping out good shit, people will follow. But if you for a second – for a 1/2 second – don’t believe in what you are doing … you need to get out, now.”
That is a significant part of his message. However, tucked away in the message are two other thoughts – both of which dovetail with MY two passions, which is building trust through transparency AND tightly targeting your marketing to focus on a specific niche market .
In the video, Gary definitely calls for transparency in social marketing as part of the brand development process. It’s for this reason that he insists that passion is CRUCIAL to successful branding.
We’re living in a No Trust Zone and transparency is crucial to the brand development process. If you think you’re going to build your brand without total transparency, pack up your bags now and go home. Social media is making the game of running a business as much about brand development as it is best business practices.
So, lesson #1 from Gary’s speech on the Brand Development Process is:
be passionate about what you’re doing so you can afford to be transparent.
Actually, I think that’s 2 lessons. In small business marketing is more than advertising, I share some some anecdotal stories where a business owner’s passion led to marketing success. In those cases, transparency lead to business growth. However, I also shared a few stories where a passion for profits is costing a business tens of thousands of dollars each month trying to overcome the effects of their “transparency.” If your passion is for profits and not for your customers, do yourself a favor and SKIP the transparency thing.
Lesson #2 from Gary’s speech on the Brand Development Process is
tightly target your niche marketing audience.
I couldn’t agree more with Gary. You need a niche marketing strategy for your business, whether it’s big or small. (If it’s big, then you already know the power of focusing on a well defined niche market.) Finding your niche market is like discovering rocket fuel. By identifying your target niche market, you can focus upon your customers’ goals, desires and problems.
In the video, he tells his audience not to try to compete with him in the arena of wine TV. Gary has that niche sewn up. He had Wine TV locked up just as Google has search locked up. Gary is going to have to either lose interest or quit trying for there to be an opportunity to compete on the Wine TV niche. He advises his audience not to try to take him on this front. However, Gary says there’s plenty of room for competition in the niches.
“There is an absolute opportunity for someone to come out with the Pinot grigio Hour. I’m serious, niches can go crazy!”
Gary’s advice boiled down is this:
Be passionate – be transparent – target a niche market.
Oh, and apply doses of patience, persistence and effort on a regular ongoing basis. (Gary references his 18 hour days in the video – I believe him!)