Branding is not just for the big guys, oh no. No matter how big your business, you need to build a brand that matters.
My colleague, Maria Ross, is a brand strategist who runs Red Slice. She’s the author of two books, including Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget (Norlights Press). Maria teaches that brand is simply your reputation, your core, your essence. What do people associate you with, think of you, and do they know where you “fit” in the market, vis a vis your competition?
As she always says, “Effective branding is not about how much money you have to spend, either. It’s about clearly and consistently communicating the right message to the right audience at the right time.” You can do that through a logo, sure, but it’s way more than that, she says. “You communicate your brand visually, verbally and experientially through every single customer touch point you have. If you’re not doing things with intention or with your brand in mind, you’ll leave customers confused – and potentially drive them to a competitor who has their “brand act” together.”
Maria has worked with brands big and small: in her early career, she worked with Discovery Networks, Monster.com and global software provider Business Objects (now part of SAP). When she launched Red Slice, she began applying those big company lessons to small businesses, such as CRAVE, Mudbay and countless service providers and startups.
Maria founded her business in Seattle but has since moved back to the sunshine of the San Francisco Bay Area. But you’re in luck! She’s coming back to town in April and offering two exciting events to boost your business and your brand:
April 22, 6-8 pm: MARKETING + MONEY MOJO: A lively jam session on how to price right, brand smart and make money. This no-holds-barred interactive Q&A, along with partner-in-crime, financial guru Debbie Whitlock will be chock full of wit + wisdom! Insights, giveaways and surprises. Got burning questions on profit margins, pricing, marketing planning, or attracting new customers? This will be a night you won’t forget. Giveaways and surprises included. Spots limited to 30 so check out the details and sign up here.
APRIL 23, 9-11 am: HOW TO BUILD A BUZZWORTHY BRAND ON ANY BUDGET: In-depth workshop with the Puget Sound Business Journal. Learn what brand really means, why it matters and how to build an irresistible one for your business, while avoiding the 2 biggest branding mistakes small businesses make. If you want to make smarter marketing decisions and you’re overwhelmed by all the options out there, this is for you. Details and registration here.