The purpose of your business is to make money, and to make money you need to make sales. Exchanging your product or service for money is the main way that most businesses are run. Branding is vital to creating a sustainable business model, but it does not make you money, similar to marketing, branding is a necessary evil to allow you to sell your product/service consistently. The problem for most small business owners however, is that they often use branding as an opportunity to avoid the awkward moment when they should close the sale.
Your product or service will benefit your prospect, whether it is selling SEO services to small businesses or fashionable T-shirts to university students; your brand should be built around these benefits, your values and your credibility, your business should built on sales.
If you have ever had a prospect ready to hand you a cheque only for you to lose the sale because you don’t want to be a ‘pushy salesman’, you thought that it would be rude and negatively impact your brand if they said no then your brand and your business will always be limited to the few prospects that already know that your brand is their solution.
This is where strong, established brands have a huge advantage over startups and growing businesses.
Having an existing customer base will help your businesses to grow organically where your happy customers refer their friends and partners to you, but as a new company, or even breaking in to new markets you do not have this seed to grow from, so you must manufacture it.
The process of building your list of raving customers is simple, get customers then make them happy to share your product, this means that first you must get the sale, then you can build your brand, regardless of how fantastic your product is, or how much it will improve the lives of your customers.
Even Facebook, the worlds most popular website, began with selling the idea to a list of popular Harvard students, the popular, young, exclusive branding (benefits, values and credibility) was created based on the uptake of the future giant.
So if you are a small business still searching for your next customer, when you meet your prospects, remember that to make them happy, put your business first then your branding will automatically follow.