Benchmark Business Group

Positioning and Branding

Every business has a brand.  Successful businesses intentionally craft their brand and position their business in the mind of the client.  As a small business you might not have the marketing budget of the big names, but that doesn't mean that you can't create a winning branding strategy.   Below are a collection of articles on branding and positioning your business from our weekly Business Owner Insights.

April 29, 2014

Every business has a brand or going back to our quote and question for this month a personality.  For many small businesses that brand is not intentionally crafted.  It's left to happenstance, and as a result many small businesses are not ready for their Oscar moment or even for the next lead that somehow comes into contact with their business. 

 

This month we've covered a few branding basics:  Uniform, Delivery Process, and Online Presence, but the last remaining piece is intention.  We know that as a small business owner you are busy.  You're filling multiple roles on your organizational chart.  You're balancing long hours and frustrations while trying to carve out your personal life.   It's easy to ignore the importance of building a brand, because it's not the squeaky wheel.

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April 22, 2014

A quick look through Big Mama's Pizza's website and social sites such as Facebook and Instagram shows that they understand the importance of their online presence matching their brand.  They have a great mix of their products, which we admit, look delicious, but they also make sure that their brand is shown.  It's not enough to have an online presence; you must have an online presence that makes it very clear who you are and what you do.

   

 

It would be very easy to have a pizza place that had an online presence and not be able to easily establish it from the competition.   That's not the case with Big Mama's and they achieve this in very basic ways.

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April 15, 2014

Another reason it didn't take long for the social media sites to figure out who was delivering the pizza on Oscar night was the distinct look of their pizza boxes. Every time the camera went in for a close up of someone grabbing a slice there was the company's branding strategy. The boxes were recognizable to the people in the area and it didn't take long for the online buzz to start.

 

Depending on the type of your business, you may not have a tangible product to deliver. That doesn't mean you get to skip this step in branding. In fact, it makes it more important to have a branding strategy for when your product or service is delivered. At the very least, you want your clients to remember who they are working with and if it's acceptable you want to make sure that others know.

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April 8, 2014

Questions:

  • How intentional have you been in defining the 'image' needed for your brand? 
  • What have you done to ensure that the brand you intended is being communicated?
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April 1, 2014

During the 2014 Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres joked about ordering pizza for the famous crowd. Shortly after a man delivering pizza was brought onto the stage and started handing out slices to the stars. After the show it was discovered that this wasn't an act, but a moment for a small business to shine. The pizza delivery came from a local franchise, Big Mama's Pizza, and according to interviews given to the Los Angeles Times, the business had no advanced knowledge that it would be delivering to the Oscars let alone on live TV.  Click here to watch a clip of this moment. 

 

While most businesses won't be handed a free five minute commercial during the Oscar's, it got us thinking. You never know when an opportunity to shine will come for your business.   This month we'll be taking a look at what Big Mama's got right and how you can do the same in your business!

 

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March 11, 2014

J.C. Penney, the once proud department store, had been wallowing in a tough economic and retail time so they made a bold move in 2011 and brought in Ron Johnson from Apple, as CEO, where he has been credited with creating the Apple Store. Given free reign to bring respectability and profitability back to the retail chain, Mr. Johnson embarked on a bold plan to re-brand and refashion both the name and the locations.  

 

Very confident in what he had proclaimed, "the department store system is broken" Mr. Johnson did what many would consider a 180 degree change from what the company had been doing. This was done without testing on a smaller scale; when asked about testing, Mr. Johnson said, "we didn't test at Apple." Doing away with most sales, coupons, and highly popular customer incentives --- sales dropped further. On April 8th, 2013 Ron Johnson was fired from J.C. Penney's; the re-branding and refashioning was an Epic Fail!

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February 18, 2014

This month we have been looking at planning and executing a successful marketing plan for a booth at an event or expo. We've followed Jon's story and have discussed the action that will help to mitigate those same results. You are not done yet. The event isn't truly over until you capture the gathered information and follow up on your promotional promise. Ideally, you will have already planned out how to ensure you finish the event strong!

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February 11, 2014

During an Event

 Jon’s planning for the event should not have stopped at pre-event activities. To be comfortable with the portrait Jon was painting of his business, Jon should have planned what would happen during the event. Granted, not every possibility can be planned for but Jon could have planned for what he has control over. This includes the Message, the Staff, and the Game.

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February 4, 2014

Before an Event

The stage before an event is all about painting a picture. What is the purpose behind your company's involvement in the event? What is it that your company hopes to gain? It could be exposure to other suppliers, lead generation for your product or service, or it could be that having a presence at the event is worth more and does far less damage than not showing up at all. All are viable results. Are they your desired results? Your desired results should include:

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March 4, 2013

 Have you ever found yourself standing in a book store or novelty shop looking at one of those pictures with an image hidden in the graphics? You stare, and stare, and stare at one point in the picture until the image shows itself. In today's small business climate, getting your business recognized can be like staring into that picture. Customers make thousands of choices everyday that decide the success or failure of small businesses and it is up to you to bring your business into focus. How do you make your business standout? What is different about what you do and how you do it that drives customers to your door? What are you doing to get the name of your business out to your potential customers?

As Michael Gerber pointed out in "The E-Myth Revisited," you have to know who your customers are and what they want from your business. In the following bullets, you will gain a high level view of how to get your business recognized by your customers, their friends and the surrounding community.

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