Small business does your message hold up?

By | Blog, Branding, Business insights, Uncategorized | No Comments

Now every business has a message even if it is never articulated. It puts into a short simple phrase, what you stand for, and is the meaning that makes sense of the brand.

As a new small business you may have created your tagline, written your web copy and have all your words in place to present your business to the world and introduce your brand.

But what about the message that holds all that up.

I’m not talking about key messages that organisations use as static phrases inserted into copy created to ensure a uniform style or consistent voice. I’m talking about the overall message of your brand that makes sense of those key messages and every other message that you choose to communicate.

It doesn’t just simplify your brand to your audience but also for you. It gives a fuller understanding of your words, positions your business and lets the desired prospect know their values line up with yours.

It takes some thought to produce the magic words that together create a powerful message which is rooted in your values and aligns your audience. This simple analysis might just help.

There are those messages related to solving a problem

Our prospect has a pain or problem that we show we can solve. This works well for the coaches, web designers or those servicing a clearly defined niche but what if you are selling a product such as bespoke furniture, clothing or jewellery?

What problem do you solve is a good starting point to creating a great message for specific industries. But if you are a small business intent on building a brand it might be time to take your business from relieving a painful ‘need’ to inspiring a meaningful ‘want’.

There are those who rely on aspiration

The premise is ‘you will become ‘more’ by your association with this product/service’.

This conjures up images of those TV adverts for big businesses that make implausible associations with ‘popular subjects’ or resort to shock tactics to get our attention.

Sexuality, health, wealth, family, security and love: These might be some of the values portrayed in the message but the audience isn’t fooled for a second that there is any meaningful connection between the corporation and the values portrayed.

And those that provide meaning through a shared experience

The product or service is only part of the story. Your audience craves meaning that goes beyond what you offer. So what are you really selling?

Messages that inspire through a shared value hit the spot in terms of emotional connection, because they give a sense of belonging.

Firstly; your message inspires because it fits in with your audience’s bigger picture. Secondly; the value expressed in the message is one that is not only clearly aligned with the brand but I would go as far as to say is the reason for the brand. It is no longer aspirational but inspirational.

Having a powerful message that speaks to the very core of your audience is more than a business declaring; I can solve your problem, but an audience knowing; I am understood.


What’s important to you?

By | Branding | 2 Comments

Sometimes we small businesses are so close to our businesses that we don’t see the wood from the trees.

As owners we are responsible for our businesses, so that means getting tax returns in on time, marketing, so our audience know who we are and keeping updated on those things that enhance our skills and knowledge.

And all the day to day nuts and bolts of running our own businesses.

But how often to we stop to ask the question that ensures that everything that we create through our business is a reflection of who we really are?

Read More

How to develop your brand voice

By | Branding, Tone of voice | No Comments

Content may have become the fuel for much of our marketing efforts but that doesn’t assume we know what that content should look like.

An organisation’s ‘brand voice’ incorporates both the copy that defines their brand (copy for your website, leaflets, and adverts) and the content that you create to engage your audience (social media updates, blogs and email campaigns). Read More

Why your brand voice makes all the difference

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At the early stages of starting our small business we often take great pains to get the visuals right. That is, we ensure that our logo communicates our brand effectively, our business cards are on point and our website looks professional. This plays a huge part in differentiating our business but what about our brand voice? This is the words we choose to represent our business and the style of communication. I am not just talking about ‘tone of voice’ but about the words that truly bring your values, USP and story to life and underpin your brand. Read More

Small business, forget cool just be you

By | Branding | No Comments

Have you ever wondered why whether it’s a small business idea or even individual, what starts off as unconventional or odd becomes mainstream and even fashionable?

It’s a phenomenon that has always intrigued me.

I was present at a business expo event which consisted of a number of slick corporate stands promoting businesses with few interested participants. At the back of the event was a not so slick, less put together stand that had the crowds drawn to it like the smell of a fragrant orchid on a July summers day. The stand in question was relaxed, didn’t try too hard and hadn’t the best publicity material, but it was the place to be. Read More