Now that we’ve talked about what a small business brand is — and is not – you know how important it is to have a set of values and attributes for your brand in order to create the right associations for potential customers to make about your business.
But what if you’re not sure what you want those values and associations to be? If you’re feeling a little lost when searching for inspiration with which to create your small business brand, you might want to try looking a little closer to home.
Some of the most successful businesses in the world have brands that are inspired by the founder or an influential person within the company. If you feel that you or another individual associated with your business embodies the values you’d like to convey for your business, use that as your inspiration. This is one of the best ways to create a brand that feels organic and authentic to the outside world.
Take Virgin, for example. Whether it’s music, telecommunications, or air travel, founder Richard Branson’s personality shines throughout. Without ever reading an ‘about’ page or a creative brief, one can interchangeably describe the company’s brand or the founder himself using the same terms and associations. In describing either one, things like “free-spirited”, “rule-breaker”, “entrepreneur”, and “innovative” come to mind, don’t they? In this way, Branson is not simply a spokesperson, he’s the driver of the values projected by the brand.
But it doesn’t always have to be the company’s founder who takes this role. Sometimes a key influencer can serve the same function. Think of Steve Jobs and how he came to embody and be inseparable from Apple.
While you might not be famous (yet!), your values can still imbue your brand with a genuine character. Are you philanthropic? Quirky? Innovative? Are there certain causes you care deeply about? Think about how these things can be expressed in your marketing and social media in order to endear customers and potential customers to your business and your brand over time.