Time and again I see entrepreneurs throw thousands of rands away trying to grow their businesses with traditional branding techniques because everyone else is doing it. These branding myths can break a company before it even gets off the ground. Times have changed – technology has created new ways to build and brand your company; traditional techniques don’t always work anymore. Being aware of the following five myths will help you avoid these mistakes and save countless hours of frustration.
Offering a consistent and great product will produce a successful business.
Is the quality of your product or service important? Of course it is, but it has very little to do with how successful your new or established business will become. It will make you proud, but it won’t make you money by itself.
Solution: Launch an online survey for your business to start getting exposure. Ask readers for their opinions and feedback. Make the survey about them, not about you or your product or service.
The more you spend on advertising, the more profitable you will become.
There are much smarter ways to build a brand than spending huge amounts of money on a monthly advertising budget. Don’t get me wrong; there is a place for advertising in branding – but it’s brand maintenance, not brand building.
Solution: The best way to build credibility is to utilise the media. Online, print and broadcast media outlets are looking for quality content and contributors daily. Offer valuable tips tied into current events for readers, viewers and listeners. You’ll gain massive exposure and credibility if your campaign is planned and executed properly.
You need to possess a wide range of skills to become a successful entrepreneur and brand. I’ve met many personable, skilled, well organised, business-minded individuals who failed to create a profitable brand. If you’re great with people, a real motivator, good at accounting and a hard worker, sure, you’ll have an advantage. But the truth is that even if you have none of those skills or attributes, you can still be an extremely successful entrepreneur. There’s one brand-building skill that most businesses don’t even consider. Here it is: daily marketing. Notice I didn’t just say marketing, I said daily marketing. I’ve never met a business owner who made this task his or her number one priority and didn’t succeed.
Solution: What are you doing every single day to market and grow your business? Commit to doing five new things each day to grow your business, and it is likely to grow by leaps and bounds almost overnight.
The costs to brand your business (including advertising, pr, marketing and social media), are enormous. Yes, many new brands fail because they lack funding. But you don’t need to spend a fortune to launch or grow a successful brand.
Solution: You can reach hundreds, even thousands, of new contacts and potential customers or clients using online tools such as Twitter or LinkedIn. Another great way to get exposure for your business is to contact local media outlets and persuade them to run a feature on your business.