Social media superstar Chris Brogan wrote a great blog post about the difference between personal branding and product or service branding. Actually, it’s about distribution, but the big picture is personal vs. product/service. So let’s talk about branding for your small business, shall we?
What does small business branding entail? Should it require a personal touch or is it all business? I think it depends. But if you plan to do any online marketing, and that includes branding, then you’d better learn to get a little bit personal. And I don’t mean sharing your innermost, darkest secrets with your clients (they probably don’t want to know any way). What I mean is, being personable and reachable. Accessible. If not transparent.
Small business branding isn’t a lot different than large business – aka corporate – branding. But it is. You see, with McDonald’s distribution is everything, but if you’re like most small businesses then you only have one outlet, maybe two or three. But no more. Your distribution channels are pretty limited, aren’t they?
Well, they needn’t be. You can have a distribution channel online that is completely different than the one you have in your brick and mortar store. They can overlap. They can even be one and the same as far as distribution goes. It’s your business. But it is feasible to have a brick and mortar store for local distribution and a website for global distribution. What’s stopping you?
It’s your brand. When you own it, you can expand it or contract it. I’m about expanding. And that means, for most small businesses, being personal enough to be accessible, locally and worldwide, while being sophisticated enough to think like a McDonald’s exec. Can you do it?