What is a brand and why does a small business need one?

Well the simple answer is that if you have a business, you already have a brand. Lots of people, particularly (but not exclusively) small business owners tend to think that it means your logo or visual identity, but that’s only half the story. Yes of course it does include your logo and visual identity but your brand is really your entire business, your product or service, your reputation, everything that your customers experience and associate with you.

I did mean everything.

Yep, everything; if you’re a copywriter it’s not just the copy you produce, it’s the service and efficiency with which you do it. If you’re running a cafĂ©, it’s not just how hot your coffee is or how tasty your cakes are, it’s the friendliness of the staff and the state of the toilets. Seriously, it’s everything your customers experience when they interact with your business. That’s your brand.

So congratulations, you have a brand

The real question is, do you know what it currently stands for? Do you know what people think about your business? Do you know what your reputation is? If you don’t know what it is and you’re not in control of it, then it’s a bit of a loose cannon – not only can it not help you, it can seriously undermine your business.

However, if you’re in charge of your brand, you can control it, shape it, define it and use it to help you stand out from the competition in a crowded marketplace, based on what it is that makes you different and special.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8921756