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Build Your Brand, Build Your Business

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Your brand is a promise to your customers--simple as that. This morning at this year's Growth 2.0 Conference in Miami, Susan Gunelius told a packed room how to create an image and identity that resonate and inspire people to buy into your brand.

Gunelius first stressed what a brand is NOT:

  • a logo
  • a slogan
  • an advertisment
  • a company
The small-business branding author and president and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc. said a brand sets consumer expectations.Yet, a brand must also then meet those consumer expectations. Brands that don't meet those expectations will soon fail--anyone remember the ShamWOW?

Gunelius offered several specific action steps and to-do lists through every stage of branding that she guarantees will lead you with the right brand persona.

So what are the three steps to branding?

  1. Consistency
  2. Persistence
  3. Restraints

Gunelius also stressed the importance of social media marketing for small businesses. "Social media offers the single largest opportunity for entrepreneurs right now," Gunelius says. Let your consumers take control."

She suggests you take the Brand Perception Snap Shot quiz now:

  • What five words do you use to describe your brand today?
  • What five words do your customers use to describe your business today?
  • What five words do you WANT your customers to use to describe your brand?

After answering these questions, sit down and figure out where the gaps lie--that's where you need to change.

Kara Ohngren is a freelance writer and part-time editor at YoungEntrepreneur. Her work has appeared in publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Business Insider.

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