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Small Business Digest


Successful Branding Demands Internal Buy-In, Support

It has been argued that a company’s strength lies in uniting its employees to empower a brand from the inside out.

Sometimes companies focus on the external branding without understanding the importance of gaining internal commitment to the brand.

Small-business leaders can use a combination of intrinsic company value, culture and social media to build long-term competitiveness.

According to branding experts Wolfgang Giehl and F. Joseph LePla, effective branding doesn’t take a big business or a big budget if you know these principles:

  • Know your brand-defining experience. What do you do that gets customers to say “Wow!”  Point to Point ( supports events for marketing departments by talking about ‘wow experiences’ such as “delivering Guitar Hero to the dueling house parties of both Carmen Electra and Tony Romo so they could battle each other over XBOX Live” and delivering shipments to Super Bowls, “Monday Night Football” games, the MLB All-Star Game, the NBA All-Star Game, UFC’s “Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights” and NCAA Final Four games.
  • Develop a brand strategy and tools. Give your executives and employees a clear compass for making every decision. Bellwether Housing ( uses a brand strategy of “filling the next housing gap for our community,” to keep everyone’s actions on-brand.
  • Be very focused. Narrow your home page message or sales story to one compelling brand benefit. WrightRobbins ( moved from “end to end solutions,” a story about doing everything around IT and sales training, to “disruptive learning.”  They define this as “disrupting inefficient organizational learning” via learning through existing projects or opportunities with the emphasis on creating teams that innovate faster in ways that measurably affect the bottom line.  
  • Tell one story. Find the three points that will get prospects to say “I must consider this brand,” and then get all employees and partners to tell the same story.  CCS Printing’s ( story is: 1) streamline operations 2) with lower total cost through print and inventory management 3) by looking at the big picture of a printed piece’s total life cycle.

Give people a “test drive.” The best way to sell your products and brand approach is to get people to experience them. Data-security company Prime Factors ( gives prospects its actual software to try, at the same level of support they give customers—thereby taking most of the risk out of the purchasing

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