I am both a consumer of brands and a professional who builds brands. Brands lured me into the business of advertising many years ago with their promise of big, creative projects and a deeper understanding of what motivates consumers.
For years, I strutted the long hallways of global communications agencies, proud to be one of a team of “brand stewards”, “brand builders” and such. I worried about complex issues of brand architecture, sub-brand launches, and managing an evolving brand with existing equities.
Somewhere in the haze of big budget campaigns, however, I became more intrigued by the world outside these giant corporations. As a student of human nature and consumer behavior I craved a closer connection to the world in which these big brands lived. The giant boardrooms weren’t cutting it any longer. Leaving corporate America to work as an independent consultant, I found an equally fascinating universe comprised of small businesses.
Many simply dismiss the idea of branding themselves, saying instead, “We don’t have time for branding exercises and creative briefs; and we certainly don’t have funding for large scale television ads or glossy magazine layouts.” What is the role for branding in the sub-culture of small and solo businesses?
In my life as an entrepreneur, I asked myself this question all of the time. However, a recent post from John Jantscharticulates much of what I have come to realize over the past few years and inspired me to share my beliefs about branding.
All of this suggests we, as branding experts, can throw away the fancy work shops and brand development processes and simply get down to a good solid conversation about who small business owners are – and help them see how powerful that is in their business.