Seth Godin put up a fantastic blog post this morning about branding and I think it’s particularly relevant to small medium-sized businesses.
How important is branding and messaging to your business?
At Blue Corona, I frequently work with small business owners – helping them improve their marketing and/or their website’s performance. In at least half of these conversations, I’m told that we can’t move forward with a simple website optimization because the project would require them to spend extensive time re-thinking their branding and messaging.
I could tell them that they’re missing hundreds of potential opportunities representing thousands of dollars per month and it doesn’t seem to matter. I could tell them that they could be getting double, triple or quadruple the number of qualified website visits per month – without even touching their “messaging” and it would fall on deaf ears.
In their mind, it’s all about the branding and messaging.
Ad agencies and the branding types they contain must be geniuses, because they’ve convinced far too many people that an intangible beast called branding and messaging is the most important thing in the marketing world!
In his blog posting, Seth tells the story about someone who emailed him for advice after a failed attempt to find their true brand. Apparently, they even used a brand consultant. Seth explains that the problem isn’t the consultant, but the fact that if they have to search for their “brand essence” in the first place, they’re unlikely to find one.
If your brand essence isn’t obvious, you don’t need to hire a consultant – you need to take a stand and start being remarkable. Very few small medium businesses have the time or the money required to discover their brand.
Do you really think the headline on your website matters when your site is getting less than 500 visitors per month? Even if your headline did matter, do you really think you (or some fancy marketing consultant) will be able to craft the silver bullet of headlines?
In my (humble) opinion, you’d be far better off leaving your branding/messaging untouched and instead focus on doing whatever you can to cost-effectively increase website traffic to a level where you can use what prospective customers are doing to tweak your messaging.
Note: No ad agency, branding or messaging types were harmed in the production of this blog post or the new Blue Corona website.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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