Is Your Brand Helping Or Hurting Your Small Business? Chat Recap

Didn’t get a chance to participate in the FedEx Office Twitter chat on May 15? No worries – we have a recap of the highlights below.

The topic was branding:  Is your brand helping or hurting your small business?  Let’s take a look at some of the responses and comments on this topic.  The Twitter handle of the person who said them, follows:

1.       What exactly is a “brand”? Is it a name, a logo – or more?  – @FedExOffice

Twitter blue birdA brand is the overall perception the publicgets when they think of your business.  - @Smallbiztrends

A brand has many parts: name, logo, tagline,reputation, experience customers have had … and more. @Smallbiztrends

Even your business cards, packaging and signagehelp the public recognize your brand. @Smallbiztrends

It’s a combination of all. It’s the whole picture that pops in to a client’s mind when they hear a company name  -@a_biro

To me, a “brand” is symbol of your business story. Logo, name, everything should refer & infer the story  -@3keyscoach

When branding works well it immediately tells your story   - @CASUDI

A Brand is the thoughts, feelings, and psychological relationship between a business and a customer  -@paintermommy

Sum of who you are, what you do & stand for visually and viscerally. -@DeborahShane

A brand is what people say about you when you’re not around  - @philsimon

 

2. Can your brand hold your business back? If so, how?  – @FedExOffice

Yes, brand can evoke perceptions of poorquality or unprofessionalism. – @Smallbiztrends

For example, an inappropriate look (e.g., acartoonish font for a serious business) may undermine confidence. – @Smallbiztrends

Inconsistent design details are also aproblem (e.g., multiple styles in marketing materials). – @Smallbiztrends

I’ve seen logos & websites of such poor quality I couldn’t trust them. Hence, no sale. – @robert_brady

Some businesses outgrow their branding or shift biz focus – old branding might be blocking new customers  - @CathyWebSavvyPR

Small biz can learn a lot from big biz – both face similar challenges in establishing a brand – dif steps but useful lesson   - @ZimanaAnalytics

Wrong image can alienate potential buyers – I feel this way abt “edgy” clothing lines – some local – @janejoeyxo

 

3: How do you assess if your brand is helping or hurting?  – @FedExOffice

Start with your biz name and logo. What do others think of when they seethem? Is name easy to spell, say?- @Smallbiztrends

Do people say they don’t know what you do? If so, consider re-naming,re-designing your logo, or adding a tagline. – @Smallbiztrends

Website analytics, how ppl look @ my biz card, types of questions/comments they make tells me if my biz is connecting   - @3keyscoach

When U hear ~ I didn’t know you do that!   - @CASUDI

A professional logo is simplistically memorable, practically appropriate, and conveys an intended meaning.  - @TommyGuns

 

4. What if your name and logo do not need overhauled? What other brand elementsshould you look at? – @FedExOffice

Look at how you present your business. Areyou putting best foot forward in brochures, website, business cards, signs? – @Smallbiztrends

You have 5 to 10 seconds to make a goodimpression – as a person or as a biz. – @Smallbiztrends

Too often I see small businesses sabotagetheir own brands, and that’s a shame. – @Smallbiztrends

What about a “headline statement” such as what http://t.co/tPWyzIxR has  -@DIYMarketers

Simple one… Font type!  -  @lvansteen

Maybe if your logo and name don’t need to change your marketing plan does…  – @Apex_Biz

Customer service, without positive customer interactions your logo is nothing but a reminder of a bad experience. – @TommyGuns

 

5:  What are some ways small businesses sabotage their own brands? – @FedExOffice

Faded signs and tattered trade show bannerswill undermine your brand, suggesting lack of pride. – @Smallbiztrends

Poor quality printed items (fuzzy graphics,cheap paper, bleeding ink) make even the best brands look bad.- @Smallbiztrends

By not marketing properly  -@carnivalfanatic

Setting up auto-responders on social networks that don’t engage customers can be a bad thing – really bad….  - @BasicBlogTips

I’ll never forget early on I handed a potential client my biz card made w/ generic logo, her card had same logo  - @CathyWebSavvyPR

They forget why they started their business in the first place.  - @KStaib

Bad customer support smashes your brand. To have successful brand, control every aspect of doing business  -  @lvansteen

Twitter bird dark

The right #smallbiz signage equation: simple + clean = best. Read more to see if your signs stack up: http://t.co/fjVyl66G  – @FedExOffice

6:  Is consistency an important element of brand? Why or why not? – @FedExOffice

Consistency is crucial. People notice if abusiness card has a new logo and the brochure has the old. – @Smallbiztrends

Also, it is easier to build brand recognitionwhen you use similar graphics throughout multiple channels. – @Smallbiztrends

Yes very important, it creates comfort for customers and trust   - @marilola33

Promotes consumer confidence in your business  -@GeekDad248

 

7:  Complete this sentence: “A professional looking logo …” – @FedExOffice

A professional looking logo helps you cut through the marketing clutter and create a memorable association for your customers  -@GeekDad248

 

8:  Can you present a quality brand on a small business budget?  - @FedExOffice

Yes! For marketing materials, weigh “value.” Cheap cost = good. Cheap look = bad. – @Smallbiztrends

You can get a pro look using a DIY tool, provided it’s a good tool. Find a good “partner” to execute, too. – @Smallbiztrends

Example: a brochure based on a Word templatecan look professional if printed in color on quality stock. -  @Smallbiztrends

A personal touch and attention to your customer’s needs can go a long way and might not cost much  - @Ileane

Choose wisely where you spend your branding dollars. Keep your customer’s response in mind @ all times  - @CathyWebSavvyPR

A smile is the best thing a business can offer me, costs nothing but makes my day   - @TommyGuns

 

9:  What is the biggest mistake to avoid when presenting your brand?  – @FedExOffice

Mistake: presenting your brand in anyway that you would feel compelled to apologize about. – @Smallbiztrends

You can hardly focus on sales if the next breath has you apologizing for yourwebsite or outdated business cards! – @Smallbiztrends

Too cluttered. Too many words  - @janejoeyxo

Overspending on marketing, making outlandish claims, using negative pressure tactics to gain business – @itmaiden

 

10:  What are your two best tips for presenting a small business brand professionally?  – @FedExOffice

Tip 1: spring for a professionally designedlogo. You will have it for years. Get the best you can afford. – @Smallbiztrends

Tip 2: quality materials count! People are tactile. We feel a business card’sweight, or a mailer’s gloss. – @Smallbiztrends

Acknowledge the value of the relationship with your customer, say thank you and don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials   - @Ileane

Make sure your branding showcases what you/yr product can do best for yr customers, and is memorable   - @CathyWebSavvyPR

Attending marketing events helped me a lot – ones sponsored by prof org  -@janejoeyxo

2 tips to present a smallbiz brand professionally: (1) set clear expectations; (2) Underpromise, but overdeliver.   - @crowdSPRING

This Twitter chat was part of the FedEx Office® Our Office Is Your Office Tweet Chat Series

Note:  to make the recap easier to read, tweets above have been edited to remove redundant information, such as hashtags and answer numbers, and fix obvious misspellings.  Tweets may be slightly out of order, for better readability. The above represents only a small portion of the tweets — it is intended to cover key highlights for reader convenience.  Go here for a transcript of the chat.  

Disclosure: FedEx Office compensated me to participate as a small business expert during the FedEx Office Our Office Is Your Office Tweet Chat program. The ideas in this blog post are mine and not ideas or advice from FedEx Office.

4 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

4 Reactions

  1. It was a very informative and interesting chat! Fascinating to follow the discussion and how the participants added their $0.02 to the thread. Congrats to @GeekDad248 for winning the gift card! :)

  2. Great chat and one liners. Many are true and insightful. As it relates to #3 how to know if branding is helping or hurting? there were good examples of it hurting or helping, but how do you collect that information? Focus groups? survey? how do you know what people think and how do you get them to tell you?

  3. A great compilation of thoughts, tips and advice on branding.

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