Why should a business grow its brand?

A small business owner asked me recently whether an investment in his company’s brand will lead to more sales?

My answer was a very clear, confident, no. At least not in the short term.
There is an obsession among small businesses to grow sales; generate leads and convert these into money. This  is understandable. Times are tough and money is in short supply. The problem is that this obsession is all short term. It is about making the numbers for this month.
Branding has a long term focus. Too many company’s forget to also keep an eye on the future midst this mad race for the next sale. The problem is that by  being overly short term focused you will slowly dig your own grave as a business. Whether you like it or not: You must keep an eye on the bigger picture.
This is where the business brand plays such a key role. Keeping one eye on building your company’s brand will force you to engage with questions that have a longer term horizon, such as:
  • Who are my clients? Why do they choose our offering?
  • What is it that makes my business different from the competition?
  • What is our business culture? What do we want to become? What do we want to stop doing?
  • What is the single message about who we are that we want to tell people?
These questions sound fluffy. Certainly, they will not earn you your immediate next sale. But they are crucial if you want your business to stick around for the long run. Your choice.