A brand model for SMEs to build long term business value.


The case for increasing the focus on branding in your business.

Watching a video by US brand educator Chris Do recently I came across this simple illustration that captures the concept of the brand circle of behavior. Many brands, especially for start-up, early stage and small businesses do not consciously map and manage their behavior in a way that will build deep and effective brand differentiation. Most businesses have their hands full just putting our fires and keeping the wolves from the door. As a result this degree of investment in brand is often placed in the ‘too hard basket’.

However in the conversations I have with business owners every day, almost universally they see their business as a long term investment – as building something that one day will have a big pay-off for all of their hard work. The challenge is to keep the wheels rolling day-to-day whilst finding time to invest in some activities that will drive long term value.

Over the years I’ve seen first hand many business owners realise the value of their years of hard work when they sell their business. Some sales have been amazingly spectacular, and many not-so. Without exception, those businesses that have sold at the top end of their potential valuation have strong, well considered branding executed over many years. In the same way that houses presented well attract more bids at auction, businesses that have their brand in order, with a clear and differentiated value proposition and a following of loyal customers or clients rightly attract more interest at sale.

Which brings us back to this simple yet valuable model for brand behavior. When brands align the way they think, what they say, what they do and the way they behave they build a strong and consistent identity. When this cycle of brand behavior is driven my a strategically considered brand definition, they build real, long term business value that leads them to typically out-perform their category.

If your enterprise does not currently manage your brand in this manner, it’s worth considering how much you’re leaving on the table in short term sales and long term value.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a Melbourne branding agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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