Traditional Branding Isn’t for Small Business

Raving Fans are your brand.

As we start out, we take cues from Giant Corporation, Inc. that we should develop cool logos, fancy brochures, zippy websites, and catchy copy. But this is a waste of time and money for a lot of small businesses and a huge misdirection of focus. There is a better way for most of us.

A janitorial supply company wrote a response in another blog promoting all this fancy “branding” (to which this blog is a response):

“I think the most important thing you can do to brand your company is to provide superior customer support. Here at we pride ourselves on our customer service. We answer our telephones and respond to customer’s needs immediately. Customer service is what sets us apart for the rest and has customers coming back over and over again! has it figured out. For a small company the most important “branding” you can do is provide the best service possible and create raving fans.

Where do 95% of all our customers come from? I ask this question almost every time I speak and from the mouths of thousands of business owners → “95% of our future customers come from our existing customers referring them.”

For those under 30, 85% of product discussions are face2face and only 7% are online. The rest are by telephone or email. For those over 30, 92% are face2face and the rest are online, email, and phone. Our customers are talking directly to their FRIENDS, not with strangers or digital friends online. They are telling their FRIENDS what their experience was with us. And 90+% of our customers come from those human, face2face discussions.

So what are we doing going out and buying advertisements and creating fancy brochures and clever tag lines to attract people we’ve never met? The best brand we can build is to

get those who know us, to love us.

When we get big and have more money than time, we can go the fancy ad route.

But for now, focus on being the best in YOUR world and specifically on turning customers into raving fans. That’s the best branding you can do because it’s authentic, it’s really who you are, and it’s targeted at your best opportunity for finding future customers – from your existing ones.

Good on you,!