Small Business ShowsThe Small Business ShowBill Harper on how to stand out in the brand ecosystem

Bill Harper on how to stand out in the brand ecosystem

On today’s Small Business Show, we’re dissecting everything you need to know about most entrepreneurs’ lingering questions: How do you build an effective brand from the start of your small business or startup? We’re pleased to be joined by Bill Harper, the CEO and chief creative officer of BrandBossHQ, to tell us more. 

The buzzword in business is branding… but what is it? According to Harper, branding is the last unfair competitive advantage to growing a business, primarily due to the numerous categories involved. For example, when Harper was growing up, five toothpaste brands were available, but now there are 30. So, the question then becomes: What is the element that will help differentiate between them? Harper explains, “Branding is the experience, the story, and the promise a company makes in a distinguished way that helps them in a relative way against competitors. 

To highlight, Nike provides endless examples of the footprint of all branding techniques. For instance, Nike exists to release people’s inner athletes, and they’re not selling apparel; they’re selling progress. In addition, their narrative puts the company in the leadership position of that category. 

Branding in Marketing

If done correctly, the brand is established first, and all the marketing efforts should follow. The reason is it provides efficiency. Harper proclaims, “If you understand who you’re trying to reach from a psychobiographical standpoint, then it becomes much easier and more efficient to connect with them through the several medium options you have.” For instance, Harper’s company sits down with large corporations to focus on products, services, and sales efforts to differentiate each area to become more efficient and effective. 

On the other hand, businesses exist to expand and generate revenue, so the quicker your organization can utilize branding as a tool to make it simpler for customers to say, “Oh, you’re good for this aspect of my business,” the better off you will be for the expansion and the accelerated financial gains. But, according to Harper, “personal branding is different.” Adding, “It’s important to make your name, or brand, easier for your intended audience to identify who you are and what you’re about.” 

"If you don't define your brand, they will."

In addition, Harper notes, “You need to come forward sooner rather than later to announce what you stand for and why or else it’s left to the interpretation, and they can brand you however they want.” They are your competitors or your consumers. But remember that a brand is not a logo. A logo is a part of the brand ecosystem, but at large, the brand is expectation or perception-based. 

Common Mistakes

According to Harper, “Small business owners fail to realize that branding is a tool they can and should be using. I frequently meet with companies across a large spectrum, and they are more focused on the mousetrap than the reason they got excited about their business in the first place.” 

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for ASBN. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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