Do you suffer from small brand syndrome? Businesses often think that because they are small they need to compete in the same fashion. That is totally not the case. The beauty of branding is that you have the power to create who you want to become, but you need to understand who you are or who you aspire to be before you can make the shift.

You must first understand that your brand lives in the mind of your consumers. You are what they think you are. That is the reality of your brand. So if your brand is perceived as small in the minds of your consumer, then that’s what you are.

The way to grow your brand is to change the way your audience perceives you to be. Sure there are some overnight mega brands out there, but most of us have had to work long and hard at growing our brands by trying to change our consumer’s perceptions.

We can’t all be MC Hammer.

Here are some questions you may need to ask yourself before you tackle the battles of the mind:

What do your customers currently think of your brand? You can’t change what you don’t know. Find out what people think of your brand by either talking with existing or potential customers. It’s most likely that your perception of your brand is not even in tune with consumer perceptions, so never assume.
How do your competitors react to your brand? Do they feel threatened at all, or do they even know you exist? This could provide interesting insight on how consumers perceive you as well.

Is your marketing strategy in line with your brand position? Is what you’re doing in line with who you say you are or aspire to be? This is where most brands fall short. Since most businesses are busy working “in” the business rather than “on” the business, they often fail to see the importance of the latter. Working “on” the business is a discipline that forces you to look at your business and make sure you are consistent and intentional in the way you communicate your brand.

Be consistent and intentional, but not Canadian telecom consistent and intentional.

Here are five REALR steps to help you move forward in changing your audiences’ perceptions:

1. Research

Start with a bit of research. Ask questions, but what’s more important is to listen to the answers. Ask what people what they think of your business. What comes to mind when they see your logo? How do they feel when they experience your brand? You will be surprised at the insight you will pull from this type of exercise.

2. Evaluate

Gather all of the information and evaluate it. Are your findings in tune with what your brand is trying to be or become? Did you get any insights?

3. Adjust

Make the necessary adjustments to your brand positioning or brand strategy to help you refocus how you communicate to your target audience. Perceptions can be created overnight but they can only be etched in the mind of your consumers over time. This is how you establish brand loyalty.

4. Launch

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, it’s time to intentionally and consistently put yourself out there again. Be creative but most important, be confident.

5. Reevaluate

After completing the first 4 steps, it’s always a good idea to reevaluate the effectiveness of the changes you’ve made and start the process again. Gather and compare any new information with your previous evaluations and keep repeating the cycle until your brand positioning is in sync with what your consumers think of you.

The size of your brand isn’t measured by the amount of square footage of your offices. It’s not determined by the size of your bank account. It’s determined by how many people you can convince that you are who you say you are and trusting you enough to find out.

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