Ban the Brand
Ban the brand. Start small.
Small business owners who have a survival instinct think first and foremost of survival and progress vs. the "big picture". They need to know how to start the fire and keep it lit vs. knowing the science of physics.
If an entrepreneur decides to follow their passion but is distracted with the definition of "brand", confusion and hesitation can be the result.
If that same entrepreneur has a vision for how he will change his community (or the world) and connects with others to pursue their passions and does so with character, the brand is formed.
Do you have a belief so deep that no one (except maybe your spouse or God) can convince you to stop?
For instance, like the story of Noah who built an ark because he believed in a mission? There are examples daily where people are identified by what they BELIEVE which is then reflected in what they say and in their ACTIONS.
Do you believe in the mission so deeply that you are willing to sacrifice your current "identity" because the path is clear?
Example: When Gary Vaynerchuk spoke at a Biznik event, he answered questions about how he changed from "the elite" to "the regular guy". His mission was simple. Remove the mystique about wine so that anyone can participate in the excellence. Gary commented on how there was a time he found himself at a fork in the road. His future self was to connect with the guy in the street while the past self was connected to those with money. His mission became bigger than his fears of "offending" his past customers and Gary's passion was the fuel to "Crush It" education. He used video as the means to share the information.
Thus emerged his brand.
Who are your top 10 friends? Would you go to battle and risk yourself for them? Would you risk your money, reputation and well being? These types of friends are hard to come by. By having a top ten friend list you would go to battle for, you have created a "brand" or identity.
A brand can be established by having a mission and a top 10 friends list. Spend each day pursuing the mission and supporting those friends. Invite others to support your mission and friends each step of the way. That becomes your brand.
As an entrepreneur, instead of grabbing a piece of paper or The Personal Brain to write down what your brand should be, write down your mission and top ten friends and their missions.
The old saying: "You are who your friends are" just may give you some indication as to your "brand".
For a small business owner, maybe the brand is a symptom of "belief", "associations", "actions" and "message". If this is the case, then "branding" is happening now.
Guy Kawaski: Don't write a mission statement, write a mantra
Does a mission statement for business seem over complicated? Guy shares thought about business success based on a mantra vs. a mission statement. I personally recommend this.