How to create a powerful brand

Quick shot of the sign of a small Lloyds TSB b...

Brand guru Stephen King famously once said: “A product can be quickly outdated, but a successful brand is timeless.” For a business to be recognised, grow and succeed it needs a defined identity: a brand. This is a promise of what customers can expect from your business, and what your enterprise stands for.

Who are you?

While the branding process is not complex in itself, it calls for strategic thinking about what you want to achieve from your business. In many ways, defining your brand values as early as possible in your business journey can actually help to define your business plan and long-term goals. For example, to create a brand that resonates with your target customers, you’ll first need to define who you are targeting and why. This will require thorough market research and competitor analysis.

According to Stephen Cheliotis, chief executive of The Centre for Brand Analysis: “This research should also help you to identify any gaps in the market. It’s not always who you are targeting, or even what you are producing that is the most important thing when it comes to successful branding. It’s about standing for something recognisably different.”

via Brand new thinking: how to create a powerful brand | Small business network partner zone Lloyds TSB | Guardian Professional.

eCC – PtyInstant can assist you with a trademark application – see Products and services above.

Dice loaded against black women in business

A dentist by profession, she started her business supplying medical equipment to state hospitals nine years ago.

In spite of her impressive professional qualifications – a Medical University of SA dentistry degree, an honours degree from Stellenbosch University and a masters from the University of Pretoria – she battled to find a bank or institution willing to consider her business plan, never mind give her a loan.

Even state funding entities set up to advise and finance small and medium enterprise start-ups were not interested, she says.

“Culturally, you’ve got problems.

“In Africa, the woman is regarded as someone who has to take care of her family full time and nothing else.

“And banks do not believe in funding entrepreneurs who are female.

“When you go to the banks, they do not believe you are capable of doing it.

“Men are the only people who can succeed in running a business.

“We are supposed to be employed or in the kitchen.

“When you come with a business plan to a bank they resist, they don’t believe it will succeed.”

Eventually a bank agreed to give her a R30000 overdraft.

“They were better than other banks which rejected me altogether. They didn’t even want to hear my story.”

Mzizana is outraged that institutions the government started with the express purpose of financing small businesses, and which are forever trumpeting their achievements in this area, showed her the door as quickly as any of the commercial banks.

“These are organisations that claim to be helping women’s businesses. They are actually not doing that at all.

“That’s why there are no women businesses that are successful. They open and within one year they’ve closed down.

“If you keep going for five years you’ve done very well as a woman.”

via Dice loaded against black women in business – Business LIVE.