If you want your company to stand out from its competitors, it needs one thing above all others: a clear and strong brand.
"We all understand how important brands can be," says Small Business Trends contributor Mike Michalowicz. "There are brands that signify all over the world. Nike. Harley Davidson. Starbucks. These are companies that are more than just the products they sell. They're lifestyles. They're statements, both about the company and the consumers who choose them."
Which begs the question: How, exactly, do you build a resonant brand?
According to Michalowicz, the first step is elucidating what you want your brand to be. To do that, he says, you must clearly define your company's purpose.
"For a brand to be meaningful, it must connect to your company's reason for being (which, incidentally, assumes you have a reason for being above and beyond simply earning an income)," Michalowicz explains. "Why did you start your company? How do you think you're making the world a better place? Without a firm grasp of your purpose, you'll never be able to communicate what's unique and important about your company."
Your company's purpose should be distilled into a rallying cry, according to Michalowicz. That, he says, is your brand.
"For my company, Profit First, our purpose, our rallying cry, is: 'We want to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty!' We say it, and we mean it," Michalowicz concludes. "Every morning huddle (our quickie standing meeting) reiterates our purpose and the steps we're going to take that day to accomplish it. Our rallying cry lets us communicate our purpose and values quickly … to anyone and everyone. That's our brand."