In the midst of creative ads, catchy radio jingles, and memorable commercials, how do you manage to get your brand noticed? So often our culture tells us – be different… business will be better if you are different. The great issue today with branding is not to be different, but to make a difference.

If you look at branding broadly, it can be broken down into three components:

Talk It.

Words and tone hold value both in written and verbal context. External marketing, customer feedback and employee professionalism in communication all build the voice of your brand.

Look It.

The visuals used to represent your brand such as a logo, colors, illustrations, and photography all help identify your brand. Your employee dress code and the way you care for your physical building structure reflects upon your brand too.

Live It.

The best brands don’t just tell really great stories… they live them. Customers want us to come alongside them and help them tell the world their story. Being different isn’t enough for them… they want to make a difference in the world and they look to you to show them how.

For example: TOMS operates by the motto “One for One”. For ONE pair of shoes sold, another ONE is given to a person in need. The customer gets to participate in a journey that makes a difference.

Small businesses have the opportunity to share really great stories and inspire change right here in St. Joseph, Missouri. Volunteerism, positivity on social media, an encouraging note to an employee or a warm smile to the new person at the Chamber networking event… these are all simple ways you can make a difference.

As small business owners, it is imperative that our brands become living and breathing entities in our community. Be the complete branding package: talk it, look it, and live it.

Sarah DeGarmo

Sarah DeGarmo, owner of Rise by Design, is a fourth generation entrepreneur in St. Joseph, Missouri. Specializing in branding, she has a passion for companies who aspire to live great stories.