After spending years working hard for someone else, you feel that now is the perfect time to forge out on your own and benefit directly from your business experience. Here at Small Business Branding you will find a lot of good sound advice on building a successful business. My contribution to the mix is typically brand issues that I feel you should pay close attention to.
The simple fact is we all have a brand whether we want one or not. Now – you can either work hard to develop and nurture a powerful brand, or you can do very little and let your competition do it for you. An area often overlooked in respect to protecting you brand is compliances. Many businesses in order to operate must conform to a at least a few Government or industry compliances. These are in place to assure your customers that you are adhering to minimum industry and community standards. If you are deficient in any way you are putting your brand at risk. (Not to mention, your professional well being). When a company is deficient, you pose considerable risk to your operation. Many times a breach of compliance will result in a costly fix. If you are guilty of compliance deficiencies to avoid costly but necessary procedures then you are a brand nightmare waiting to happen.
Breach a safety compliance, and your brand takes a hit from the negative exposure a safety accident generates. Security breaches puts exceptional attention by Government agencies on your doorstep. Brand jacking (unscrupulous use of corporate identity) leaves you exposed to myriad of potential negative scenarios – none of which you control. Industry and Governmental compliances are there to protect everyone. I would encourage you to view them as a type of brand insurance. It benefits your brand if you are diligent in their implementation. I would even suggest that you raise the bar and improve on compliances where your team sees the opportunity.
If you simply consider your brand your reputation, then you will appreciate that it takes plenty to build up a brand but very little to destroy it. There are no quick-fixes to repairing a brand that has been tarnished from a missed compliance opportunity.
I will be the first to admit that compliances are not the sexiest topic with regard to brand as compared to brand image, but ignoring it will hurt you from multiple positions – all of which have the potential to be a brand killer.