If you’re looking for phenomenal growth and success in your small business, creating a strong, compelling brand identity is one of the single most important steps you can take. Companies that started small but are now multi-billion dollar enterprises have strong, instantly recognizable brands.
Learning about some branding success stories can help inspire and guide you in creating your own distinctive brand. As you peruse these stories, keep in mind the essential elements of branding — caring about the products or services your company provides, finding a unique appeal to customers, and telling a story that engages your audience of potential buyers.
McCain Foods is a family business that extends to more than 150 countries across the globe. McCain’s is the ultimate wholesome story of success, and appropriately enough, the McCain brand identity is pure, homespun wholesomeness. The story of McCain Foods is the story of a small town, family-run business started by two brothers, both farmers, Harrison and Wallace McCain. The company’s website clearly states the brand image that McCain Food’s has successfully fostered throughout its history: “One goal in mind – bring wholesome food to our family’s tables.
Everything about the McCain Foods brand identity works. It aims to provide its customers with something of real value, pure “wholesome food.” The company history speaks to simplicity, purity, and nostalgia for the days of family farms. The company has successfully extended its image through efforts such as fostering sustainable agriculture methods.
In the highly competitive airline industry, where it’s often difficult for one air carrier to stand out successfully from the crowd, Virgin America has managed to craft a unique brand identity that truly separates it from other airline competitors. Recognizing that flying — once almost universally considered a luxury form of travel — has transformed into being little more than taking a bus through the sky, Virgin America set its sights on making flying satisfying again. The airline unveiled shiny, state-of-the-art aircraft offering not just low fares but the high quality that most of its competitors had abandoned. Virgin America flights offer amenities such as mood-lit cabins and comfy, custom-designed leather seats.
Virgin America’s brand image works because the company successfully zeroed in on something travellers really wanted — affordable, luxury-comfort air travel. It has an exceptionally strong brand identity because its brand image so clearly distinguishes it from its competitors.
Airbnb’s success illustrates how a company can craft a solid brand image by finding a desirable service niche that isn’t being filled by anyone else. Airbnb’s brand image is all about providing an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. By offering consumers the opportunity to book accommodations that feel a lot more like home than a hotel, Airbnb has effectively branded itself as a company that offers a virtually unique service. The company’s brand image works so well because Airbnb accurately identified a desire of travellers that it could effectively meet, abiding by one of the oldest marketing slogans, “give the people what they want.
Dr. Sean Wise
Dr. Sean Wise is one of the leading figures for entrepreneurs and owners of startup small businesses in Canada. He’s a renowned business speaker, and his best-selling books entitled “Wise Words: Lessons in Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital” and “Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job” also stand as his brand identity. His brand was further solidified with the co-creation and hosting of entrepreneur-focused television shows, including the reality show, “Dragons’ Den,” copied as “Shark Tank” in the United States, and “The Naked Entrepreneur.” His work at StartUP Canada focuses on the strengthening and extension of network connections between entrepreneurs while providing them with access to tools, resources, advisors, and opportunities to start new business ventures.
After submitting and being approved for a pattern design by an internationally known crotchet book, Robinson realized this is something she would love to make a career out of. Robinson’s patterns include knitted and crocheted clothing, home decor, and toys. She also works for publications and releases independent patterns, and she sells patterns to online crochet and knitting communities. Once she made the decision to become a professional knit and crotchet designer, Angelia branded herself on social media. Her next step was to search for an automated system to balance her books. For Robinson, it was vital that her bank account and other online payment systems could easily integrate with the accounting software. She needed a system that could track her mileage to and from the crocheting classes she taught and the yarn store. While it took some trial and error, Robinson knew that brand identity and proper organization were essential in accelerating her business, so she stuck to it. You can’t cheat the learning curve,” she claims. “You just really have to buckle down and figure it out. And then the next time something like that comes up, you know what to do.
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