You can’t turn over a rock these days without finding someone talking about “branding.” Most of them make it a mystery. In Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success, Elaine Fogel makes it simple.
If you are just starting out, this book will help you organize your business so that your every move says something about you that your customers like. It’s not just your marketing. Customer service, personnel practices, business ethics and small business social responsibility, and communications strategy all add up to the total picture your customers have of you. Do you want loyal customers? Elaine shows you just how to win their loyalty.
If your business is already a going concern, you should still read this book–for the helpful reminders and for the exhaustive lists of actions you can take to improve. Open the book to any page and you’ll find tips like these:
- 9 steps toward managing customer complaints
- 38 specialties within marketing and branding
- 20 questions you can ask customers and employees to gain insight into how well your business is doing
Nonprofit organizations can also learn from this book. By remembering that your “customers” include both your funders and your clients, you can translate Elaine’s advice into your own terms and use it for your work. (You will find that the book already defines a lot of the jargon for you: all you have to do is ask yourself, “How would I say that in nonprofit?”)
Canadian readers will benefit from Elaine’s bi-national identity. She makes sure to tell you when something applies in the U.S. but not in Canada, and vice versa.
If there is one weakness to the book, it’s that it relies too much on definitions, statistics, and list, and it doesn’t tell enough stories. I loved reading about the dairy farmers, Dane and Travis Boersma, who started Dutch Bros. Coffee. Reading their creed, I understood much better what it means to be customer-centric. I could wish for more moments like that in the book.
Overall, however, I would recommend this book to small business owners and managers of community-based organizations. And after you read the book, go to Elaine Fogel’s blog for more nuts-and-bolts advice, every week.