Arruda says small businesses face two barriers to effective branding: They don't know what would make someone choose them over a competitor and they want to be all things to all people. The antidote, says Arruda, is self-analysis and choosing a niche audience. "Fear gets in the way," Arruda continues, for small businesses, which believe they will lose market share by focusing on a target audience. "They want to be all things to all people," he says, but, as we all know from our everyday lives, this is never possible.
for maybe $300 a year," he says. Finally, branding has changed since the dot-com era, when the credo was to make as much noise as possible, gain as many eyeballs as you can and worry about the long-term later. Now, says Woodruff, people are realizing that the branding process is a long-term commitment: "Embed yourself, drip by drip, into people's minds," he says. Despite the fad of the moment, companies small and large should adhere to the basic tenets of strategy, says Millman. "Look at the classic Michael Peters, Harvard-Business-School definition of strategy," she says. "Perform activities differently, or perform distinctly different than your rivals."