Brand Like a Broken Record


At Verve Concepts, we like to turn tradition on its head. For starters, if you told us we sound like a broken record, we’d shake your hand and say Thank you! By sounding like a broken record,  we’re doing exactly what a small business should be doing: repeating our message again and again and again.


Why? When a small business brands like a broken record, it delivers results—namely, a boost to its keyword ranking by being recognized as a go-to source, and an increase in its brand awareness.


Get Ready to Repeat: Understanding Keyword Ranking


Keyword ranking is basically driven by math. These days, search engines (especially Google) determine whether a website provides answers to a given question. For example, since Verve Concepts specializes in small-business branding, our web content is designed to answer questions all about the keyword topic, “small business branding.” The more content we publish related to “small business branding,” the more the search engines are going to refer readers to that content. In other words, the more your website answers your target customers’ questions, the more online traffic you’ll receive.


Most of our clients understand SEO basics. The mistake they tend to make, however, is trying to address too many topics. They tell us, “We’d like to be known for A & B & C & D and probably E, too” and they try to achieve keyword ranking across the entire spectrum of their business. The problem is, by doing that they actually dilute their keyword effectiveness.


Broken record basics: A small business should focus on no more than two or three keywords at a time.


Get Known for Something: Building Brand Awareness


Like a broken record is known for playing the same songs, a successful brand demonstrates similar characteristics.


  • Recognizable. Your target customers see your brand and immediately associate it with your company. It leaves customers saying, “Aha!” instead of scratching their heads and wondering, “Who are they?”
  • Authentic. There is no disconnect between what you promise and what you deliver. A coffee house that promotes “small-batch, hand-roasted blends” delivers exactly that. A heating and cooling company that promises “fast service” arrives on time and works quickly.
  • Resonant. Successful brands speak to their customers needs and desires. High-end boutiques promote design, not low prices. Service agencies promote the results they’ve actually delivered to their clients, not the agency’s hopes and dreams for what they may someday be able to do.
  • Consistent. Successful brands should begin to feel like good friends and neighbors for their customers. Reliable, trustworthy, and always around when you need them.
  • Unique. There just isn’t anyone else out there who does what you do the same way you do it for customers who wouldn’t want it any other way.


Broken record basics: Like a broken record, a small business builds its brand on a few, vital characteristics.


Three Steps to Branding Like a Broken Record

Branding can seem overwhelming for any business, but especially so for a small business. Your time and resources, after all, can only stretch so far. So, we’d like to name three fundamental but easy steps your small business can begin to implement immediately.


1. Simplify your plan.

  • Identify two or three keywords/concepts you want your brand to be known for. Publish only content related to those keywords. Quit worrying about the other stuff.
  • Commit to a limited and manageable number of marketing outlets (for example, website and two social media accounts). Less is more if it’s targeted appropriately.
  • Maintain a predictable marketing schedule (for example, one social media post per day and one blog per week). Don’t overcommit. Instead, be reliable and you’ll see the results.


2. Stick with it.

  • On average, it takes between six and twelve months for a brand to resonate with audiences. Stick with your plan. Don’t dilute your results by shifting your strategy or messages.


3. Evaluate periodically.

  • Data is crucial, but it takes time to derive meaningful trends from your marketing efforts. Resist the urge to evaluate too frequently.
  • Instead, set an evaluation schedule. Check in on your traffic statistics every two weeks or once a month. Don’t drive yourself crazy looking for short-term gains, but don’t bury your head in the sand, either.
  • Do more of what’s working and less of what’s not, but avoid drastic changes to your overall plan until you’ve seen a sustained, data-driven reason for doing so.


Remember, predictability is a key asset for any brand. Find a message that works and stick with it. When you take that time to learn your customer’s’ favorite song, you’ll eventually hear more and more of them singing your tune.


What are you doing to help your small business sound like a broken record? Drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!