UMKC Innovation Center partners with the university and the community to spark and sustain entrepreneurial efforts within our region and across the country.

KCSourceLink connects KC entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

MOSourceLink connects Missouri entrepreneurs to the right resource at the right time.

Whiteboard2Boardroom connects entrepreneurs and businesses to technologies available for licensing.

Digital Sandbox KC provides early-stage proof-of-concept support for digital products.

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center provides technical assistance to startup and existing businesses.

ScaleUP! Kansas City helps businesses with revenues around $200K scale toward their first $1 million.

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers helps local businesses obtain government contracts.

KCInvestED helps investors learn more about investing in KC startups.

SourceLink® helps communities nationwide build vibrant and vital entrepreneurial ecosystems.
UMKC Innovation Center
UMKC Innovation Center
Building Your Brand

Branding Your Small Business

Brand Awareness, Value and Promise

Brand awareness, brand value and brand promise? What are they and exactly how are they different?

Below, we talk about these three critical stages of brand building, how they fit into your business's strategy and growth and how you can use media channels to help define and grow your company.

Build Brand Awareness

During brand awareness, a business tells people who they are and what they do. Companies in their first three years will utilize brand awareness to help form strong impressions in consumers’ minds about their brand. Brands outlive the products so businesses need to convey their culture through interactions with consumers.

Businesses want to send the message that they exist by using:

  • Social Media 25%
  • Digital Media 50%
  • Public Relations 10%
  • Traditional Media 15%
  • Networking/Boots on the Ground

Create Brand Value

Companies in the growth mode will narrow their target segments and build brand loyalty by creating brand value. A company at this stage of branding will want customers to spend more on their particular brand because of how it makes them feel.

Companies can gather customer insight through focus groups and observations (psychographic profiles) to determine the emotional gap your brand can fill.

Businesses can tell consumers why they need the brand and how the brand makes their life better through this media mix:

  • Social 20%
  • Digital 50%
  • Public Relations 10%
  • Traditional Media 20%
  • Networking and Events

Establish Your Brand Promise

Well-established companies that have a clearly identifiable culture and have been able to “make good” on previous promises can use brand promise to increase cash flow, sales and to scale. These companies are known to make life easy for their clients and will often need to bring new ideas and creativity to the market.

They will demonstrate best practices and what’s new by utilizing these tactics:

  • Social 25%
  • Digital 35%
  • Public Relations 5%
  • Traditional Media 35%
  • Networking and New Business – diversify and referrals

Perfect Your Pitch

After identifying what you do as a business, what stage of business you are in and if your marketing tactics and messaging are in line with that stage, you can perfect your marketing pitch for optimal profitability.

  1. What problem are you trying to solve for your customers?
  2. Imagine a perfect solution to that problem.
  3. Determine how your product/services provides that solution.

Still confused? Want to talk about it? Reach out to one of the KCSourceLink Resource Partner below:

This post was written from a presentation by Dana Hukel, founder/owner of BOLD Marketing and BOLD Consulting.


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