I first wrote about this concept in the Financial Post earlier this year. Since then I have discusssed the dangers of chasing the brand with my clients and they appreciate this refreshing perspective.
A longer article from me, The Branding Fallacy, recently appeared in Enterprise magazine.
The point is that small business needs to stop worring about their brand and instead focus on bulidng stronger relationships. Relathships should be the goal - not branding. If they build strong relationships - the brand will be a byproduct.
Small business gets fooled by the "branding clergy" who point to the success of the big corporate brands.
But small business can't compete with the resources that the corporations spend on branding.
And small business has a tool that big business does not have. Small business can build relationships which is a far better business-building tool. Big business can't build relationships so they take the weaker second choice - branding.
Read more about this discussion on the blog of Nicky Jameson at http://nickyjameson.com/