Building a strong family business brand starts with understanding the unique story and values that make your company (and the family behind it) special.
It is important to incorporate your family’s heritage and traditions within your brand, as well as the legacy you want to pass on to future generations. This could include things like recipes handed down through the generations or the values of quality and craftsmanship ingrained in your family for years.
The story of McGlaughlin’s Bakery
I come from a family business background, a bakery that has been successful in our town for over 60 years and has been passed down three generations.
My family are committed to keeping the legacy and traditions alive that my grandparents had when they opened the business. From a young age, I saw first-hand the perseverance and hard work that goes on behind the scenes that has allowed our business to become a compelling family business brand in the local area (and beyond!)
However, one of the biggest challenges that family businesses face when expanding is keeping these same traditions at the heart of what they do. This is because they can become diluted over the years as your business expands.
How to keep the traditions alive
From my experience, here are a few important steps to take to build a strong family business brand that stands the test of time:
Know your purpose
Your purpose and values act as the foundation for your brand story and should guide your decision-making moving forward. By effectively communicating your purpose through your brand story and marketing, you can create a lasting and successful family business brand.
For example, my family’s purpose was simply that they wanted to provide a warm and welcoming place for locals to visit in their hometown, where they could enjoy baked goods created from family recipes that they were so proud of. From the day that our bakery opened in 1961, this purpose has remained ingrained in our values.
Find your niche
Ask yourself, who are your ideal customers and what are their needs. What will set you apart from your competitors? Ideally your niche will be specific and profitable. It should also reflect your strengths and expertise as a family.
My family can confidently say that finding their niche in providing a welcoming environment and excellent customer service, and perfecting it, whilst showing their passion for what they deliver has been a key factor in their success.
Tell your story
How did your business start? We’ve all heard stories of businesses starting in sheds, garages, campervans…audiences love an unexpected story! This story should be raw, engaging and emotive; after all, this is what will set you aside from other family-run businesses.
One of the family business brands that AB is proud to work with is Floris; British Family Perfumers since 1730. Their business is now being run by the 8th generation of the Floris family. One of the many remarkable things that sets Floris aside from its competitors is its incredible family history, with the company’s founder selling perfume, combs and shaving products with his wife in London’s St James.
The Floris story is proudly shared on its website, keeping it at the heart of the business, even though it has scaled dramatically over the past three centuries.
Design your identity
Your family business identity is shown through its logo, packaging, website, and other marketing materials. These should reflect the heritage and values of your family business and connect with your customers on an emotional level.
Your identity has, and always will be the face of your brand, and the prominent way to attract attention.
Deliver your promise
Your business’s promise should be realistic, measurable, and achievable. Most importantly, it should demonstrate your family’s commitment, credibility, and reputation, which I can say has been a vital aspect in the success of my family’s business.
When recently speaking with my Dad, the current owner of the family business, he explained:
“Above all else, we prioritise great customer service throughout all aspects of our business. Without our customers, we wouldn’t be successful. That’s why we promise them great service at all times.”
Sticking to your promise is vital to the success and authenticity of your brand.
Communicate your brand
Finally, consider how to share your brand’s purpose, story and identity with your target audience.
- What platforms and tools you use to reach them
- How you speak to them (what’s your tone of voice?)
- What’s important to them
For example, communicating directly with customers on a daily basis is important to my family’s business, which is why we’re prominent on the main social media platforms. It allows us to have a two-way conversation with our audience so we can continue to fulfil our promise of providing great service.
Need help building your family business brand?
Whether you need help defining your brand story or are confused about how to communicate with your audience, we’ve got you covered.