You are a small business owner wondering about branding and what it can do for you. You are asking, “do I really need to worry about branding?” The answer is yes. We believe a majority of small businesses gloss over this essential part of business.
There appear to be misconceptions about what branding really means. With that said lets start with the basics – what is branding?
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”
Who needs branding and why?
Every business – big or small – needs branding. Just because you are a small firm with a small budget does not mean you should skip the most crucial aspect of your business.
Your brand is what people remember your company by.
Think about Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonalds and Nike. These companies didn’t get to be as big as they are without an effective branding strategy. This includes the customer experience and perceptions, which you have influence over. What is the first thing you think of when you see the Golden Arches or the Swoosh? That feeling is the brand experience, and is the essence of a brand that connects your buyers to your business emotionally.
Okay, I went out and got a cool logo. Am I good to go?
Branding is not a logo. Your logo is just one piece of the puzzle. The logo can provide consumers with powerful brand recognition of your business but remember developing your brand identity before your logo is the first step to success. Without a strong brand strategy, the logo can actually weaken your branding. It is also important to keep your brand message consistent throughout your marketing material to build consumer recognition.
Alright, I’m starting to get a hang of this, but how do I brand effectively?
First you have to understand that branding is not about getting customers to choose you over the competition. It is about getting your prospects to see your business as the only solution to their problem.
- Deliver your company’s message clearly
- Confirm your credibility
- Connect your target prospects to your business emotionally
- Motivate the buyer to buy
- Increase user loyalty
Whether you are big or small, branding will help build and strengthen your business. To be successful at any level, branding must be the first step – not the last. If you would like more information or help with branding of your business, feel free to contact us.