Branding isn’t just for big multinationals -- your business can benefit from it as well.
Smaller companies are sometimes under the impression that branding is something that the big boys do. Nothing could be further from the truth. While larger companies can rely upon market saturation and greater awareness, the little guys have to distinguish themselves from the pack. One highly effective way to do this is through branding.
You’re probably asking yourself “why brand at all?” Branding is key for small businesses because:
- Motivation: Branding provides buyers with motivation to spend money. This is because branding establishes a connection with potential clients. With a strong connection the motivation to buy is also strong.
- Connection: Brands create the type of connection you want with clients and potential clients. With a brand your product becomes more than just a product. It connotes a certain image. While you must have substance to back up this image, the image does provide an extra boost.
- Credibility: Many brands use credibility as the cornerstone of their brand image. Think of the Chevy Truck “Like a Rock” campaign. While the campaign was not credibility itself, it did create a connection in the minds of people that Chevy and credibility were synonymous. Even more lighthearted campaigns can accomplish this goal. When you think of inexpensive insurance what do you think of? Geico and Progressive. While there are other discount insurance companies on the market, these have established a name for themselves as the credible discount insurance brands.
- Clarity: When done well, branding helps to establish a clear message about your company and its products. This highlights the crucial importance of researching your market and finding out what type of brand image is going to connect the best with your customers and potential customers.
Branding for Small Businesses
Now that you know the important of branding, you should start putting together a comprehensive branding plan for your company. Some important points in branding include:
- Websites: You need a professional website with its own domain. Even if you are selling products using an online storefront, host it at your own company’s website.
- Blogging: Blogs aren’t essential, but they are nice to have. They give people a reason to come to your site daily to look at new content. Remember, however, that you must provide people with a reason to look at the content. Keep your content quality and people will visit regularly. Also keep in mind that blogging is just one tool in your overall branding and marketing.
- Local Events: Go to events for local business, as well as community events. This helps you to communicate your brand image to the public.
- Follow Through: Always deliver on what your brand image promises. It sounds elementary, but so is making sure that your computer is plugged in before calling technical support.
- Take a Stand: Carve out a niche for your company with a brand. Customers are more likely to do business with a specialist than they are with a generalist.
- Accept That You Are Not In Control: You only guide the direction of your brand. You do not control it. Remember this and allow yourself to let go once you have done all you can to direct the brand.
Branding and Your Business
Getting a branding consultant might help, but it isn’t necessary. Scores of small businesses come up with good branding plans without any external help. The important thing is to have a plan and follow through on it, and cherish the reputation of your brand.