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The Importance of Strong Branding for Small Businesses

Home » Business advice » The Importance of Strong Branding for Small Businesses
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Studies have shown that kids can recognize and correctly identify logos before they can read. That’s how powerful logos and color choices can be!

And while these studies used large-scale brands, smaller businesses can benefit from strong branding just the same. But what is branding? Unless you’re a marketing executive, you may not understand all the components that go into a “brand.”

That’s where we come in. We’re explaining what branding is and how it benefits small businesses, below.

What’s a Brand, Anyway?

Whats-a-Brand-Anyway

While it might seem like a marketing buzzword, brands are like your company’s personality. They help people know what to expect from your business, give you guidelines on how to conduct yourself, and help determine your marketing content.

Brands consist of a few components, including your “voice,” your market position, values, and what makes you different from your competition. Great on-brand marketing can communicate all brand components without stating them word for word.

The Benefits of a Strong Brand For Small Businesses

The-Benefits-of-a-Strong-Brand-For-Small-Businesses

Putting money aside for marketing is challenging. As a small business owner, you could put your funds in tens of other places, including in your own pocket! Investing in your brand isn’t immediately gratifying in terms of profit, but it sets you up for success in the long run.

Every small business owner wants to see their company “blow up” someday. Branding helps you prepare for that: fake it until you make it!

1. Recognition

Like we said above, great branding (which includes your logo and colors) transcends age. You want people to see your logo and immediately know what to expect.

For example, let’s look at Target vs. Walmart. When you think of Target, you think of a clean, enjoyable shopping experience. If you had to identify the stereotypical Target shopper, you’d probably say middle-class white women with kids (and you’d be right).

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Walmart’s vibe is a little different. The customer service isn’t as responsive as Target, they’re built in different neighborhoods, and, of course, there are all the memes and books about the things you see in a Walmart. However, consumers understand that they have to expect a little less to access Walmart’s low, low prices.

Even though you’re not a marketing professional, you could probably have named the differences between Target and Walmart above yourself. That’s how powerful brand recognition is.

You want people to look at your company and be able to make the same sort of assessments.

2. Audience Appeal

If you invest in your branding, you’ll automatically know who your customer base is. When Chik-fil-a decided to tie religious values to their business, they knew that they’d attract more like-minded people to shop with them. They understood that broadcasting their values meant that they would “turn-off” some groups of consumers.

If your brand values inclusivity, then you know you may not appeal to consumers who don’t buy into that concept. While it’s tempting to appeal to as many consumers as possible, shoppers who identify with your values are more likely to invest in your business.

Branding helps you spend your marketing budget efficiently.

3. It Differentiates From Your Competition

If you own a pizza restaurant, what makes you different than your local Dominos or Pizza Hut? Those are your brand differentials, and your marketing should communicate that.

The old saying is that it should be “faster, better, or cheaper” than what already exists. We want to alter that to “faster, better, cheaper, more value-aligned, or more sustainable.”

Don’t overlook the importance of those new additions. Research shows that most consumers are willing to spend a bit more money if they feel like their purchase does good in some way.

4. It Builds Loyalty

Brand integrity is a great way to get repeat customers. Using the Pizza example, if your brand values fresh, high-quality ingredients, then people know what to expect and will return.

You want people to visit your business and be able to describe your brand values to their friends, like: “I went to that new Pizza place today, and they use all local, fresh ingredients. You’re going to love it!”

Having a strong brand and delivering on your values does some of your marketing for you.

5. It Gives You and Your Employees Guidelines

If your brand values are honesty and compassion, you’ll know how to respond when a customer complains or has something go wrong. If your brand values are fresh and funny, you may laugh at yourself before delivering the necessary customer service.

Imagine a customer tweets a business about a complaint. Your branding is the difference between “We’re so sorry you had that experience, we’re reaching out” and whatever Wendy’s Twitter would reply that makes the customer laugh.

The Importance of Branding for Small Businesses

The-Importance-of-Branding-for-Small-Businesses

In the past, businesses have felt like they had to be cold and personality-less. They were there to deliver the customer a product politely and at the right price, but nothing else.

Nowadays, people expect businesses to have a personality. Don’t be afraid to show that in your branding: you’ll be better off for it. Feeling overwhelmed by that prospect? Work with an expert to create your marketing campaign today.

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