For the untrained eye, having a brand identity is something only for international corporations and larger businesses. And a term like branding feels directed only to the businesses earning billions each year.
Conversely, numerous small business owners and company directors believe that branding for small businesses is time-consuming and unprofitable; that a brand story is simply a creative ho-hum. And everything related to creating a branding strategy is a waste of energy and resources. Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth.
2021 registered 32.5 million small businesses in the US. And each year, that number grows considerably.
No matter the depth of your industry expertise, how you treat existing customers, and how well you manage finances are infinitely significant for the success of your company. How you position against other brands is not to be overlooked.
When your product is similar in quality and pricing to that of your competition, how do you convince the target customers that you are the best option?
Do Small Businesses Need Branding?
You may agree that a branding strategy is necessary, but do you know how crucial branding for small businesses is?
The average household required around 150 stock-keeping units (in short, SKUs) to satisfy 80-85% of their needs. Supermarkets exposed shoppers to approximately 40,000 SKUs, and there were registered 1 million SKUs in the US.
In the book Differentiate or Die, Jack Trout painted a comprehensive yet horrifying picture of what it means to be a brand in an era when markets have expanded immensely. By the time the book was written, it was 2008.
Since then, the products have multiplied tremendously, and the categories have expanded as well. The process of category expansion happens inevitably, confusing the consumer. Berry Schwartz addressed this idea that, nowadays, it is not the lack of choices that irks buyers but the sea of choices.
The paradox of choice doesn’t puzzle only your potential customers. It lowers the success rate for many small businesses. And the antidote to choice overwhelm is to create a strong brand identity.
The Importance of Branding for Small Businesses
Branding is necessary for forging lasting relationships with the target audience AND the target market. Even though a portion of the market, achieving brand recognition will only benefit you in the long run.
Establishing a branding strategy for your small business will increase trust, help with memorability, and bring in more customers through word-of-mouth.
Engage with the audience in such a way that they begin to foster trust for you and what you offer. The ideal customer will be drawn to you because you communicate shared values or because it’s easier to trust someone or something they know (of).
Branding imprints your business in the memory of consumers. A company that builds a coherent story that appeals to the target audience has a higher chance of being remembered and becoming the first brand that customers think of when shopping for a category. This concept is called top-of-mind awareness (TOMA).
Put in motion word-of-mouth marketing. A brandless business makes up for a storyless experience. And since people use stories as social currency, nobody would find a reason to mention a bland business during a conversation.
How To Start Branding Your Business?
As complicated as it seems, small business branding is something you can approach by formulating the core messages your brand communicates. They are also known as the mission statement.
Although building up to a comprehensive guide, you don’t have to start with a fully-fledged story. You only need to sketch a few messaging lines that respond to the following questions:
- Who you are
- What you do
- How your products help customers
- Why you and your products are unique
Write this message down—this is the foundation of your brand strategy. Based on it, you create your marketing plan, your visual identity, and your marketing strategies.
Branding for Small Businesses Tips
Firstly, you build a strong brand identity on consistency. Your core messages should dictate everything you do marketing-wise. The visual elements, color scheme, brand voice, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, and marketing messages. Everything should conform to your brand identity.
Even the business card should contain the visual elements dictated by the branding strategies.
Secondly, a successful brand is entirely aware of its competitors’ branding yet knows how to differentiate itself from direct competitors. The design of your website, packaging, blogs, and so on should be inspired by your branding and not by what the competition does.
And lastly, small business branding is powerful so long as sales, marketing, and branding are treated as a single unit rather than separate and dissociate instances. The sales funnel should inform your marketing decisions, and marketing should be the vessel in which the brand messages travel to the customers.
Stand Out With Small Business Branding
Budgeting time and resources to establish the form in which your business, products, and services reach your audience will have powerful effects in the long run, and your marketing strategy will be tenfold more effective.
Branding for small businesses is what separates prevailing businesses from those conceding. Sometimes, it is the primary reason why one company and another die.
Get in touch with our team to find out how we catalyze growth.