How much time, money and efforts startups and small businesses have to put in branding to find their feet in this competitive environment? Do they even need to invest in branding? The wrong assumption that branding is for bigger names with nationwide recognition and massive budgets. Branding is all about hiring third party branding companies charging boatloads of money for creating and implementing brand development strategies.
These strategies include aggressively pushing the brand’s name on TV, radio, social media, internet, in supermarkets, and so on. These wrong assumptions keep startups and small businesses from growing because they do a little to make their potential customers aware of their presence in the market. Branding is more than having a catchy logo and fancy looking business cards. The irony is that big brands are already well-established. So, a small business dreaming of becoming a key player in the market should allocate a bigger chunk of the marketing budget for creating and implementing brand development strategies.
According to research, 50% of customers consider becoming loyal to a brand during the first purchase. It helps as when you are selling good quality products or services, customers will love to know your name to revisit for more purchases. It gives them a credible voice. Still, if you are uncertain whether you should invest in brand development strategy or not, we have the following points to make.
Branding is way more than printing logos and business cards even when you have just launched your business. It’s because your brand is not all about you. It includes the face, values and personality of your business and also your customer’s perception. You have to reflect your values and personality everywhere from your social media to face-to-face interactions with a group of people that will recognize you as a brand.
If you think that branding is done to lure your prospects, this is not how it works. Branding is done to make sure that people see you as a dependable name, someone who can address their needs. Do it to achieve the following objectives:
Use branding to reflect a bold proclamation you are making. Tell them that you mean business. Tell them that you are there to make some promises and keep those promises. Exemplify what your business stands for. This will make your brand recognizable. However, keep in mind that your customers should not be able to notice the gap between your promises and what you deliver. Make sure that no such gap exists. These gaps can hurt your brand awareness and overall well-being. This gives them a reason to abandon you.
A complete branding and marketing strategy considers the entire journey. It touches every single point in this journey before and after the purchase. You have to make sure that:
The goal is to create a loyal customer. If your marketing strategy is aligned with your broader business objectives, this is going to be great for your business.
The market is stiflingly competitive. There are thousands of companies making the same claims. However, you have to stand out. You cannot become a brand by competing at a local level. You don’t need to aggressively widen your physical presence. Do this on the web.
As your branding begins to bear fruit, people get to know you better. They start trusting you. However, you have to give them a reason to trust you and this begins right from the first customer. You have to offer the best customer experience. Your Facebook page, and Twitter are the places where they can say good or bad about your business. Handle both negativity and positivity in a professional manner.
Imagine you are offering plumbing services in your city and its neighborhoods. Impressed by your service, your existing customer can help by bringing new customers but only if he knows your name. This is where branding helps by keeping you in their minds. Branding establishes a relationship between you and your customers.