What is branding?
When you think of branding, you may think of large conglomerates that have nailed their branding such as Coca-Cola, Apple or Nike. But you’re not sure how to achieve something similar but on a smaller scale for your small business.
Branding can be defined as the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a business, it’s products or services in their customers’ minds through the businesses logo, design, mission statement and consistent theme throughout all marketing activities.
When it comes to selling online, having an established brand can help distinguish your business from competitors, particularly as many new ones pop-up.
Why is branding important?
Branding can be a complex process which is why there are many professionals out there who specialise in branding alone. In a perfect world you would have your branding strategy mapped out before you launched your business, but this isn’t the case most of the time.
A strong brand can support a business in many different ways. But if done incorrectly, can damage the brand’s reputation.
Why do small businesses need branding?
Now you’ve looked at what branding is, and its importance. Let’s look at the reasons why small businesses, like yours, need branding.
1. Stand out from competitors
No matter what product or service you sell, you most definitely won’t be the only business in town, so to speak. Having a strong brand can help differentiate your business from your competitors, from establishing what makes your business or product different to demonstrating to customers why they should shop with you instead of your competitors.
Pro Tip: A USP (Unique Selling Point) comes in handy here.
2. Creates brand awareness & recognition
Branding helps your business develop recognisable visual and intangible identity traits in the form of brand guidelines. From your business personality to your brand colours, font, language, logo and so on. Being recognisable helps you create a distinctive style and increases your brand recognition within the market.
3. Creates a consistent brand experience
Your customer’s experience should be a top priority, both in-store and online. Branding can help you develop a much-improved brand experience for your customers, which in turn can help your business succeed. Branding allows you to control the way your business is perceived and experienced, no matter the medium. Consistency is key when it comes to branding and your customers’ experience, especially when it comes to your workwear.
4. Builds trust
Branding is one of the most important tools in a businesses toolbox for building trust and loyalty. The most successful businesses are ones that adopt emotional connections with customers which can be done through branding. The emotional connection is what turns them from a one time customer, into a loyal returning customer who recommends your products or services to others.
5. Increases business value
Branding isn’t just important when generating business but it’s also a future proof way to increase the businesses value. With a very well established brand, a business can leverage more within its industry. This in turn makes the business more appealing to investors because of it’s established position within the market. This can also open up other additional opportunities such as partnerships.
Brands are something that can live forever and once finalised makes marketing your business and its products much easier. Your brand guidelines coupled with market research, and analysis should help you determine what the best way to market your business is.