Every company is born as a small business. Many start out by creating a service or product, giving themselves a catchy name and perhaps a logo. They will try to save a few bucks by creating a “free” website themselves, run ads in the local newspaper, monthly magazine, and maybe even radio. Sometimes, they run an event or develop a promotion to spread the word of their existence.
The Downfalls to DIY Branding
The problem is that many small businesses fall short when they develop their marketing efforts without a plan. They tend to hire a designer for their logo, find a web developer for their website and then choose a magazine design department to develop their ads for the magazine. The problem with this is that these marketing elements never integrate, and this leaves their brand scattered. The business owner does the best they can to manage these functions until they become large enough to hire a marketing manager and maybe an agency to develop all their marketing and advertising efforts.
Benefits of Investing in an Agency
A smarter, long term approach is invest in a branding or re-branding study that identifies who they are, what they stand for, and what their point of difference is to their competition.
Brand studies deliver a brand document consisting of the brand’s DNA, a brand vision, and a brand position. The brand DNA is developed from the company’s core values, products and/or services, and intended personality. All content is distilled into the brand’s soul. The brand’s DNA is what truly differentiates the small business from their competition.
The brand vision is who you are as a brand. It’s developed from what you offer, what you stand for, what makes you unique, and how you will succeed within your category. It makes you relevant among your target customers, remains consistent with your vision of success, and leads you to a winning future. It is realistic, sustainable, focused, and provocative.
Once the brand vision has been developed, the business can begin to craft their marketing elements. These components include a name, logo, website, and advertising…all built, designed, and integrated to deliver a distinctive brand identity.
Why Businesses Should Prioritize an Investment in Branding
A cohesive brand is the one thing that uniquely identifies a company and its products. It differentiates a company from their competition and enhances perceived value, quality, and satisfaction experienced by the customer. Integrated branding provides a springboard for new products, contributes to long-term demand, and maximizes profitability.
The true advantages to branding small businesses are:
- Brands are about consumer insight, not data.
- Brands have loyal users, not customers.
- Brands have a strategy, not a description.
- Brands are proprietary, not generic.
- Brands have an attitude, not just a name.
- Brands have a competitive advantage.
- Leading brands sell more, command a price premium, earn more profits, influence the entire market, and attract high caliber strategic partners.
- Brands are driven by the sum total of consumers’ impressions, experiences and exposure, not price.
Why Small Business Branding is a Necessity
Many small business owners never realize the importance of Brand Architecture and what it means to sustaining growth and creating synergy across the company. The question they should ask themselves is: am I a Master Brand, a Trustmark Brand or a Portfolio Brand? If they know the answer to that question, they are smarter that 90% of all small businesses.
The companies that make an investment in branding will take market share from their competition and find significant success as they grow their business.