Most small business’s create a service or product, give it a name and perhaps a logo and maybe develop a web site. They run ads in the local newspaper, or monthly magazine and maybe radio. Sometimes, they run an event or develop a promotion.
Many small businesses develop their marketing efforts without a plan. They tend to hire a designer for their logo, find a web developer for their web site and choose magazine design department to develop their ads for the magazine. The problem with this is that these marketing elements are never truly integrated. The business principal tends 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.
What they should do is invest in is a branding or Re-branding study that identifies who they are, what they stand for and what is their point of difference to competition.
A Brand study delivers a Brand document that includes 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 its 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, what you offer, what you stand for, what makes you unique, and how you will succeed. It makes you relevant to target customers, is consistent with your vision of success and leads you to a winning future. It is realistic, sustainable, focused, concise, provocative and exciting.
From the Brand position, the business can begin to develop the marketing elements such as a name, logo, web and advertising…all built, designed and integrated to deliver a distinctive brand identity.
Most importantly, a brand uniquely identifies a company and its products, differentiating it from competition. It enhances perceived value, quality and satisfaction experienced by the customer. A brand provides a springboard for new products contributes to stable long-term demand and maximizes profitability.
The true advantages to Branding for 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.
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 a lot smarter that 90% of all small businesses.
The companies that make an investment in Branding will take market share from their competition and grow their business.