Choosing A Brand and Branding A Business
A small business launching a product or service, whether online or offline, will put a lot of time and expense into branding a business which will appeal to consumers and potential clients. A brand identity can be among a business’ most valuable assets. A small business’s brand is what sets it apart from other business competitors. Branding is especially important during challenging economic times when no business can afford to lose a client or sale.
If your brand is strong, the benefits are that:
- Clients keep coming back, easing marketing pressures, lowering selling costs and increasing profit margins.
- You can command higher prices because customers derive added benefits from a brand they trust.
- Your product stands out from the competition, imbued with special qualities carried by the brand. Branding is just as important during economic downturns when maintaining sales and market presence is paramount to future success. A small business will not want another entrepreneur or business pretending to be associated with it and piggy-backing on its reputation.
Whether you’re launching a new brand or rejuvenating an existing one, here’s what it takes to build a strong brand.
Make Your Business Stand Out By Standing For Something
Small brands don’t have to equal small personality. Even if you operate a small business you can create a unique personality-filled brand to connect with your prospects and clients. Successful brands occupy a unique, relevant and compelling place in the hearts and minds of their business clients and customers. Positioning, based on brand differentiation and focus, is what builds brand values.
Know Your Business Market
The better you understand your business audience and the more affinity you have with those people, the greater your potential to create a brand that will truly resonate. To capture your market you must make sure your brand is uniquely positioned, clearly understood and compellingly in tune with client’s needs – so that in your territory it blows the opposition away. Without prior analysis and understanding of the market, you can’t differentiate yourself in the marketplace, you can’t position your brand compellingly, and you can’t hope for sustained success. Do you have a thorough knowledge of your market? Do you understand your client’s view of the world? Seek feedback from your clients. Ask the people who buy how you could serve them better and don’t be afraid to find the niche that best suits your business and stay there.
Make Your Business Own The Stage
Brands that try to be a little bit of everything to everyone, end up meaning nothing to anyone. Once you understand who and what your business market is, and who and what it isn’t, use your brand with confidence. Some people will not connect with your messages, but those for whom your brand is intended will be strongly attracted to its authenticity.
Ensure Brand Consistency
Brand consistency is important for the longevity of your brand as it builds consumer confidence and business brand affinity. Business clients and customers tend to distrust businesses that adopt different personalities and as consumers they become mindful of brands which change the way they speak to customers. It’s important to determine how your business and your employees behave. Do your business clients have a consistent experience at every point of their relationship with your business? Does your business affirm your brand promise? Inconsistency will dilute the brand’s position, allowing business competitors to take your market share.
Employ Social Networking Tools
Spread the word about your business brand at every opportunity on social platforms. Rich and unique brands have the capacity to spread the word further and wider than ever before with little effort. The more you use your brand, the stronger it becomes as a business asset, forming deep emotional connections with your market.
Protecting a Brand
The strongest form of protection for a brand is to register all trademarks used in connection with the brand. Basically, trademarks identify the products and/or services of a business, to enable consumers and potential clients to distinguish between its products and/or services from different businesses in the same or similar business industry. Unregistered trademarks can also be protected under Common Law, however, it is much cheaper and easier for a small business to enforce its trademark rights in a registered trademark than in an unregistered trademark. For this reason, businesses should strongly consider obtaining registered trademarks to protect its brand.