The Advantages Of Branding Your Small Business
A brand is without question one of a business’s most valuable assets. That may sound strange at first, as we often confuse a business’ brand for its logo. But Branding Your Small Business is much more than just a trademarked image, it’s the impression that you give and the presence you establish in your respective market. And brands aren’t just for big names with even bigger budgets, small businesses will greatly benefit from branding as well.
When your small business has a brand, it also has an identity. It allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors, making it easier for your customers to connect with you. People prefer to buy from brands that they’re familiar with, and branding your small business is a guaranteed way to make it memorable.
You also have the added benefit of easier introductions when meeting with marketing agencies, other entrepreneurs, setting up shop at conventions, posting to a job board, and so on. Brand equity, the value that a company earns from name recognition alone when compared to the generic product, strongly influences how profitable a business is. This means you’ll be spending less time telling people who you are and what you’re all about, and more time making sales, closing deals, and leaving your mark on the industry.
Once more, a logo and a brand are not interchangeable. Think of the brand as buried treasure and the logo as the X on the map. The X is a symbol for the location of the treasure chest, and by extension a symbol for wealth. It’s a visual cue that communicates ‘There’s wealth and riches to be found! You want it? This is where you need to be’.
In other words, the brand is a message and the logo is a means of sharing that message. Imagine if Nike didn’t have that signature swoosh mark but instead put ‘These are very good shoes and you should buy them’ on everything. Can you imagine how much ink would be wasted? But when people see that symbol, that’s exactly what they think. That kind of free advertising isn’t exclusive to logos either. A catchy jingle or a clever billboard in a high traffic area can tell people something about your business just like that swoosh mark does for Nike.
The more people are able to recognize you, the more inclined they are to recommend you. Even if people can’t remember your business’ name they’re bound to remember something about it. Referrals are much more effective for ‘That place on Main Street with the bright pink sign in the window or ‘The one with the business cards shaped like acorns’ than just a name alone.
Not only will you begin to attract more people, you’ll start to attract the right people. Something about the image you give and the message you share is going to resonate with people, making them want to buy from you specifically. Your target audience will have an easier time finding you when you give the impression you want to be found. Even better…
Not only are people more inclined to buy from brands that they’re familiar with, they’re also willing to pay more for the names they know. They’re attracted to brands who share their values, so dishing out a little extra doesn’t feel like ‘I have to pay more’ so much as it does ‘I know I’ll get my money’s worth’. Customers are confident in what they can expect from you, from the quality of your goods and services to how easily accessible your customer service line is.
Being able to hire employees is one thing, but hiring people who want to come to work? That’s a completely different ballgame. Branding Your Small Business is a great way to create a positive work environment. When employees understand the mission of their workplace they know what they’re working towards, inspiring them to give their 110% after they clock in. Not to mention the sense pride and satisfaction that comes with feeling like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself.
Brands are something we tend to associate with large corporations, so branding your small business can put you on par with them in people’s minds. You appear more professional, more reliable, and more knowledgeable. This can be especially helpful if you’re in a field where people may not know much about the product or service they need and are trusting you not to screw them over.
Once you’ve made your mark locally, you’re probably going to start thinking about opening up new locations. If you have a strong brand already there’s a chance people in neighboring areas are familiar with you, and will be thrilled to hear you’re coming to their neck of the woods.
Perhaps you aren’t ready to expand to another location, but you’re instead looking to expand your inventory. It won’t be hard to convince people to try your new product or service if they already know you’re the real deal. No matter what direction you’re trying to take your small business, branding it will help you get there faster. And a strong brand will help you SMASH your way there.