Many small businesses tend to miss the importance of branding because of their business size.
Some might even wonder if branding is only crucial for large companies with huge budgets or recognition.
However, we beg to differ.
What comes to people’s minds when they think about your business is what your brand is.
With good branding, you can attract new clients and keep existing customers satisfied; the benefits of branding are countless!
The Importance of Branding for Small Businesses
With that said, here are a few reasons why branding is so important, and should not be overlooked by small businesses.
1. Branding Is Your Reputation
Branding is vital for businesses of all sizes because your brand is your reputation.
Your brand helps shape how people think of your company.
Besides impressive logos and graphic design, your small business brand also comprises your company’s story, mission, vision, values and the purpose behind what you do.
How would you want people to perceive you when they think of your brand?
If you want people to acknowledge who you are and what you do clearly, then branding is the key to the expansion of your business.
2. Branding Improves Recognition
Branding is also crucial for your business because it invites recognition.
Branding helps you be more recognizable to the public.
With that, customers can easily spot and remember your company. That’s why your business or company logo is important as it is the ‘face’ of your company.
Not only should your logo be memorable and straightforward, but also powerful enough to make the right impression with the customers.
Your prospects would also be more likely to notice you compared to other companies who have none or inconsistent branding.
3. Branding Differentiates You From the Competition
When your business is starting to gain recognition, you now have the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.
We live in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
However, with proper and effective branding, small businesses can compete in the market, along with other big names and brands.
Through branding, SMEs can convey what is so different about them from other companies; what they do better than everyone else and why customers should choose their brand over all the alternatives.
With that said, branding can help your customers make better decisions when you tell them what makes your company so distinct from others.
4. Branding Creates Credibility
We’ve covered how branding can help small businesses gain recognition and distinction in the competitive marketplace.
With these achievements comes credibility as well.
A strong brand invites trust and confidence from customers and makes your small business feel legitimate and credible.
Just as customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that appear legitimate and prominent; consumers would also likely trust or feel more comfortable with companies that have a professional image.
Being branded or properly branded gives the impression of being a reputable industry that the public can trust.
5. Branding Supports Your Advertising Efforts
Digital marketing and advertising are other components that are important for a brand.
Their advertising can be increased in quality as there is consistent branding across all platforms and mediums, spreading the word about their business and standing out from the crowd.
Because without proper and consistent branding, customers and business clients might have a hard time remembering you.
6. Branding Generates New Customers
When small businesses have effective and memorable branding, they can also generate new customers and revenue through word-of-mouth referrals.
Let’s take Starbucks, for example.
Have you heard of theories where the baristas would spell customers’ names wrong purposely so that they will post about in social media or tell their friends?
Whether or not this theory is true, it still sounds like a genius marketing strategy.
Overall, by building a strong brand, you create a lasting impression on the customers’ minds.
Think about it, how can you tell someone about a fantastic product or service, without remembering what brand it was?
7. Branding Can Build an Emotional Connection with Your Audience
Branding also helps in building emotional ties between you and your target audience.
Your brand can help create a personal connection with your customers when it reflects your company’s values.
When your customers connect with these values on a deeper level, they will get attached to your brand and may become huge advocates for your brand throughout their lives.
Even on a small business level, this type of brand loyalty can be created.
8. Branding Inspires Employees
Not only do customers may connect with you, but even small business employees can also advocate for your brand when you have effective and inspiring branding.
Many employees need more than work; they need something purposeful to work towards.
When employees understand the values and mission of the company; and these values align with theirs, they are more likely to feel the same pride and carry your vision and mission forward.
They are more likely to feel satisfied with their job and stand behind a brand that they believe in, thus increasing motivation, morale and productivity.
READ MORE: Brand vs Business: Know the Difference
How Can A Small Business Build Their Brand Cost-Effectively
As mentioned before, many small business owners tend to overlook the importance of branding, and usually affiliate it with large companies that could afford to spend more.
However, building a brand doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Small businesses can also do their branding in cost-effective ways and reap great returns.
Hence, here’s a few ideas for all the small businesses who want to build a brand on a budget :
1. Define Your Brand Identity Beforehand
By building a brand cost-effectively, it is essential to define your brand identity first before you get started on the process.
This process may seem unassuming, but we assure you that it is undoubtedly crucial.
That is because if you don’t have a clear brand identity in mind, you may spend more time, effort and resources on building a branding that is inconsistent, confusing and all over the place.
To figure this one out, small business owners can take time to think and plan on who they are as a company, its values, mission, and vision.
2. Insource Your Designs
Small business owners can save up on logo and graphic design by insourcing their design works.
There are a few advantages to creating your logo and design by yourself, such as it being cost-effective, owners gaining full creative control and producing one-of-a-kind design in the market.
Many tools can be taken advantage of by small business owners who want to insource their design.
The Internet provides plenty of logo/design, making tools and software.
Though it may seem scary to do it yourself, it’s worth a shot in exploring what creative direction you want.
3. Create Content through Blogging
Content marketing is one of the best ways to build your brand without spending a fortune.
With that said, small business owners should pick up blogging for an inexpensive marketing strategy.
Although blogging is cost-effective, it does take up time; but the return of this investment is worth it.
Blogging is an excellent way to build your brand, create links to your website, give detailed information to customers and subtly persuade them to invest or work with you.
Besides that, through informative and engaging blogs, it can drive traffic to your site and reach a wider audience.
4. Make Use of Social Media
If you want to build your brand and increase your small business’ outreach, then social media marketing is the way to go.
Small business owners can create and manage their social media accounts for free.
There are tons of social media platforms to build your brandings such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Content is still key when it comes to using social media.
What good is there if you have a business account but lack information, attractive imagery, appealing content and up-to-date posts?
With that said, small business owners can build a strong online presence by creating content and making use of social media marketing.
5. Print Advertising
Small businesses can also utilize print advertising in building their brand.
Although print advertising may cost a lot when done in bulks, small businesses can opt to advertise their company by printing it out in smaller amounts.
With proper and effective branding, not only will it remind the clients of your brand experience, but your brand and design may be noticed by acquaintances of the client itself, thus leading to word-of-mouth referrals of your brand.
Every business is encouraged to have its own website.
A website domain can be bought at a low price.
Even if it does cost a little to purchase and maintain a website, a strong online presence is a very cost-effective way to reach out to your audience and let them know about your brand and business.
It is said the website is the face of your brand. Therefore, if you are able, why not try and invest in web design?
Also, websites can be optimized with SEO services to drive more web traffic and increase your visibility online.
7. Collaborate with Like-Minded Companies
Small businesses with low marketing budgets can create a partnership with other small or large companies to increase brand awareness.
With that, small companies can first identify what their brand represents and what their target audience is interested.
Then, they can identify businesses with similar goals and work together to leverage each other’s strengths.
With that said, we hope this article has shed light on all the business owners out there when we say that branding is indeed important.
With the fierce competition in the marketplace, business owners have to provide their customers with a compelling reason why they should choose you among the others.
Plus, the whole process doesn’t necessarily need a huge budget!
Need Some Help with Your Branding?
Although these strategies to build your brand sound useful and helpful, we understand if it can be overwhelming to some of you; especially for those who are new in the business industry.
Hence, Walk Production is a creative agency equipped with quality and comprehensive services to grow your business.