Think about how you present yourself on the daily—the clothes you don, the way you communicate with others, the delivery of your actions.
Those aspects are deeply incorporated in the ‘brand’ that you’ve constructed for yourself, determining how others perceive you.
Forming a substantial corporate identity holds the same importance as creating a personal brand.
If you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), you might think that branding is only for large organisations with ample funds to splurge.
However, branding is imperative for businesses of all sizes, and SMEs especially may do well in appropriating this strategy.
Considering today’s competitive market, having a solid branding plan can work wonders in distinguishing your company from rivals and creating a lasting impression on consumers.
But what exactly is branding apart from an overused term by the marketing department?
How can it be advantageous to SMEs in Malaysia? Let’s find out!
What is branding?
While having a company logo and colour scheme are part of the branding process, they’re merely the tip of the iceberg.
Not to be confused with marketing, which is designed to promote your business, branding cultivates a persona for your company.
It is a set of emotions and concepts that convey your brand to customers; what you promise to them and what makes you a better choice apart from the abundance of competitors.
The branding process is carried out through a series of verbal and visual cues, explicitly identifying the products and services that you provide.
Your brand should evoke emotion from consumers when they think about your business. But how can you impress audiences and ensure that that emotion is a positive one?
There are many elements used in building a brand, such as a distinctive corporate identity, corporate website, customer service, and your company’s values and goals. They all come together to create a professional corporate profile.
Elements of branding
Your brand identity should be an accurate, visual representation of your business.
Ruminate on how you wish to express your company’s core values and mission to consumers in the elements that go into creating this identity.
- Logo: A company’s primary spokesperson is first and foremost, its logo. The design of this little symbol should adhere to your firm’s goals and values, for example, using a green colour scheme to signify eco-friendliness.
- Brand imagery: Not to be confused with brand image, brand imagery refers to the related visuals you use in communications with your audience, and it typically centralises around your logo’s colours. The visuals on your website or social media platforms should be carefully curated to complement your brand’s signature colours and overall message.
- Brand personality: This facet is vital in humanising your brand so that it forms emotional connections with its customers. Instead of being just another corporate entity, brand personality can bring a business to life. You can research the ‘characters’ of your competitors and determine what sets you apart.
- Brand voice: Just like how a person’s tone tells you a lot about their personality, companies should have a distinctive voice that consumers can trace back to their brand. When developing a brand voice, you should define the tone of articulation you want your company to have. Are you a serious enterprise or one that’s more laid-back and fun?
How does branding help SMEs in Malaysia?
SMEs make up 98.5% of the businesses in Malaysia.
You don’t have to analyse the numbers to know that competition is tough. Without branding, an SME is lost in the raging seas of rivalry, unable to get noticed.
Branding can shape the way people perceive your brand, generate more sales and turn your firm into the go-to for your niche in the business world.
If you’re not yet sold on the idea, allow us to detail how branding can expand your business:
If you think about the letter ‘F’ coupled with the colour blue, chances are Facebook immediately pops to mind.
When you consistently apply visual cues like your company logo and distinct brand imagery, audiences will start to associate these cues with your brand.
This measurement of your target audiences’ ability to identify your logo and affiliated colours with your brand portrays what we call brand recognition.
A professional logo design should be memorable and impactful in a way that people can recognise your brand at first glance.
Increase brand awareness
Once a company achieves brand awareness, other branding strategies can help generate brand awareness—where consumers identify a logo with not only its business but the goods and services associated with them.
Increase business value
Having a strong brand increases business value, as holding a place of prominence in their respective industries gives SMEs more leverage over their various counterparts.
It also generates future business, whether from customers or prospects looking for investment opportunities in a niche market.
Establish brand loyalty
Similar to how Netflix is the go-to site for entertainment and Shopee for affordable yet decent products, a unique brand will keep customers coming back for more.
With consistent branding, you eventually form a trusting relationship with your audiences to deliver their desired experiences.
Brand loyalty ensures that customers are in it for the long haul as opposed to discovering new brands that provide the same things, eliminating competition.
Generate new customers
Aside from brand loyalty, excellent branding can generate new customers.
Once your SME leaves a positive impression, consumers are likely to refer you to family and friends as a dependable and reputable brand.
After all, word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising.
Complement advertising strategies
Although advertising is branding itself, is it a crucial component of the process.
Advertising strategies reflect directly on any SME’s desired image.
Therefore, branding can make it easier to compose engaging advertising strategies that demonstrate your company’s vision.
All in all, proper branding will attract your target audience to your SME and reduce the amount of buying options available.
You grow more fit to overcome buyer objections and may even have the justification to charge more for your products and services.
Walk Production offers all the services you need to develop a professional corporate identity!