To the small company struggling to promote its products while worrying about meeting payroll each week, brand marketing may seem like a waste of resources. Spending an inordinate amount of money and time designing a brand story and getting customers to identify with it strikes some as a luxury they can’t afford. And so they put it on the back burner, promising themselves they’ll revisit the task at a later date.
But it may turn out that creating and marketing a brand upfront can help set the stage for impressive growth down the road. Moreover, it can be done without the large budget demanded by white-shoe advertising agencies.
In the following article, we’ll take a closer look at brand building for small companies. You’ll learn why it’s important, and the value in taking time to carefully define your brand. We’ll also discuss some of the potential roadblocks that can stand in the way of it creating a lasting impression on your customers.
The Value Of Brand Awareness And Identity
To fully appreciate the value of a well-defined and properly-marketed brand, it’s important to understand the ways in which it can help your business. It does more than merely help customers and prospects distinguish your company from your competitors. A logo can do as much. A solid brand creates a connection with your audience, resonating within customers and causing them to perceive your business as the best one to accommodate their needs.
Your brand identity should give you credibility in your market. It should instantly communicate what your business does, and the ideals it stands for. It should invoke memories of positive experiences customers have had with your company in the past. It makes a promise of future reliability and trustworthiness. These details dovetail to create a story around your business that your competitors are unable to penetrate.
Defining Your Brand And Identifying Your Market
Brand development is an important step that many business owners gloss over. In many ways, it will define how you approach your market in the future, and the opportunities you pursue to grow your business. It is during this step that many of the details that will ultimately drive your marketing strategy will be worked out.
For example, you need to identify your target market and determine how your company serves them. You need to pinpoint how your business adds value to your customers’ lives. This may require conducting a rigorous market analysis to learn as much as you can about your customers and prospects.
You should also create a list of goals you want to accomplish with your brand. This might include growing to the point that your customers immediately think of your company when they need to buy the products you sell. Along the same lines, it could involve dominating your niche, similar to Microsoft’s control of the PC market during the 1980s and 1990s.
It is only by defining your brand, identifying your target market, and establishing clear goals that you can hope to achieve those goals. It then becomes important to figure out where potential obstacles lie in your path.
What Is Preventing Your Company’s Brand From Succeeding?
Think about the barriers that might prevent you from accomplishing the goals you defined for your brand. For example, is your niche filled with stiff competition? Do one or more of your competitors already enjoy a superior market position that will be difficult to unsettle? Is there sufficient demand in your niche to accommodate another supplier?
Consider financial issues. Can you succeed in your space given your current overhead and costs? Will your niche support the prices you need to charge to finance growth down the road? What are the promotional avenues open to you to build and improve awareness around your brand?
By asking these questions in advance, you’ll be better prepared to meet the challenges that are sure to come. This early preparation can mean the difference between thriving in your niche and barely holding on.
Promoting And Maintaining A Consistent Brand Identity
In the beginning, you may give little thought to consistency in your marketing. Any tactic you can use to get the word out about your business and attract potential customers will seem a worthwhile endeavor. But eventually, you’ll want to promote a consistent brand image across every channel and media used.
For example, the logo on your Facebook page and Twitter profile should match the logo found on your company’s website. The messaging imprinted on the custom t-shirts and stickers given to customers and influencers should be the same as the messaging found on your product packaging and marketing collateral.
Promoting a consistent message makes it easier for customers to identify with your brand story. They’ll be able to more easily recall your company over your competition when they need the products or services you sell. They’ll feel more inclined to become raving fans of your business when talking with their friends and family members. And that’s the engine that drives brand awareness and revenue growth.
About The Author
Branding and Business strategy have always been a source of inspirational writting for this author. Currently he is working with www.StickersAndMore.com to promote the use of branded marketing materials.