Let’s talk about branding. Branding isn’t only for major, multi-million dollar corporations. Creating a brand and having it recognized among your target audience — whether it’s local consumers, other businesses, online shoppers or a combination of the three — is critical to maintaining and growing your business.
A brand is the cornerstone of all marketing. From the brand stems a company’s identity: the logo, online, print and TV advertising, e-mail communications, direct mail, billboards, Facebook pages, press releases and probably a dozen other things. A strong brand gets recognized even when there’s almost no effort behind it.
Why build a brand? Because consumers inherently spend money with names they know. Why do you think over 100 potential buyers lined up eagerly when Hostess announced its bankruptcy last year? Even though dozens of companies throughout the years have tried to recreate the Twinkie, Ding Dong and Devil Dog, there is, in the end, only one true original and everyone knows they’re made by Hostess.
I know what you’re thinking. “I’m a small business. I only need to reach a couple of hundred people or so per month/quarter. Why would I need to create a strong brand?”
Because: You need to reach a couple of hundred or so people per month/quarter. Additionally, your potential customers are now moving targets. They’re searching your name on their smartphones, asking people for referrals, Googling, Facebooking, Tweeting and Pinning. Are they seeing your name?
Here are the biggest misconceptions about building a brand for a small-to-medium sized business:
- It takes too much money to create a brand
- No one will remember anyway
- Customers are fickle; no matter what I do I can’t change people’s minds
Here are the reasons you’re wrong:
- Marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot. There’s a really wide gap between multi-million dollar Superbowl ads and local media outreach. Any marketing program can be tailored to your budget.
- People remember more than you think…good and bad. How else do you explain holiday ads where everyone runs from Aunt Edna because she always gives the ugliest sweaters?
- You can change a customer’s mind. It takes effort, quality communications and time, but it can be done. Tylenol. BP. Jack in the Box. Enough said.
So now that you know why you need to build a brand for yourself, company, small business or e-commerce site, what are you waiting for? Summer is a great time to start planning for the surge of business that happens in the fall. Contact us today for a free consultation!