Why Small Businesses Need A Brand Identity, and How to Build One
There is this belief that branding is unnecessary and only big companies care about it when they have extra resources to invest. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth, and it is harming small businesses and startups to think this way.
Their budgets should go to their product development and marketing when businesses start, not on logo and branding paraphernalia. This is why most companies don’t even have a branding strategy in the first few stages, but as we said earlier, this is harming them.
This neglecting of the branding strategy puts small businesses at a more significant disadvantage with their competition. They need strong branding to compete. Why? Because in today’s hyper-connected and overly digital world, branding matters much more than it did years ago.
Why does branding matter so much? Shouldn’t having a great product or service and marketing be enough? Well, research shows that branding achieves brand loyalty. This, in turn, is worth ten times more than a single purchase because, with dedication, you secure more sales and referrals from your customers, helping you even reduce your marketing budget.
As you might guess, to create brand loyalty, you first need a brand. And how do you design a brand if you are not a branding expert? The answer is, you find and hire an excellent brand design company. Thankfully, there are so many great and creative agencies with different styles and specialized in various industries that all you have to do is search and choose the one you like the most. And before you even think about it, yes, some agencies will be costly, but remember that there is a vast variety, so finding one that works for your budget is also possible.
No, It Is Not Just the Logo
Despite what some people might think, a branding strategy is much more than just the logo. Of course, the logo is the starting point and the most memorable thing about your branding. A logo that can communicate who you are as a brand and used consistently in all communication points with the customer will imprint who you are in your audience’s mind.
Besides your logo, your brand strategy is a whole array of images, writing, tone, and more that will connect your audience to your business. It captures your mission, vision, the look of your store or website, and even more minor details like your social media tone.
A great way to think about what branding is to design what your customer’s gut feeling will be about your product, service, and company. It goes beyond their understanding or caring about your product or service, it is how they feel in their hearts and minds about what you do and the value you add to their lives.
As mentioned before, the world has changed, and this means people don’t just want a nice and cozy brand to buy; they want a brand powerful and meaningful enough that they can join it, almost as if it were a tribe. Customers want to join a brand that gives them meaning, makes them feel heard and seen, and as if they belong to it. This makes for some robust brand identification; it builds loyalty and trust and will separate you from the competition.
Branding strategy won’t just take care of the first impression you make, but it will impact how your customers will interact with you for the rest of their lives. This all boils down to the fact that having a branding strategy is a necessity for all companies. It doesn’t matter if they are starting or if they are already huge companies.
What are your brand goals?
Branding is not about luring in your customers; it is about connecting with them. That is why with your branding strategy, you can help your customers create their dream identity by buying your product.
For example, it might be debatable, but nowadays, most smartphones do the same. Yet, a brand like Apple is not about having the best smartphone but its identity and lifestyle. That is why people buy an iPhone. The same thing happens with other brands like Patagonia. It isn’t just a jacket. It is about feeling more adventurous and joining a tribe of responsible outdoor enthusiasts. Or even Coca-Cola customers aren’t buying a cola flavored soda; they are buying bottled happiness.
Building a branding strategy this strong is only possible when you have your brand goals clear, and they should include: a strong message of who you are and what are your values; consistency is the mother of everything on social media, if you are not consistent, your branding efforts will be lost; connect and engage sincerely with your audience if you want actually to gain their trust and make them loyal; brand awareness is hugely important, and you should always consider how to expand your reach.
Storytelling is your new best friend.
Brand storytelling is now hugely influential and has even been claimed as the future of marketing. Brand storytelling is the narrative you use to connect with your customers. It involves the use of facts and emotions to convey your message. It makes your brand more humane, giving it a tone and feel. It almost is like giving it a face among the mass of other businesses branding strategies.
Customers no longer care about the ‘what’. They care about the ‘why’. When you consistently share your brand story with them, why your brand exists, and why it matters, they will connect with your message in a much deeper and meaningful way.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you have to be sincere and cohesive with your message. If your branding strategy shows one thing and your products or services another, consumers will quickly pick up on that and feel betrayed. Imagine Tesla, after setting all this image about a car that has style but most importantly is environmentally friendly. Then it’s found to be one of the car manufacturers that contaminates the most, immediately their customers would lose their trust, and once that is lost, it is tough, if not impossible, to rebuild.
Give your customers the credit they deserve and only make claims and show things you genuinely care about through your brand storytelling.
It Improves your User Experience
A great way to understand or create the branding experience you want your customers to feel is by seeing your business through their eyes. Always think from their perspective, what they would like to see, feel, experience. What do they need to learn about you? To be user-centered, ask yourself these questions:
- How am I providing value to my customers?
- Which pain points do my consumers have, and how will my product/service help them fix them?
- What will their customer journey be like?
- Are they getting my brand’s values and mission from my branding?
- What would they say about my brand?
Dare to be different
Competition is getting fierce nowadays, and to make room for your brand in this crowded market; you need to stand out. You need to prove that you are different from all the other brands in your country and around the globe – thank the internet for that.
A way to achieve this is by investing in your branding. Invest time, energy, and money in it because it could make or break your company. Create a connection with your customers, prove that you add value to their lives, and build trust in you. Connect with them not only through social media but also emails and even in real life. Whatever you do, remember to always keep your user at the center of your branding design.
As we have seen, branding is not a ‘nice thing to have. It should be one of the main focuses of your business plan. Branding is now a non-negotiable because consumers won’t purchase if they don’t feel a special connection with the brand. Remember that you might have one of the best products or services out there, but it won’t be of much use if people don’t feel emotionally connected to your brand. A reputable web design service will help you create a brand identity that will make you stand out and achieve your goals.