So, you are a small business and you are wondering, just how important is branding to you … isn’t that just for big businesses?
Big businesses certainly have the resources to spend on branding, but that does not mean small business should ignore branding for themselves.
People often confuse a logo, with branding. Branding is however a great deal more than just a logo. So, what makes up a brand?
- Colours chosen.
- Any “catch phrases” you might have developed such as “on call 24/7”.
- The people you employ.
- What you do or provide.
- Your company mission statement.
- Your target market.
Everything effectively associated with your business either helps to build a brand or undermine it!
So, what is the point of branding for small businesses?
- You don’t want to be confused with your competitors, do you? If not, then you need to create your own brand that distinguishes you from others.
- When people see your business name, you want them to form a mental picture of your business and what it represents. You want that mental picture to be as positive as possible. How do you do that? By your branding and by the quality of the service/products that your business provides.
- To get the greatest exposure possible for your business, you need everything you do and own to project your brand. That means anything from having your vehicle sign written, uniforms, stationery, signs, the building you occupy and anything else related to the business.
If you have any aspirations to build your business at all, then it is imperative that you build a brand. Why do you think the likes of MacDonald’s have spent so much money on their branding? Do you think McDonald’s would be nearly as big as they are, if all their stores looked different, all staff wore what they liked, the food varied between stores, the ads all looked different?
Effective branding will make your advertising more cost effective; it will make it easier for you to grow your business (with the right brand) and it will ultimately add value to your business.
So, when you are thinking about your businesses brand, think holistically about your whole business, not just the logo.
At this point, you are probably thinking, branding sounds expensive, so I can’t afford it; but it’s not necessarily the case. It does however require reflective time on your behalf to consider what you want people to think of your business. You need to translate that mental picture into words, which can then be used to develop your brand. Once you have done this, I would recommend you then go to a brand development expert who can create core elements to your branding, which you can then translate through your business. Generally, it involves a bit of outlay for the brand development initially, but if they set you up right, there is generally only limited cost going forward. You can then take responsibility for translating the brand across the business and find ways to do so at the least cost.
Your other alternative is to get a friend to draw you a logo or go online and get one done. It will be cheap, but it is just a logo and in itself, it is not your brand and will not give you the professionalism that a brand will.
Want to talk to someone about developing a brand for your business? Click on the link and we will be happy to help!