Building a powerful brand by using a consistent marketing strategy is absolutely essential to having a successful and profitable small business.
A powerful brand identity can influence your customers to buy your product or service over your competitors — even if they have to pay more for it! A powerful brand can influence your customers to think that no one else, but you or your company, can deliver the quality or the benefits that they want.
By building a unique brand identity, you can have the most powerful business edge that your competitors can NEVER take away from you!
The Problem: Your customers are constantly bombarded with marketing messages from your competitors. It’s hard to stand out and get your own message heard. You try to have an edge by having a great product or service. But, your competitors just keep creating a similar version of your product or service… or even a better and cheaper version.
The Solution: How do you get a business edge that your competitors can never take away? By building a powerful brand! Having your own brand identity will maximize the effectiveness of your marketing. Branding helps your business by simplifying your customers’ decision– when they need your product or service… they need only to think of you.
Building a Powerful Brand Identity for Your Small Business Doesn’t Have to Cost a Lot of Money
Do you think that you would have to have a lot of money in order to build a powerful brand identity for your small business? This is a common misconception. When we think of branding, we often think of IBM, BMW, Coke, McDonald’s and the gazillion dollars they spend to build their brands. But, there are creative ways of building a powerful brand without spending a lot of money.
Before you start developing your brand marketing strategy, you must understand what a “brand” is and how it can affect the profitability and success of your business.
What Is a Brand?
A brand can be a name, a phrase, an image, a symbol or a combination of things that tend to identify the products or services of one company as unique or different from its competitors. A brand can represent something intangible about your company, your product or service. It can be a combination of feelings and perceptions about your name, image, quality, reputation and personality.
At its most powerful level, branding creates in the mind of your customers the perception that there is no other company, product or service like yours!
A powerful brand can influence your customers to buy your product or service over your competitors — even if they have to pay more for it! A powerful brand can influence your customers to think that no one else, but you or your company, can deliver the quality or the benefits that they want.
Why Is Branding Important?
* Your personal reputation or branding can attract and repel opportunities. It has a powerful effect on people’s opinions and actions.
* The most powerful marketing you can have is a positive reputation or branding. Your customers will either be attracted to what you have to offer or they will avoid it.
* A good reputation or branding can bring repeat sales without advertising… while a bad one can cause a business to fail.
* People will pay more for a brand that they trust.
* Having a strong brand or reputation can influence people. It can influence people to buy. It can influence people to choose you over your competitors.
* When opportunities are attracted to you and you don’t know why, it’s often your personal reputation or branding at work.
* A good reputation or brand builds a customer’s confidence and trust BEFORE a sale is made.
* Do your very best to protect your reputation and your brand. Even if it took you many years to build it, it will take just a few seconds to destroy it.
* The most successful businesses are not necessarily those with the best employees, products or services. They are the ones with the best brand due to consistent application of the best marketing strategies and the best brand management.
How Do You Develop Your Own Brand Identity?
Make a decision about your brand building goals before you start developing your brand identity. You want to be clear as to what it is that you want to accomplish with your brand… what “image” you want for your brand. Once you have a unique brand identity, you will have to communicate your brand in all your marketing strategies consistently and repeatedly.
“To establish a favorable and well-defined brand personality with the consumer, the advertiser must be consistent. You can’t use a comic approach today and a scientist in a white jacket tomorrow without diffusing and damaging your brand personality.” — Morris Hite
* Make a list of things that are unique about you, your company and your products or services. Based on the information on your list, create your unique brand identity. Your brand identity should help you come up with good answers to the following questions:
1. Why would anyone use your web site instead of your competitor’s site?
2. Why would anyone buy from you instead of your competitors?
* Select the best marketing strategies that can create increased awareness of your unique brand identity in your target customers. Communicate your brand in all your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly marketing strategies… consistently and repeatedly.
* Communicate what is unique about your brand as often as you can. As your customers’ awareness of your brand goes up, your sales should also go up.
When you create a powerful brand identity, you will build mind share. It is not only the best competitive advantage that you can have… it is the most powerful business edge that your competitors can NEVER take away from you!