While it might seem like branding is only relevant to large suit-and-tie corporations, the truth is that it’s necessary for small companies if they want to grow as well. Recently, IH Concepts asked several business owners and solopreneurs about their perception of branding. While several small business’ felt that branding is suited for big businesses and some had a negative perception of branding, many of the businesses we interviewed faced limited advertising budgets and erratic cash flow. Creating and maintaining a brand is a cost effective way to build up a company’s reputation, which will help gain customers and increase sales in the long run. Here are 4 reasons why branding is important for small businesses.
1. To Create Brand Awareness
This is an extremely important point to start with because brand awareness is how familiar customers are with a company and the products they produce. If someone doesn’t know about a local pet store, it’s very unlikely that they will end up buying from them and giving them their business. Because of this, it’s very important for small businesses to market their services and create a brand so people in the community are aware of their presence. Brand Awareness also helps generate word of mouth advertising. As an example of this, a former intern of IH Concepts worked in a local paper store that gained a lot of traffic into their store from word of mouth advertising. The store had a strong brand and left customers with a good impression, which turned them into return shoppers who also advocated for them.
2. To Communicate a Passion
The reason a lot of small businesses are created is because there is a need for a specific service, and someone who originated the company has a passion for what they do. A large part of branding is communicating that passion to potential customers so they can see the true heart of the small business and the qualities that define it. Once the companies story and passion are woven into the brand, customers may feel more emotionally driven to work with them.
3. To Show Customers What Type of Service/Product They Should Expect
When a company creates their brand, they define the attributes and values they stand for and what customers should expect when dealing with their company. This gives people a general overview of a company and can be the deciding factor when they are choosing who they want to give their business to. For example, if a small business is known for their made in the USA products, customers will expect quality goods and to pay a slightly higher price than imports. In another example, if a small business is known for their excellent customer service, customers will expect nothing less than the best if they have issues. It’s important for small businesses to stay true to their brand and to be consistent with the expectations they have provided for their customers. If a company has a reputation for quality customer service and they don’t consistently provide it, their reputation can be heavily impacted which can hurt the company.
4. To Be Memorable
While brand awareness, passion, and a company’s attributes and values are important, creating a brand that is memorable will ultimately ensure that the business stands out among competitors. Exceptional customer service, donating to fundraisers in the community, and selling quality products are just a few of the ways a small business can make themselves be memorable.
So What Does This Mean For Small Businesses?
When considering branding for a business, remember that it’s important no matter the size of the company. During a photoshoot for our branding presentation for IH Concepts, our photographer Daryna Ou took pictures of our model in professional attire and casual clothes. In the end, we decided to use the images of the model in a casual shirt and jeans because it was important for us to show that branding and marketing isn’t just for large, fancy corporations, but for small businesses as well. Every business needs to focus on their brand if they want to be successful and grow as an organization.