Branding is an underutilized factor of marketing by small businesses. Most small businesses focus their marketing efforts on proving their qualifications and lead generation; both of which are important. But branding is an investment that will generate returns in time. Contrary to popular belief, Brand marketing is not only for large corporations; a business of any size can benefit from branding. We will cover the benefits of branding and tips to increase brand awareness.
Benefits of Brand Awareness
Associated product or service value
The value of a product or service is not only perceived from the product or service itself but also the provider. When clients understand the qualitative difference between what you offer versus what your competitors do; your prices will be questioned less. People might negotiate the price of a Honda, but not a Rolls Royce. The perceived value of a good is measured by different factors depending on the industry but the one thing that remains constant is how well the brand name is known.
Brand Awareness Builds Trust
People now research the pros and cons of any good or service they are looking to procure. In that research they will do comparisons and this where the trust starts to matter. What is your brand associated with? Does your business seem legit? Who have you worked with? An example would be someone who wants to buy colgate toothpaste but the store has run out, they see sensodyne toothpaste is available. Whether or not they decide to settle for sensodyne will depend on if they have heard of the brand somewhere; this can be from a display ad, youtube ad or any ad that doesn’t require undivided attention. Consumers still occasionally purchase on impulse; and sometimes only bother researching things they’ve heard of.
The long term goal for any business is for their brand to become synonymous with something good. It is common language to research something by “googling it”, for a long time people associated making copings with xerox and I personally still refer to bandages as Band-Aids knowing full well that Band-Aid is a brand. Every business’ goal is success, if the business brand name is associated with that success it will only lead to further success.
A brand associated with success will have an easier time building trust with their clientele. From trust and success,value is perceived. High value allows setting your terms with consumers or other businesses.
How to build a Brand
The process of building a brand takes time, effort and costs money. This is why small businesses prefer to focus on generating leads. This kind of marketing generally does not directly generate leads or sales, they increase the likelihood of a lead or sale from your other marketing efforts. Fortunately there are methods you can follow to improve the brand awareness of your business.
Make Your Brand a Story
Now more than ever consumers care about what a brand represents. Your business should have a biography, how did it get started? Why? What motivated the start of your business? This can be done on a “about” page, how the business conducts itself on social media or by hosting and participating in events. Companies like Wendys is known for their playful nature on twitter, Redbull is world famous for hosting sporting events. Consider the tone and what you want your brand to represent
Don’t Always Sell, Socialize
It is easy to get caught up in the ROI of your marketing efforts. But that will only keep your sales constant, it won’t grow them. Take the time to learn who your clients are; consider what are their interests? Why did they choose to do business with you? You can also make it easy for your clientele to share and want to share information about your business. Offer blogs covering specific topics of information (like this!), how to video or even silly memes; be sure to include a share button wherever applicable so that your brand gets shared with everyone.
Branding does not outweigh other forms of marketing. Marketing campaigns targeting leads and sales are still needed, brand marketing is a long game and meant to support your other marketing efforts. Dedicate a reasonable amount of resources to your marketing or contact an agency to do it for you. We are always happy to answer questions so please reach out to us if you have any!