Why small business owners NEED to care about branding!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013 00:00
Posted in Branding
Written by  Emma Mackenzie

We’ve all heard the word ‘brand’ thrown around - but what does it actually mean?  And as a small business owner, should you care?  Sounds expensive, right?  Not necessarily...

As a small business owner you’ve probably heard of the thousands spent by large corporate companies with slick agencies to get their brand just so.  Spending big money doesn’t always mean getting it right, however.  Remember the initial lack of enthusiasm at the Olympic 2012 logo - let alone the launch of the Olympic mascots?  

Branding is incredibly important to your business - yes, YOUR small business.  Creating an effective brand is not the sole preserve of large enterprise.  Small companies, start ups, sole traders, tradesmen and entrepreneurs - ignore the concept of branding at your peril.

What’s all the fuss?

Even if you’re a one man band, a strong brand is sure to see your business grow.  A brand is more than just a logo, it’s your company’s personality.  Branding is an all-encompassing term that deals with the emotional response that an audience has to a brand.  Basically, it deals with the way that your company is perceived in the eyes of your customers.  

Your business has control over some of the elements that an audience associates with you - this is your corporate identity, and includes things such as logo, strapline, fonts and colour palette used, website and marketing materials and packaging.  Other elements are outside of your control - such as customer reviews and press coverage.  All of these things come together to initiate an emotional response to your brand and influence how a person feels about your company.  

Everything that you do reflects upon the way that your brand is perceived by customers and potential customers.  But why should you care?  

Branding builds relationships with potential buyers, making them aware of your offering.  When a potential buyer needs the specific product or service you offer, a business with a strong brand is front of mind.  What’s more, the buyer has already developed psychological reassurance and associates perceived value to your brand - meaning that there is a lower perceived risk of choosing your company over one of your competitors.  In other words, they are already aware of you and trust your brand over someone they’ve never heard of.  

Secondly, branding helps to create loyalty.  Loyalty means repeat business, recommendations and GROWTH for your business.  

If you have a memorable corporate identity and a great reputation you’ll stand head and shoulders above your competitors.

How’s it done?

1.    Know what you want to communicate

Firstly, you need to decide what your brand stands for - who are you?  What are you all about?  Great service, a bespoke product?  If you asked your existing customers, how would they answer - and does this match what you or your staff would say?  Try to narrow this down to just a couple of things so that you’re really clear, then use this message consistently across all of your marketing and in everything you do.

2.    Choose your company name wisely

When picking a company name, be wary of opting for anything too obscure or following a fad.  Does your company name describe what you do?  Is it easy to remember?  

3.    Get a great logo!

A visual graphic can be very effective in making your brand stick in potential buyers’ minds.  If your logo can be instantly recognised at a glance, you’re much more likely to be front of mind.  Get a great logo and use it!  Put your logo everywhere!  On your website, marketing materials, business cards, company vehicles, t-shirts - anywhere the general public are likely to come into contact with your company in some way.  

4.    Be consistent!

Make sure that you review all of your marketing materials to ensure that you are communicating a consistent message.  Make sure your logo is on everything, and that the look and feel of all graphics, colours and fonts used look like they match.  Keeping things consistent will make you look more professional and give the impression of reliability and trustworthiness.

If you’d like help developing your small business brand, get in touch with Curly Creative for a chat.  We offer free initial consultations!

 

 

Contact

Curly Creative
Marketing and Web Design
21 Little Hoddington
Upton Grey
Basingstoke
Hampshire
RG25 2RN

Tel: +44 (0)7790 216436
hello@curlycreative.co.uk

 

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Emma developed our logo, marketing leaflet and then our website. I am really thrilled with all three. Emma listens carefully to what you are wanting to achieve and asks some probing questions to properly understand the business vision. She then interprets this to design and deliver the outputs with wonderful effect. Emma is easy to get on with, provides good advice and is very conscientious (and patient!). I certainly would recommend Curly Creative.

 

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The quality of Emma's work is very high. Emma is an excellent communicator, with great attention to detail... She really took time to listen and understand my business, before creating a completely new brand identity for me and then a website This is a start up business and working with Emma challenged me to be clear on my objectives and values, which has in turn led to a brand and website that I am delighted with and very proud of... I can't imagine anyone else would do such a good job!

 

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