Many small companies do not think that they need a brand. Actually, this topic has been covered by many speakers and writers who talk about branding.
Mostly, everyone is saying the same thing – you need to brand yourself. And of course, there are a ton of reasons why that is a good thing. So, if you are running a small business, how should you brand yourself and is there really a benefit to spending money on branding?
Paying a few thousand dollars to have a brand guru come in might not be the best option, especially for small businesses.
Before I go on, I want to make one statement – don’t be fooled by the big guys.
You see, many of us look at the big brands and we can understand why they do branding, advertising, marketing and promotions. Then we turn around and look at our little print shop or deli and wonder how that is relevant to us. And we think we do not need branding. After all, Jack comes in every morning for his coffee and Mary takes her bagel, with cheese; and they don’t really care the color of my logo. Actually, I just want to suggest that they do care. But maybe not in a way that you would like them to care. And in many case, you don’t care. And that makes it a moot point, doesn’t it?
Many small businesses do not take their own branding seriously. They do not see how a small business like theirs can benefit from a brand. Branding is a way of telling your customers what you stand for, and therefore, what they are getting. You would be surprised, that when you close your deli, and the new owner sets up shop, Jack might no longer get his coffee and Mary no longer needs her bagel. Why?
For small companies, branding is not about big, glitzy campaigns. Branding is about providing a consistent level of service, quality and value – and doing it with a consistently recognizable “face”. That same cup with your logo (or name, if you don’t have a logo). The same brown, eco-friendly paper bag. The tinkle of the door bell when a customer enters. Yes, even your welcoming smile. It all adds up the the total experience of buying something from you. Over time, that becomes your identity. Over time, you would have established your brand, like it or not.
So, small companies do need to brand themselves. But maybe not in the same way as the big boys do. Do you know what you need to do? If you have no idea, you might want to start with a simple Quick Branding Package which you can do online.
I want to suggest that to have your branding strategy started, do a simple survey as ask:
– what your customers like about your products/services
– what they like about your company
– what your suppliers think about your company
– what your staff like about your product/service
Once you have an idea of what your “brand” represents, you will know the priorities and the choices you need to make in order to maintain it. No need for the big bucks if you are small, but that is no excuse for not doing a few simple things to ensure your brand is clearly and properly communicated.