Branding offers differentiation and helps you to stand out. There are two types of branding – personal branding and business branding.
If you are running a business today, odds are no one would do business with you if you don’t have a look, theme or feel. The reason why you can differentiate a Samsung device from an Apple device is because of the logo and distinctive design.
With the right branding strategy; you can be on your way to becoming a successful business and even competing with multinationals.
Starting your Brand Journey
We know a lot of SMEs don’t have the resources or even a branding department – and for the most part, focus on the product or service offering, so hiring a brand expert at a considerable rate can help. However, you need to ensure that the branding strategies are approved by you and not just the expert consultation.
You can do it yourself but ensure that you understand the full process involved in branding a business, especially if it is running on a lean budget that cannot hire a brand consultant.
Some Branding Tips to Follow
Select a Recognizable Name
Most of the brands we love are memorable – Coca-Cola, Nike, Dangote, Maggi, Indomie amongst others. They fall between two syllables and three syllables. This name has to be relatable to your brand message. Whether cool, hip, or fun, it is must be relatable and stand out. Remember that you have not come to play and competition is ready as well.
What do you want your customers to feel when they come across a product or service. Look for something that makes your brand stand out; in terms of colour, feel and shape and logo. It must identify with something; these include elements such as sophistication, beauty, make-up or greenhouse effect depending on the industry. It helps to give your brand identity. Even little aspects such as your font, logo, documents have to be consistent.
Social Media Presence
Social media is one of the super-powerful methods for you to reach your target audience now. Research the platform that best works for your service or product. Ensure it aligns with the brand theme from colours to shapes for consistent messaging, looks and feels.
Improve Your Brand Messaging
If your brand would reach more people, then you need to have a budget for marketing.
You can use micro-influencers as they are cost-effective and industry-specific.
Partnering up with e-commerce sites will help your brand reach more people.
Running paid ads on social platforms.
For your branding to have that “pop” feature, then you must be able to tell your brand story through people’s lives, especially your customers. Let them share how they use your product or how it changed their lives. Many of us grew up loving stories and tales by moonlight from our grandparents or parents, and they have influenced our thoughts.
Put the Human in your Brand
Many people want you to see the people behind the content, behind the scenes of the clothing line, and how the job is being done.
Selling is emotional; this is why sharing behind the scenes of how you do your work is selling yourself to your customer without actually selling. Things you can do are taking pictures of your workspace or employees. It creates trust.
Build a community
Some brands support community interest. They include:
“Always” the popular brand for girls and it promotes “girl power”.
Nike promotes fitness and goes ahead with collaborations.
Choose a position that aligns with your brand mission through the following steps.
a. Choose an area of interest such as fashion, health, art etc. Some people sponsor fashion events, writing competitions, health campaigns because it is an interest that aligns with their brand.
b. Start a conversation with this interest in mind, you can share your content via videos, photos or even animations. If you are targeting women; you may want to write posts or articles on women in the workplace to start a healthy conversation where people can ask questions, and you can answer them.
We have read a lot of interesting things about branding, but it is good to know that branding is not only for large organizations.
Branding is for everyone; you don’t have to break the bank to implement your business branding. Many of these things I have listed here can be done individually or as a small team with little research and efforts.
When branding is executed effectively, you will achieve the following results –
1. Top of mind awareness: Your product or service becomes a number one choice in your industry, which means more sales for you.
2. You create brand advocates: Brand advocates are people who are more than followers because they go out of their way to talk about how and what your product does without you spending a dime.
3. Creates trust: When people come to us for businesses; they want to be able to trust that our services do what it says it would do.
4. Fosters collaboration: More people are looking for branded businesses to collaborate with and grow together in the industry.
SMEs are getting additional support from the government to help them grow. While taking advantage of these initiatives, ensure little things like your branding are in place. You may not be into the business of generating billions of dollars in revenue, but how you intend to implement growth strategies matters.