Why branding is an essential feature of any business
Branding – Who Needs It?
When you think about branding, maybe you think about corporate giants like Nike and Coca-Cola. Branding, after all, is about spending millions of dollars on mass media advertising, isn’t it?
Actually no! No matter how small your company, you have a brand – and that brand is reflected in your logo, your office space, the way you dress and the look and style of any materials you give out.
When people meet you, or read your website or brochure, they get a feel for what your company is all about. That is your brand.
So, even as a small company it is vital that you define your brand, and give careful thought to how that brand is represented. As part of that process, you need to identify several aspects of your business:
- Personality. Think about how you want your company to feel to your prospects. This will obviously be closely bound in with your product and market – a company selling home-made cabbage rolls will obviously want to portray a very different personality from a company offering consulting services to major oil companies.
- Your Unique Selling Proposition. Hopefully by now you have identified some element or benefit which sets you apart from your competition and gives your prospects a reason to choose you. Our cabbage roll maker may promote all-natural ingredients, or the fact that they are as tasty as Grandma’s, or perhaps free delivery. Our consultant, on the other hand may be promoting on the basis of particular qualifications or industry experience.
- Specialization. If possible, it is an important part of your branding to specialize in a particular field.
Remember, that by presenting a consistent image you are making yourself look professional and established.
When your prospects see you they need to be able to recognize a distinctive look that immediately identifies what your company is all about. And when I say “see you”, I mean everything that represents your business: you and your employees; company vehicles; offices or other public spaces; marketing materials; packaging etc.
Your branding decisions should be conscious and well thought-out. Think about the following elements:
- The way you dress
- The way you speak
- The quality of your marketing materials
- The wording that is used to describe your business
- The kind of clients you are seen to work with
And make sure that those elements are all visibly part of the same ‘family’. Otherwise your prospects will be confused and will probably look for someone else to buy from.
So, next time you are tempted to think that ‘branding’ really doesn’t concern you – remember that it is as important to the home-based business as it is to the multi-national corporation.
Your brand is what your company is all about, and it needs to be consistent and appropriate.