Have you been wondering if your small business needs a branding strategy?
Branding strategies are just for big conglomerates, right? For big corporations with big budgets and the cash available for investing in something that doesn’t really contribute to the here-and-now principles that small businesses must abide by…right?
Branding strategies are extras; things that may help an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise), but aren’t necessary for start-up and for competing in a local market or specific niche…right?
The branding strategy experts at How to Build a Brand could just give you the answer, but we think it would be more beneficial for you and your brand if we ask the questions that will help you to figure this out for yourself—so that you can own the answer and really understand how the possibility of a branding strategy fits into your business plan.
So let’s go.
Branding Strategies and your SME: A Questionnaire
Here are the questions we suggest that you answer, in order to determine if a branding strategy is a must-have for your small business. At the end, total up your YES answers and your NO answers. If the YES answers win, your business needs a branding strategy in order to survive and thrive.
- Do you have a brand (or would you like to have a brand)? A brand is more than a business. It’s a public perception that adds value. Building a brand and maintaining a brand both require planning and execution.
- Do you want brand awareness? In others words, do you want people to know that your brand exists?
- Do you want to increase brand visibility? Increasing brand visibility means that more people will see, or be exposed to, your brand.
- Would client loyalty help to grow your brand? Loyal clients do things like write testimonials, refer other clients like themselves, and come back to buy again and again.
- Do you have competition? If other companies exist that could potentially serve your ideal client, then you have competition.
- Do you care about your business’s reputation? A good reputation will not only help to build your brand, it will cultivate trust.
- Do you have a brand story to share that you think would endear people to your brand? Did you start off like many of your clients? Did you have problems like them, or were you moved to help people with problems like them? Is your story close to your heart? Furthermore, do your team members have stories about your brand that mean a lot to you?
- Does your business have something unique to offer? When you fill gaps that the competition has missed, or you do something in a way that no one else is doing it, then you have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
- Would a presence in the market help your brand to move ahead? Is clawing your way up, just to be seen, okay with you on an indefinite basis? Can you do this for the rest of your career? Or does a brand name that speaks for itself sound like a better plan?
- Do you want your brand’s logo to be noticed and remembered? A logo is just a picture unless it’s representative of your brand and remembered by those who can make a difference in your business.
- Is your business on the internet, with a website and/or social media? Internet search and social media marketing are the top two ways to reach today’s consumer. If your brand is present in either of these realms, then you have an internet presence. Do you think you should manage that presence so that it makes money for you?
- Do you love what you do? Passion for your brand is essential for success; it also probably means that you want to do what you’re doing for a long, long time.
- Would it help if your prospects were moved by an emotion that would encourage them to connect with you? More than ever, today’s consumer is an emotional creature. Decisions are based largely on how a brand makes them feel, more than the facts.
- Would you like to sell your business someday, for a profit than can fuel your next investment…or your retirement? A brand is one of a business’s most lucrative assets, and at sale, a reputable brand name can bring in big money.
- Do you expect your business to evolve; to change with the market for longevity? The most resilient brands are evolutionary because flexibility is built-in.
- Are you too busy to worry about managing all of the above stuff…and would you like to have a plan in-place to do that for you?
If your answers are mostly YES, then your business—no matter its size—needs a branding strategy. Businesses that move “forward” without branding strategies may experience some of the benefits mentioned above; however, those benefits won’t last, and therefore won’t contribute to a thriving brand.
One in three businesses fails. Doing business without an effective branding strategy in place is a good way to ensure that your business ends up in that tragic 33%. Will you move on without one? Or will you learn how to make what could be the most valuable investment your business will ever know?
Enrol today in our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp to learn all about branding and branding strategies…and how they can build something spectacular for today and into the future. Register now—word is getting out and seats are filling faster than ever.