Is branding really essential for small businesses? Can branding add value to the marketing strategy of small business owners? Can an entrepreneur brand a small business on a shoestring budget? These are the issues I will be treating today.
It’s no longer news that there are lots of false information about branding out there. Furthermore, most small business owners have the perception that branding is only for big corporations with millions of dollars in advertising budget. Actually, it was once so but not anymore. Branding techniques are evolving by the day. Gone are the days when branding is only for big corporations.
Gone are the days when branding a business requires millions of dollars; gone are the days when branding vehicles are limited to traditional media like radio advertising, TV advertising, print media and billboard advertising. With the entry of the internet, the branding game has changed and it will continue to evolve. The internet has created numerous outlets through which small businesses can conduct their branding activities with minimal cost. With the internet as leverage, branding is now more important than ever before especially for small businesses. It is now a key feature of marketing a business; whether your business is based online or offline.
So should branding be incorporated in small business marketing strategies?
My answer is a resounding yes. You need to start investing in branding your small business today because the competition is getting stiff. Regardless of the kind of business you set up, there will always be dozens of competitors out there. This is even true when it comes to running a business online. Just go to Google and type some niches or keywords into the search bar. You will be surprised to see millions of hits. That’s how tough it is in the online world. So if you don’t carry out some branding activities, how do you expect to stand out from the crowd; your competition will simply eat your business alive. This is no overstatement at all. In fact, research has proven over time that majority of online and offline startups will fail. This is a sad but realistic fact and one way to avoid been part of the failures is to start building a brand today; not tomorrow.
It is not too late to start branding your business; even if your business has existed for years without engaging in any branding activity, today is a great day to start. Years ago, it was very hard to conduct any branding activity because the platforms were limited and expensive. Today, with the growing power of the internet, you don’t need huge sums of money to market your business. In fact, you can market and brand your business online at no cost. So as a small business owner, you have no excuse whatsoever for not branding your business.
Now since branding is about creating an image or awareness in the mind of customers about your business; since it’s about engraving your business identity in the heart of customers, I consider it wise to share a few tips that can help you achieve your branding goals.
4 Simple small business branding tips for entrepreneurs
1. Think outside the box
Yes, creativity is the key to small business branding. You must learn to think outside the box and give your audience something that the competition doesn’t offer; and mind you, it doesn’t have to cost you your neck. You must be unique and innovative in your tactic to be able to stand out from the crowd.
2. Be consistent
Conducting branding activities is only the beginning; you must be consistent with all your branding strategies. Don’t be a fly by night entrepreneur in the mind of potential customers.
3. Focus your branding efforts on a niche
One of the most vital keys for success in small business branding is focus and the reason is that you can’t please everybody. You must learn to concentrate your marketing and branding efforts on a specific niche; you must learn to concentrate your limited resources on one strategy until you hit success.
4. Branding is a continuous process
Branding is not a one hit affair; it’s an on-going process. So don’t expect results overnight because there is nothing like overnight success. You must give it your best and be consistent about it to achieve the best results.
In conclusion, I want to restate the fact that branding is no longer a game for the big boys alone; the playing field has been leveled for everyone. So start branding your business today and I will see you at the top.
Ajaero Tony Martins is a serial entrepreneur and investor with a passion for teaching people how to start a business. He spends his free time reviewing and researching on the best small business ideas.