It’s an error to believe that the notion of branding only is only for big companies like MTN, Shoprite or Banks like Diamond Bank, GTbank etc.
We’re all familiar with slogans like “Just Do It,for NIKE” #based on logistics” for EFE from the just concluded Big Brother Nigeria Reality Tv show, or the famous BIG,STRONG and RELIABLE for First Bank .These slogans have become synonymous with the brands they represent, so it’s natural that small business owners would associate the notion of branding only with big organisation.
Branding should be a priority for small business owners, as well, despite its being one of the most difficult things to tackle.
majority of small businesses close up within five years of launching. And one of the causes might be the perception that branding is too “difficult” for startups to dedicate time and brain power to.
Branding is important because it a reflection of who you are and what your company is. It represents who you want to be and your core values and principles. The principles you set for your brand should be your guide, and compromising them means you don’t trust your own brand and obviously no one else will
As a small business owner, you must prepare to live your brand promise in good times and in bad times.”
Change is a constant in business and someone will always try to copy and paste your ideas or business model or even compete with the services you provide; others may try to copy (or steal) your concept, logo and assets. But the one thing no one can copy? Your brand, which is a reflection of how your sell yourself.
everybody may know how to cook but the manner in which a meal is serve can reinforce patronage or kill appetite.
Here are four tips to develop a lasting brand identity:
1. Find your purpose.
A brand is nothing but a promise delivered; therefore, building a brand has to be the core of your company. Your brand’s purpose is to answer the “why.” Why do you matter and why you exist? Why did you start your business?
making money is cool and i love to but your brand as a startup or existing business owner needs to find the one thing that makes it different.
As a small businessperson, you don’t need a purpose, find a problem that your goods or service can solve. for example: If you have a small restaurant that serves a type of food similar to that of the restaurant in your neighbourhood,you can use engaging the service of sales personnel from the local community. that way Customers know that you’re looking to make an impact in their community and will reward you with their loyalty by their continued patronage. growing up i was told that people don’t care how much you know but they really want to know how much you care.
your product or service must at all times show concern for the wellbeing of the community where you operate
2. Find your voice.
Is your brand interesting? Fun? Adventurous? Giving a brand characteristics normally associated with human beings is one way to ensure that people identify with it and that all your employees (or you) can communicate it with ease.
Efe”s #Based on Logistics from the just concluded Big brother Nigeria’s reality TV show from my personal opinion embodies all of his personal brand’s characteristics: bold, daring, fun and adventurous. and it resonated with viewers who eventually took to voting him as the winner
creating a lasting and sustainable impression on your customer as a small business owner is key and it will help you avoid derailing from your message.
If people are trying to get me to buy something and they launch into a hundred reasons why I should do that, I’m not interested, no matter how great the product. I don’t have time to stand there and listen to a whole sales pitch. So, take a lesson here: Don’t just talk about your brand’s virtues try to live them.
And, be short, concise and to the point: If customers feel and understand your passion, they’ll understand what the brand is trying to convey.
3. Make brevity and simplicity your best friends.
It’s tempting to think of the multitude of things that make your brand great; therefore, it can be overwhelming to try to simplify what to convey to the public. The key here is: simplicity is best. The most successful brands have the simplest brands. For example, Coca-Cola hasn’t changed its logo since the 19th century. The company may have changed colors and style, but that’s about it.
All of us are familiar with the brand, whether we drink soda or not.
Keeping things simple increases brand recognition and can help create an emotional connection, turning customers into brand loyalists. Also, avoid being vague with your messaging. It’s a trap that many people fall into — if your messaging says nothing about your brand, your company becomes forgettable. Clichés are also a no-no. They make your brand look lazy and unprepared.
It’s tempting to use vague language to feel “safe,” but it makes customers think you’re hiding something from them. Don’t be afraid of offending someone; just be honest. With all of the changes taking place in society — culturally, politically and economically — more consumers are looking for brands that align with their beliefs.
4. Make them work for you.
Evangelizing your brand is already a part of your job and that of your employees’. It’s their job to tell your customers why you’re great and why they should buy from you.
When customers understand your brand, what you stand for, what you deliver for them and everything your brand conveys, they take on the role of “brand ambassadors” willingly. When your target consumers understand every nuance of your brand, you’ve hit the branding jackpot. When consumers identify with your brand, they become vocal about it — on social media or through word of mouth, which is still a powerful medium.
When customers have that connection, they organically evangelize your brand; in essence, they are working for you. Reward them, especially when they’re not expecting it. A discount or special offer, especially if it’s unexpected, is cited as the top reason for brand loyalty.
Every campaign should be personally authorized by someone who truly understands the brand before anything is revealed to the public. Never leave branding to chance, because even minor mistakes can have a significant impact on your brand.