It's the biggest mistake most small business owners make. You might be doing it right now, without even knowing it! It's thinking small, and believing that building a strong brand around your business is either not required or beyond your capabilities.
Let me ask you a question...
What do you think when someone says, "you have to build a brand"?
Do you think, "I'm too busy running my business to build a brand", or "I can't afford the cost", or "it's a luxury, not a necessity"?
Maybe you're just plain overwhelmed by the thought and don't know where to start. Or you think you don't need a brand, sure they're only for big business, right?
Like I said, thinking small. At first, it feels like an awful lot to build a brand and to help make yours. Now let's see why you need one.
Connect by Selling a Story, Not a Product
We all love a good story; we've been telling them one way or another since the dawn of humankind, but why?
Storytelling is all about sharing our knowledge and values with our community. Stories create unity and have been central to human existence, told in every culture throughout the known world. But it turns out that stories are more than just tall tales; they can actually alter our brains and change how we think and act.
Of course, this is hugely interesting and potentially beneficial when it comes to branding and its use in turning your business into a successful one.
It's known that when we consume dull, uninteresting information, like a boring presentation or long, poorly laid out written content, a part of our brain called the Wernicke's area awakens and gives the meaning of the words, but not a lot else.
But if we hear a compelling, impactful story, our brains light up. Of course, the Wernicke's area still plays a vital role, but our brain actually translates the story as if you were living it. Our brain develops thoughts and opinions that mirror that of the storyteller and the story's characters.
This tells us that if we create a great brand story that resonates with our audience, we can change how they think, react, and help them engage with our brand, leading to increased conversions and a successful business.
Stand Out in a Sea of Advertisements.
Suppose you set out on a marketing campaign without suitable branding in place. In that case, there's a strong chance it will fail to achieve your key marketing goals: to locate, engage, and convert your target audience.
Branding supports your advertising by creating cohesion throughout your marketing strategies, increasing consumer recognition, and enforcing buyer trust.
But a brand and marketing strategy alone aren't enough; you have to know which platforms to advertise on, where your target audience is, and which tactics to use to engage and convert them. Once you have that information, you can apply your branded advertising campaign and shine like a lighthouse in a sea of advertisements.
Create Instant Recognition and Trust
U.S. consumers are bombarded daily with 5,000 brands and advertisements, but apparently, we only remember 12 of them.
It's proven that people are 6 times more likely to use a brand they recognize and trust. Given those stats, the odds are that the 12 brands that make it through and stick in our minds are ones we've already seen, ones we remember and trust.
That's why you need branding regardless of your business's size, because every market is crowded and if you want your target audience to choose your business, then you need brand recognition.
It's because branding creates repetitive consumer-brand identification: this increases recognition, leading to trust, which influences your audience to engage with you, which means sales.
Increase Your Customer Base with Branding
Yes, branding can also increase your customer base. Here's how:
It's the recognition and trust elements that branding brings because people love to like, share, and inform others about brands they believe will benefit their community. Word of mouth is more powerful today than ever before due to social media.
Suppose you establish yourself as a leading authority in your niche by providing relevant and valuable content, excellent products and services, and package it all in branding that engages and motivates your audience. The result? They'll like and share your content, creating a buzz about your brand that money can't buy.
Increase Your Revenue with Branding
A recent Adobe survey uncovered the following information.
"Companies with outstanding design outperform companies with weak design by 219% on the S&P Index (a stock market index) over the span of 10 years."
What's that got to do with branding?
Excellent design is the very essence of a great branding strategy. Think about any brands you use. Do they have poorly designed logos, obscure unmemorable names, or use colors or fonts that don't connect with their target audience on an emotional level?
If they're a successful brand, then the answer is 100% no, 100% of the time.
Branding Inspires Employees and Increases Productivity.
We all love a cause because it gives us a reason for being, something to relate and believe in, but it also inspires us to act.
And that's what your brand can do for your employees.
Your brand has a voice, a personality, a goal. By sharing these with your staff, you give them a reason to get on board with your vision; this creates unity and helps them feel pride in their work. Once you have that, you can all work together, pushing in the same direction, united with an inner belief in what you're trying to achieve.
Branding Drives Search Engine Rankings
Google gives larger brands preferential treatment; this isn't an industry secret.
Strong brands get better rankings with fewer links, and businesses with weak brands need to earn more links to compete.
And this trend is only increasing. Negative outcomes for businesses without a strong brand presence are becoming more pronounced.
Moreover, Google now offers users instant results through featured snippets and the knowledge panel. People are clicking through less on actual listings, choosing the most effortless route instead to find the information they need. Only those businesses with strong, consistent branding feature most often.
In a nutshell:
If you don't have a consistently strong brand presence, your business will suffer for it.
Branding Drives Progress
Where's your business going to be in two years from now?
Branding helps you focus on where you want to take your business in the future. It creates a map for your business to follow because it leaks into everything you do, the products you make, the quality you provide, and your marketing strategies and campaigns.
And once you have it, you'll be able to reproduce these elements, communicate with your target audience, inspire your employees, and drive your business forward. Branding ultimately gives you the blueprint you need for turning your small business into a successful, much-loved brand.
Thank you so much for reading Why a Strong Brand is Important for Your Small Business. We really appreciate it! If you have any questions about our article, or can suggest any other topics you think we should explore, feel free to let us know.
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.