According to the Cambridge Dictionary, branding refers to the act of giving a company a particular design or symbol to advertise its products and services. "Brands are essentially patterns of familiarity, meaning, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of people."
Branding is what makes a business stand out from the rest; it defines a business by representing who they are and what they stand for. Branding influences what customers look for in a business; a strong brand can lead to success and business growth by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more attractive investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.
The importance of branding refers to an unforgettable impression in terms of social responsibility, customer services, advertising, reputation and visual identity. Branding can be beneficial in terms of an increase in sales, an enhanced market position compared to its competitors, higher customer loyalty, a stronger identity for a business, more opportunities that lead to new products and markets and lastly, the company will run more efficiently.
The brand's intention should be represented in such a way that it provides a positive role in the lives of its customers and should also serve the community. Branding should be just as crucial for a small business as for a big international company. The importance of branding refers to its effects on your company and the perception your customers form regarding your business. For instance, the brand's values should align with that of the client.
If branding is done right, it drives new business and increases the value of your brand. Good design can open many opportunities for a company and include purpose, authenticity, transparency and sustainability. "If your content isn't driving the conversation, you're doing it wrong."- Dan Roth
Brand Building Steps:
Here are a few quick tips on how to successfully implement branding for your SME.
- Start by defining your brand. Review your product or services offered, pinpoint the space within the market that it fits into, and research the needs and concerns of your potential customers. Once you've defined your brand, how do you, as a business owner, get the word out about your company? Here are some simple tips:
- Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
- Write down your brand messaging. What is your mission statement, and what are your values. Every employee should be aware of your brand and the focus of your company.
- Integrate your brand. Branding should be incorporated into every aspect of your business - how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated throughout the visual representation- think of your social media, website and company brochures. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it corporate? Be more formal.
- Develop a tagline or slogan. Write a memorable, meaningful and short to the point statement that captures who your business is and what they stand for.
- Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don't need to be fancy, just consistent. “Make it simple, but significant.” – Don Draper
- Be true to your brand. Customers won't return to you or refer you to someone else if you don't deliver on your brand promise.
- If you need additional tips or help for your business, have a look at Sisizana for our marketing partners who can help you