Small Businesses are generally run by an individual and his small team. The entire effort of an entrepreneur is focused on the day-to-day operations; meeting prospective clients; concentrating on sales activities. When we talk about branding, Small businesses generally shy away from that as they think it is meant only for their bigger counterparts with vast marketing budgets.
But, what they fail to recognize is that every “big” business was small one day. A consistent effort on branding and other operational or sales activity have made them big. So, branding starts at the very beginning when you start a business, and it entails creating the logo, the tagline, and the typography or the color combination that you wanted to showcase. It doesn’t end there as it has to be nurtured continuously to make it bigger and better.
So what does a Brand do? I would call it the ‘RED’ factor. It builds REPUTATION for the Brand; it builds EMOTIONAL TIES with the customers, and it DIFFERENTIATES your product/service from the rest in the market.
Here I present 9 Golden Rules on Branding
- Don’t try to imitate the leader in the Industry. Try creating your niche and your unique value proposition.
- Remember, people don’t care about your brand; they care about what it can do for them. Try highlighting the value you add to your customers and not the product features.
- Constant engagement with your customers enhances your brand image. It is all about the right content for the right audience.
- Be consistent with the times, as the social circumstances change. Keep pace with the changes in the environment. Customers would like Brands to take a stance on contemporary issues.
- The brand is what customers experience. No marketing is more effective than word of mouth. So use customer testimonials to share their experience with your brand. Conduct events/get -together of prospective and current customers – they believe what they see
- Make sure your Website & Social Media is updated regularly, and you regularly engage with your customer's queries.
- Every customer touch point is a branding opportunity. Small businesses may not have the marketing budget to spend on TVC/Print Ads, but even small BTL Promotions at customer gathering point is an opportunity; the Brochures; the packaging; the Bill; visiting card, the T-shirt your marketing person wears, or the operational person who delivers the product to the customer; – all speak about the brand.
- Every Business is unique. Even though you may be in a me-too business, there would be something unique in how you service or deliver your product. Find that uniqueness in you and start building on it. That uniqueness in your business or the customer space you are in is worth branding.
- Never miss an opportunity to converse with the general public or community at large. Public Relations and its practical usage help build your brand faster.
About Author :
Dileep Narayanan is the founder and brand mentor at Organic BPS, India’s first Purpose Branding Company. A post-graduate in management, Dileep is a speaker and thought leader on the “Doing Good is Good Business” concept.