“Why invest time and energy into building a brand? Can’t I just open my doors and start selling?” Have these thoughts crossed your mind as a small business owner? Perhaps. The fact is, though, that without a solid brand your business is at risk.
Going brandless in this day and age is a surefire way to be outshined in a sea of competitors. In other words, you miss out on countless sales and other opportunities, crippling the longevity of your company. That’s exactly the opposite of your core goals and vision as a business owner.
There’s just no way around it. You need to brand your small business. But don’t consider it a chore; there are actually many benefits to doing this. Consider 10 of them below.
Advantages of Branding Against Competitors
How does branding give you an edge over similar businesses?
1. Greater Differentiation
There are probably thousands of businesses in the US alone that offer products and services very similar to yours. What’s more, there are tens (if not hundreds) in your local area alone. What makes you stand out as different, as a better option? Your brand, which includes your unique selling proposition (USP).
2. Increased Credibility and Authority
Developing a cohesive brand requires a considerable amount of time and effort, at least at first. When it’s clear that you’ve made that investment and take what you do seriously, your credibility skyrockets. You become instantly more trustworthy in the view of potential customers.
What about authority? How can you become a respected figure in your industry? In part, by framing your brand message, tone, and USP in terms of solutions, benefits, and results. Conveying deep knowledge of your industry, your specific market, your audience’s goals, pain points, and so on demonstrates your expertise.
Benefits of Branding to Your Customer Base
How can branding help you to maintain and even grow your customer base?
3. Irresistible Appeal
Especially since it’s so rare these days, authenticity is really appealing. It’s magnetic. Why buy from or support a company that simply mimics other (and perhaps more established) businesses? There’s little reason.
People are more inclined to support businesses that offer what they feel they can’t get in a purer form anywhere else. As long as your sincerity shines through and you stay true to what you’re all about, you’ll be able to leverage this irresistible appeal.
4. Instant Recognition
When people are repeatedly exposed to your logo, tagline, and so on, your business becomes more memorable and recognizable. Such instant recognition creates and strengthens emotional attachment. If not now, you’ll be one of the more obvious choices in the future when potential customers are in need.
5. Loyalty and Advocacy
Is your brand one that people relate to, respect or enjoy interacting with? If so, those people will be more likely to come back to you time and time again even though there may be other options available to them. But it gets even better…
As you nurture this undying loyalty in your customers, you’ll begin to see enthusiastic advocates emerge. They’ll gladly tell others about you, especially when you create plenty of opportunities for them to do so. Don’t be surprised to find that word-of-mouth marketing generates a steady influx of new business!
6. Easier Introductions
One vital function of a brand is to delve into the larger purpose and mission of a company. For a brandless business, new offerings may seem haphazard or thoughtless because they’re not tied to anything larger. The opposite is true of its branded counterparts. In effect, they can say,”You know we’re passionate about x. That’s why we’re now offering y to bring z benefit to you.”
With a brand, you’ll be able to present new products and services in a way that makes sense. Customers will be able to connect the dots instead of wondering why you’ve chosen to expand your offerings.
7. Simpler Customer-Centric Decisions
There are many business decisions that can and do impact the customer experience. Negative decisions can have a greater immediate impact on small businesses especially. How can you avoid making mistakes that tarnish the experience you aim to create?
Branding is a great help. It sets the bar for what people should expect in terms of experience, service, quality, and so forth. Keeping those expectations that you’ve set in mind will help you to weed out any options that don’t fit cohesively into your brand.
Internal Perks to Branding Your Business
Consider three perks you and your employees can enjoy as a result of careful branding.
8. Motivated Employees & Healthy Company Culture
As mentioned before, a larger purpose or mission needs to be at the core of your company. It’s only then that employees can get and stay motivated to work toward that common goal.
When they’re enthusiastic, something else also falls into place—company culture. Your employees can join you in creating a working environment that will keep morale and productivity high.
9. Fewer Wasted Resources
Branding is consistency. Consistency means less wasted resources including time and money. Changing course constantly or using the trial and error method is costly. But when you know what options are in line with your brand and, therefore, have a greater chance of success, you can use your resources wisely.
10. More Desirable to Potential Partners
Over time, as your small business stands out more, the way will open for potential partnerships. Other companies and organizations don’t want to take gambles on small businesses that they hope will be successful. So having an established and well-received brand will instill more confidence in your value as a potential partner.
You Must Have a Brand
Think back to the questions asked at the outset. “Why invest time and energy into building a brand? Can’t I just open my doors and start selling?” In view of the evidence, it’s clear that not investing in branding is the same as rejecting the advantages above…and more. Not only that but it could actually endanger your livelihood in time. Is it worth the risk? No. But it is 100% worth it to build a brand.