Branding has changed a lot in recent years and is no longer just about the products that you sell or the services that you offer. While these remain a core element of branding, there is also a lot more to creating it.
How Small Businesses Can Approach Branding
As a small business, it is easy to think that branding isn’t important because you can’t compete with the big guys. You don’t have the money, resources, personnel or even the time to focus on branding. But the importance of branding coupled with the ease and affordability of services means you can have the perfect brand, even if you are a solopreneur.
Branding is crucial in an age where customers can make a selection while riding the train to work or while sitting in bed at night, studying their smartphone. Having clear branding is crucial to growing your business, increasing those sales and leads and connecting with your audience, regardless of where you find them.
Creating a strong, cohesive brand has several benefits. Here are just a few to consider.
We all still have an in-built caution with things on the internet because there are so many stories of people being ‘conned’ or receiving products that aren’t as advertised. While the real world examples of this are on the decline due to systems such as feedback and reviews, it is still important to work at building trust with customers and that’s one thing a strong brand can do.
Not only does it help bring in the customers but it helps retain them. 48% of consumers say that they are more likely to make a purchase or return to a company for a repeat purchase if there is a strong brand associated.
Branding builds trust by making your company memorable. When we read things online, typically we only retain around 10% of what we see and that only stays with us for two or three days. Yet when this information is paired with an image, we retain around 65% of what we see. This is why almost three quarters of social media marketers make use of images in their messaging, ahead of blogging and even video. People remember images.
In fact, your imagery can become your brand in a way that people automatically know who you are by seeing them. This high level of customer awareness then allows the brand to grow organically as its reputation spreads – people see the imagery, know who you are and tell their friends about you.
Building a Positive Reputation
Building trust is one thing but reputation is an ongoing process that is compiled of all the interactions your business has with customers. This is everything from how you reward customer loyalty to how you respond to social media messaging and it is crucial.
That reputation built around a strong brand can even encourage people to make a purchase when this wasn’t their aim. 91% of consumers say that they are more likely to purchase from a brand if they perceive it as ‘authentic’ and that can encourage purchasing even when they weren’t shopping for the item or service.
Building and maintain reputation isn’t something that happens by itself and that’s where having access to a skilled marketing team can help. They can monitor mentions of your brand, check review and feedback sites and see how social media interactions are going. They also allow the personalisation of content that means your company seems like it is talking to people, rather than at them and 78% of consumers see this as meaning a company is trustworthy.
Leads and Sales
Of course, a good brand can build your leads and sales. By having a clear audience defined and a strategy about how to reach them, you will generate those enquiries and leads that then become sales. All the content created is within the brand and features the brand voice to help continue the process of building trust.
This trust then turns leads into sales because the people that you are attracting to the brand are genuine customers – people who really want what you have to offer and feel connected to your brand.
Another benefit of strong branding comes from your employees. Motivation is key in any job because demotivated staff don’t usually have anything positive to say about the company, don’t have the enthusiasm you would want and can even harm the brand reputation.
So how do you encourage staff to make a connection with the company – by the brand. By having a strong and popular brand, staff can believe in what the company stands for and feel proud to work for it. This will reflect in all of their interactions with potential customers, creating friendly and natural interactions that build that crucial reputation.
That enthusiasm can also help when it comes to bringing investment into your business. According to a study by Reuters, 82% of investors think that brand strength and name recognition are crucial factors when considering a business and helps them in their investment decisions.
A recognisable and trustworthy brand helps everyone from staff to customers and even investors to recognise your company and to engage with it.
These are just a few examples of the benefits of a strong brand with a well planned and optimised strategy behind it – all of which can lead to growth and success for your company.
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