“A brand should be at the core of every ambitious small and medium sized enterprise (SME). If it isn’t, you are missing out on the value and advantages of building a brand and should review your marketing strategy,” says Christopher Lamotte at Real Marketing.
“You don’t need to build a global brand like Google, Apple or Nike; you can build a local or niche brand, and be highly successful in your region or focused market.
“Most markets are very competitive and standing out can be hard, particularly with limited resources, but building a brand can make your business unique, helping you be distinctive.”
Many SMEs are missing out
Unfortunately, a lot of SMEs are not good at building brands. This can reflect a weak, short-term approach to marketing without enough thinking invested in developing that all-important long term marketing strategy.
The advantages of building a brand
The many advantages are that it can:
- Differentiate your business, provide a source of competitive advantage.
- Give a clear market position compared to competitors.
- Give your company and products a distinct personality.
- Give your business a clear focus.
- Create positive attitudes and warm feelings from your target audience.
- Appeal emotionally to your customers, which is critical when many buying decisions are more emotional than rational, in B2B not just B2C markets.
- Reduce overall marketing costs and shorten customer journeys to buying your products by encouraging purchasers to make faster decisions.
- Give customers a perception of superior quality, supporting higher margins.
- Enjoy additional purchases and higher life time values as a result of brand loyalty.
- Builds brand equity, increasing the sale value of your business for your eventual exit.
But there’s a lot of confusion about how to build a brand, so let’s start by explaining the important difference between your brand and your branding.