Why good branding attracts business
When Mike opened a small business (adjacent to my workplace) that dealt in the sale of meat he attracted many customers from the neighbourhood. At first, business went well for this young entrepreneur but soon he found his profits declining amidst the high competition. From the quality
of the meat to the discounts that were offered, all the other shops had more or less the same features and yet the competition was clearly getting ahead of him.
He decided to ask a few questions from his regular clients and discovered that the customers preferred to buy their meat from a shop with a recognised name. This surprised Mike who until then had not given much importance to the name of the shop and had thought of the quality of his products to be a feature good enough to attract customers. It was a discovery for him to now that having a recognised name for the business also made it easy for the customers to associate with his business.
Feeling that he had not heard the end of it, Mike decided to do formal research for establishing the extent to which a recognised name can make a difference for his business. A bit of professional guidance and Mike decided to brand his business. Today he owns the most recognised brand, loyal brand following and successful business in my neighbourhood. He is the most staunch supporter of the slogan “Branding attracts business”.
What is branding?
Branding is a smart business act of giving your product or services an identity of its own using a unique name, a special symbolic logo, a slogan, a tagline, or a specific design such as color coding patterns. This not only gives your product a personality of its own but it also prevents the end users to confuse your product with that of your competitors.
Why is branding crucial?
May it seem like a trivial thing to think about the truth is that the competition has led companies to fight for every customer and scratching off even the last cents to their name. In such cut-throat competition, even the most minor indicators matter and the brand marketing can not be taken lightly. Although the definition of branding seems simple enough for an entrepreneur to just add a label to his/her businesses or attach a fancy tagline but, in reality, it means a great deal more.
Branding is a weapon that if used correctly can work wonders and though giving your company a name remains an important part of the concept the real struggle comes into action when the companies are to live up to their name, maintain the standards and meet the expectations of the loyal brand following. It can be a long arduous journey towards the brand recognition and creation.
Marketing is an evolving process and new strategies are introduced every now and then. In this backdrop, it is not surprising that there are diverse approaches being followed to establish, promote and get acceptance of a brand in the market.
Given the competition, a hybrid approach to brand making is smartest.
Smart branding strategies for small to medium sized businesses:
•Attractive taglines: Usually companies set up the name of their businesses in such a way that it shows a tinge of honesty, reliability and the types of services that a company has to offer. A name consisting of three to four words at most is unable to convey the proper message that a company wants to portray. In such cases, taglines are crafted which focus on the well-being of the customers and its crux in one single simple but meaningful sentence (that put the customers to ease or generate interest). Often the slogan or tagline is repeated continually in advertisements and becomes as famous as the brand itself.
• Logo or designs: Research has shown that the human brain interacts and remembers shapes and patterns more than words. Special colours are used to symbolise different sentiments and colours like blue, red and orange create a favourable impression in human mind. It is due to the psychological reasons that most famous brands have a touch of blue or red in their logos. This may also help when other companies decide to name their product with a brand similar to yours. When the words would confuse the consumers the logo can always be used to differentiate your identity.
• Awareness in employees: It is not rare to find companies training their employees to learn their brand message and to behave in a particular fashion. At the customer care employees have been seen to start their conversation with a standard paragraph and often use customised voice services that could be heard if you call a specific company. The concept is further polished by the use of uniforms of the theme color of the company’s logo (which gives the customers a thorough impression of professionalism).
• Templates and themes: As discussed above the companies chose a combination of colours such that all their advertising, uniforms of their employees, packing of their material and the colours used to paint their franchise is the same color theme as that of the brand logo. The consistency of the color usage causes the customer to get familiar with a product. Packaging is changed sometimes to give a new look to your product but should not be done too often (as the consumer does not like too much instability and changes in their product which they adore).
• Quality: It would be very naïve of anyone to consider the above-mentioned points to be the key to success without actually having the products of the quality that is required to keep the customers happy and the competition exciting. These factors help merely in the promotion of the product you sell. Imagine selling low-quality stale food in packaging of Hardees… Would your customers be fooled?
• Consistency: Last but not the least, to be consistent helps you create an image of stability and quality assurance among your brand following. To the customers, the perm anence of the policies indicates that the company is doing well enough without having to change its make and model every other day. Since the customer, in general, is interested in a brand product, so it is generally assumed that it must be a safe product to be widely accepted.
Done reading this article and wondering where to start your journey of branding?
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