Branding is often synonymous with corporations. Some of the most instantly identifiable and successful branding has been achieved by international businesses like McDonald’s, Apple and Coca Cola. However, branding is not just something that should be an important part of a corporation; it should be adopted by even the smallest of independent, family businesses.
Having a great brand identity can help your business stand out amongst your competitors. It ensures that you are memorable, likeable and trustworthy amongst your target demographic, no matter whether you are turning over £100,000 per year or £10,000,000 per year. It tells customers why you are the best choice for them.
Branding is more than just a logo; it encompasses everything about the ethos of your business. It begins by determining who your ideal customer is (what are their interests, their values, and their age group?) and feeds into all aspects of how you promote your company. It should be reflected in the way you talk to your customers, the people who represent your company and even the company culture you create. Having one ubiquitous identity ensures you are not just another faceless business; you have a personality that people can identify with.
One example of how branding has helped a small company compete with major rivals is A24. This independent American movie distributor branded themselves in a unique way compared to the prestigious studios we all know: Fox, Sony and Paramount. They decided to be youthful, ironic and political. Every aspect of the company conforms to this identity: their humorous Twitter feed to the ‘80s VHS inspired logo. In doing this successful, they are almost single-handedly responsible for driving a new generation of people to the cinema. They even won an Oscar for their film ‘Moonlight’ last year. Another unique example I would like to highlight is Rix Motors based in Cheshire. They recently did a major brand refresh and as a result they are able to standout not only as a national car dealership but also as car finance specialists in a very competitive industry.
Branding does not have to be solely for businesses like this that are in the public eye either. Many small B2Bs have performed exceptionally well by perfecting their brand identity. After all, you are still trying to convey a message to customers, no matter what your industry is. For B2Bs, this message can be cost-efficiency, experience, reliability and trust.
It can take time, effort and resources to finesse your brand identity. It is even harder once you have determined your identity to maintain it. However, branding is something a great many of your competitors are not doing. Because of this, their marketing and their relationships with customers are lacking—areas where your company will be able to excel.