Your brand sets expectations for your products and services and differentiates you from your competition. It’s the first thing a prospective customer sees. It starts with your logo, but it doesn’t end there. From logo to customer service to the tone in marketing pieces, branding is how customers recognize your business. It’s how your company presents itself, how your customers interact with it and the personality, values and priorities of your business.
Many small businesses take the “good enough” approach with branding. They have a logo, some frequently used colours, and maybe even a slogan — but they’re not sure how that translates into a brand, or even why they should put any effort into creating a healthy and recognizable brand.
The logo on the latest ad looks pretty close to our sign out front. Good enough. This is close to the same blue as in our logo. Good enough.
This “good enough” mentality is common because owners and employees in owner managed businesses tend to wear many hats. They have other priorities; they need to make sure the lights are on and the shelves are stocked. Branding is a tall order when you’re also running a small business, and this isn’t your area of expertise.
But as you’ve probably come to learn from other parts of your business, “good enough” is never really good enough – especially when it comes to your branding, unless you’re only striving for “good enough,” which your customers will notice.
A healthy brand creates trust. It improves recognition and assists in building financial value. It inspires customers and employees alike, as you’ll begin to reflect your values in your communications. A healthy brand magnifies advertising efforts and helps to generates new customers. All of these things go a long way towards helping you build a prosperous business.
Conversely, not taking the time to define your brand or create a brand strategy could be dollars lost. If you’re sending an inconsistent message to the wrong audience, you’re not going to get a good return on your advertising dollars. An unhealthy brand image can decrease the value, of your business and may turn potential customers away.
The most prosperous businesses, small or large, have all established themselves as leaders in their industries by building strong recognizable brands. Investment t in a quality branding will reflect your business values and how you want your business to be perceived. Your business can’t be known for quality if you’re only striving for “good enough.”
If you don’t have the time or know how to build your own brand, there are experts that do. You wouldn’t fix a leaky pipe with duct tape, you’d call a plumber. Building your brand should be no different.