Branding was once considered the private domain of large businesses, extremely wealthy private concerns and multi-national corporations, but if history has taught us anything it’s that one of the most important keys to success for any business, including small business, large corporations and entrepreneurial start-up ventures, is branding.
In fact, many believe that branding plays a more important role in the success or failure of start-up entrepreneurial ventures and small businesses than it does in large and publicly owned corporations.
Branding is what sets you apart from your competition! Branding is how you communicate your message of exactly who you are and what you stand for to both your current customers as well as prospective new customers alike. Brand recognition is vital to the success of any start-up entrepreneurial venture or small business; how can a prospective customer become an actual customer if they can’t remember who you, what products and services you have to offer or how to find you.
As a small business or start-up venture, keeping your branding and messaging focused, on track and consistent is easier said than done, but statistics gathered by the Small Business Association show that a large percentage of prosperous start-up ventures and small businesses attributed their success to branding their businesses in a consistent, targeted and focused manner and by staying true to their original plan of who they are, what they stand for and what they hoped to accomplish when they first opened their doors for business to the general public.
Many people view branding as nothing more than a series of intricate logo treatments, pleasing color combinations, nice graphics, catchy slogans and memorable taglines, but the umbrella of branding covers so much more than that. In reality, branding is about managing the thoughts, feelings and emotions of your customers so that your businesses products and services are what they desire. If your brand image doesn’t sync with the brand image of what’s in the minds of your target audience, then you’re left with one of following three choices:
- Rethink your branding strategy and adopt your target audience’s ideal identity and brand image.
- Attempt to convert your target audiences brand image to what you think it should be.
- Shut your doors and go into a different line of work.
Sometimes it’s tough for entrepreneurs and “do-it-yourself” small business owners to swallow their pride rethink their branding position and adjust their strategy to meet the desires of their target audience, but that’s exactly what needs to be done in order for your business to survive, prosper and grow.
Two of the most “spot on” sales and marketing adages for follow this advice are “Give Them What They Want” and “The Customer is Always Right!” Paying attention to the wisdom of those old adages has helped many small businesses and start-up ventures stay afloat when times were bad and prosper when times were good!