Why is branding so important for small businesses?

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There’s one thing that can stump even the most creative professional in the early days of their business: branding.

 

With easy access to social media and fresh marketing material around every corner, consumers are constantly exposed to new brands. As a customer, having plenty of options to choose from when looking for the best products and services is great. But for a small business owner, all of this activity means you’re up against a lot of competition.

 

These days, businesses need to go the extra mile to stand out in the crowd. And that’s where branding comes in…

 

What’s business branding?

 

As a small business, your brand is your most powerful asset — the golden thread that runs through every part of your business.

 

Your branding should create a distinct and memorable personality for your company through a combination of elements (think logo design, colour palette, tone of voice and messaging) — all working in harmony to create an overall impression of your brand.

 

Brand identity is about more than aesthetics. It’s the culmination of how your brand looks, feels and speaks to customers, influencing the entire customer experience. So, it needs to be consistent and, most importantly, authentic.

 

Still wondering what the big deal about branding is? Here’s the lowdown on just a few benefits of establishing a business brand…

 

What are the benefits of branding?

 

A perfectly curated brand won’t magically reveal itself overnight (wouldn’t that be nice). It requires time, research and deep thinking — but the results are worth it.

 

Making your business recognisable

 

When you think of all the successful big-name companies, they have one thing in common: an instantly recognisable brand identity.

 

Take Google, for example. Its logo — the word ‘Google’ with different colours for each letter — is extremely simple but immediately familiar. That’s the key to effective branding: creating core elements and a tone of voice that is always recognisable, even if certain details or contexts change.

 

With a strong, attractive and consistent brand presence, you’ll increase customer loyalty, create a clear personality for your business and stay front-of-mind for consumers when they’re looking for products and services.

 

Building trust with your audience

 

People tend to be a bit more cautious about the companies they engage with in today’s risk-heavy market. So, if there’s one thing every business wants to be, it’s trustworthy.

 

There are many ways small business owners can build a message of dependability into their branding — even starting with the colours they use on their website and in their marketing material. There’s a reason blue is the go-to colour for most financial or healthcare companies: it signifies trustworthiness. In contrast to red, which can signify danger, blue is calm, stable and reliable.

 

Thinking about these small details when designing your business’ branding will ensure you’re leaving the right impression and keep you one step ahead in your market, establishing a brand that can withstand the test of time.

 

Setting you apart from competitors

 

If there’s nothing unique about your messaging, imagery or design, you’ll quickly blend into all the other companies offering similar services or products.

 

After all, if you look like every other brand at first glance, what reason do customers have to choose you over competitors?

 

Lush is an excellent example of a company that stands out in the highly saturated cosmetics market. With simple and genuine branding, it has a ‘small business’ feel that resonates with a huge demographic.

 

You don’t necessarily need to break the mould to differentiate your business. It’s simply about making small, conscious branding decisions that make a big difference over time.

 

Creating an emotional connection

 

Getting consumers to connect with your business on a deep, personal level is the true reflection of a well-built brand.

 

In practice, achieving this could be as simple as HelloFresh’s messaging and imagery that showcases how its pre-planned, easy-to-make meals help customers enjoy cooking without the hassle — so they can spend more time doing the things they love.

 

Showcasing how your products or services can meet the customer’s needs by highlighting your unique selling point and company values can go a long way in fostering brand loyalty, ultimately leading to brand longevity.

 

Of course, making this connection takes time. But it starts by establishing a good reputation, letting your audience get to know you and ultimately finding memorable ways to communicate why you do what you do.

 

Helping to find like-minded audiences

 

The messaging you portray through taglines, initiatives and other marketing activities plays a prominent role in upholding and communicating your brand identity with the right audiences.

 

Take the Jeep brand. Jeep’s target audience is typically drivers who need a durable vehicle fit for their off-roading adventures and have a love for the great outdoors. So, to find and connect with those customers, Jeep uses consistent imagery and messaging to convey a sense of ruggedness, reliability and adventure.

 

Use your brand’s values and mission to inform your content and ensure it aligns with the demographic your products and services are aimed at. Businesses that make it clear who they are and what they offer with their branding can more easily build an engaged and loyal customer base.

 

Good branding can make all the difference for small business owners trying to find their niche. So, take the time to carefully curate your brand identity and wait to reap the rewards…

 

Want to ensure your business is putting its best foot forward? At the first in a series of FSB London Talks, independent brand consultant Nigel Davies from PIN Creative will discuss the importance of business branding (and how to do it well) at our Eagle House event space in Shoreditch. Book your place today!