Talk to any branding expert, and they’ll tell you the importance of a good brand. Despite this, many small businesses still fail to come up with one because of various reasons, ranging from lack of knowledge to insufficient resources.
Even so, the fact remains that branding is crucial for business success. It becomes even more necessary for companies that started small, especially if their aim is to become a market leader and scale up in the future.
Keep in mind that, for small businesses, marketing becomes both simpler and more complex every year.
Thanks to technological advances, even companies with a limited starting capital can compete in the market. However, technologies also cause marketing trends to change constantly, which means companies must keep up and continue to learn as these evolve.
To ensure that your company maintains its pace and is ready for whatever is to come, here are five challenges you must gear up for in branding:
Defining Your Brand
When you’re just starting out, you’ll most likely want to get your business up and running from the get-go. At this point, small business owners have a tendency to end up forgetting the importance of defining their brand. If you want to propel your company forward, this should not be the case.
If you truly want to succeed in whatever industry you’re in, you mustn’t forgo brand definition.
Remember that a brand is made up of more than just a good combination of shapes, text, and colors – it should reflect who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It serves as the sum of how you want your customers to perceive your company. It also encompasses their experience and notions about you, all of which are crucial in establishing your brand identity.
And while you can do this later, establishing your brand as early as possible is crucial for your company’s success. Just think about it like this: When you’re introducing yourself to people, why do you tell them your name first? It’s probably because you want to be remembered as you are.
Determining Your Purpose
Before you can succeed in building your brand identity, you must first define its purpose. Essentially, your brand’s purpose is described as the thing you plan to accomplish on a daily basis. The strength of a brand purpose can be determined by how well it can help you make decisions that are in line with the brand and bolster the quality of interaction between the company and its customers.
In short, your brand’s purpose should be at the core of your company’s mission. Most game changers today understand that branding is no longer just a means to attract prospective clients and make them choose you over others.
Now, you have to make sure that customers turn to you for credible information as an influencer or a thought leader. They also need to see you as someone who can address their problems and cater to their needs better than anybody else.
To achieve all these, you must come up with a brand that will accomplish certain objectives, which includes:
- Delivering a clear message
- Reaffirming your credibility as an authority in the market
- Generating loyalty from your customers
- Building an emotional connection with your target audience
- Motivating potential customers to purchase or respond to your call-to-action
Keeping Everything About Your Brand Consistent
After deciding on a brand purpose, the next step you must take is to implement it across every aspect of the business consistently.
Brand consistency is the manner by which you ensure that your message stays the same in every aspect of your business. This means that, aside from keeping the colors in your logo and marketing materials within the same palette, you should also make sure that you convey the same ideology or message in all other elements of the business.
Establishing a Brand Voice and Personality
One more challenge that small business owners need to overcome is establishing a brand voice and personality. In line with maintaining consistency across the company, a corporate brand must also have a uniform style and tone across all channels of communication.
The key is to create a distinctive voice in all your marketing materials, social media posts, email newsletters, and all other means of communication. If you do this, your brand personality will become more relatable. This also helps customers remember you better and makes them come back for more.
Not Giving in to the Fear of Rebranding
Rebranding is the process of reimagining an existing brand to improve its effectiveness in achieving company goals. Many small business owners fear this process, thinking that they may have to start from scratch and lose everything they’ve worked hard for in the process.
This is a grave misconception. The truth is, rebranding offers a way for your company to evolve along with the trends in the market. It helps you keep up with your target audience or expand your reach altogether.
Keep in mind that even business giants have to start somewhere. They aren’t what they are today without going through changes. In fact, it’s very rare for companies to have a great brand from the very beginning and not have to rebrand at some point to achieve the level of popularity they have today.
Take Apple, for instance. The brand has become a household name because they aren’t afraid of change. They understand that, in order to become a global market leader, they have to adapt to their environment and meet changing market demands to get to the top.
Overcome Challenges with Expert Help
Understanding the challenges that you’ll have to face when launching a company is crucial for success because it lets you prepare in advance and plan for the future.
Of course, if all this seems too difficult for you, the best course of action is to seek help from branding consultants to ensure that your brand strategy is up-to-date and in line with your business goals.
Hasan Fadlallah is a Serial Entrepreneur – Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge, the region’s leading and award-winning branding consultancy, whose role is to help organizations align their business behind an idea that will deliver success time and again. Equipped with over 20 years of professional consulting experience, today he advises businesses throughout the Gulf and Africa on brand development and in 2014 was recognized by the World Brand Congress who awarded him the prestigious Brand Leadership award in Brand Excellence.