When most small businesses think about "branding," they tend to shy away.
I've heard people say, "it's not worth the time and effort; I'm just a small business." I've also heard, "I already have a logo; that's my brand."
Believe me, both of these views couldn't be further from the truth!
Whether you consider yourself an artist, an entrepreneur, or a small business, creating a brand should be at the top of your to-do list.
What is a Brand?
A brand is not a logo, a brand is not a website, and a brand is not a product.
A brand refers to the way consumers perceive your product or service. It's the first thing that comes to mind when a consumer thinks about your business.
What are the benefits of having a brand?
1. Build Loyal Relationships
Now more than ever, consumers are interested in learning about the "who" behind the businesses they shop at. They want to know what a company stands for, what its values are, and most importantly, they want to shop at businesses they can relate to!
In my eBook "The Essential Guide to Building a Brand," I briefly go over the psychology behind human personality traits and how a business can use these to define its own personality.
A brand personality is key to building a brand your target consumers can relate to. Want to learn how to create your brand's personality? Click here to learn more.
2. Develop Brand Recognition
People tend to shop at brands they are familiar with. Consistent branding creates a sense of familiarity, which helps consumers feel more comfortable doing business with you. Even if a consumer isn't ready to buy, when they finally are, they'll be more likely to buy your product instead of a competitor’s, especially if said competitor is a brand they've never heard of.
3. Set Expectations
The stronger and more professional your brand appears, the more likely a consumer will perceive your business to be of higher value.
Think about it. You walk into a pharmacy and see two brands of lotion. One is in a plain brown box with a white label that says nothing but the brand name. Another is in a beautiful package that tells you all about the brand and the origins of its ingredients. Which one would you choose? The latter, right? That's because its packaging led you to perceive it to be of higher value.
Need help creating your visual identity? Check out my eBook "The Essential Guide to Building a Brand." In it, I go over the psychology of the colors, fonts, and shapes and how they affect the way consumers perceive your brand. I also go over the different types of logos and more!
4. Influence Consumer Perceptions
Last, not certainly not least, one of the most significant advantages to creating a strong brand is that through market research, thorough planning, and a well-executed messaging strategy, entrepreneurs, and businesses alike can shape public perception.
Whether you have a defined brand or not, consumers will still create perceptions about your business. Branding allows you to guide their opinions so that they think about your brand in the way that you want them to.
So, next time you think, "my business is doesn't need a brand," remember that a strong brand:
1. Helps you build loyal relationships with consumers
2. Generates brand recognition
3. Sets consumer expectations
4. Influences consumer perceptions