Is your sales cycle like a roller coaster ride? It could be because you don’t have a solid brand identity. Many small businesses don’t consider branding important, but I believe it’s one of the most important parts of your marketing efforts.
As small business owners you want to sell your products or services. Who doesn’t. So to avoid the roller coaster effect, consider adding some branding into the mix.
Investing in branding is a longer term strategy. It makes sales easier because the prospective client or customer already knows what the brand stands for, the quality, features and benefits, and has a level of expectation of service.
It’s also less expensive to roll out new products and services when you already have a strong brand umbrella. It’s like the difference between a job and a career. Branding is a commitment.
Why should b2b companies use a branding strategy?
It’s actually less expensive in the long run. Every product doesn’t have to have it’s own promotional program and stand like a silo. A well developed brand is the thread that ties everything together.
I hate to use Nike as an example but they do have branding down to a science. They have expanded beyond just athletic shoes into apparel and sports equipment and have been accepted into those markets with open arms, because they have a sold brand umbrella and a consistent visual identity.
What makes up your brand?
Your brand is more than a series of words; it is your identity. Your name and logo should tell people something about you. Your brand should be strong enough to convey a message and a feeling in an instant. When you run a small newspaper ad, besides a Website, phone number and address, your logo may be all someone has by which to judge your business. If your logo design looks professional, it alone may be the reason that someone decides to buy your product or to hire you. Branding also includes clearly defined messaging, with words that connect with your target market. A set of design elements such as photos, color pallet, typefaces and illustrations are also integral parts in creating a dynamic brand.
Where to begin when developing your brand
- What are your business’s values? What does your business stand for? What do you bring to your client relationships?
- What’s your business’s personality?
- Come up 5 feelings or thoughts that you would like your business to evoke for your clients and prospects. Keep in mind that these feelings or thoughts should be in-line with the way you perform your service.
- Describe the services or products your company provides.
- Which small businesses are your competitors?
- Figure our what makes you truly unique and different?
- Define your target or niche market and make sure your branding speaks to those groups.
- Last but not least…What are some of the qualities that a client has to have to be a great client for you? Remember not everyone is a good client for you. It has to be a good fit on both sides of the coin.
Become the most recognized Brand in your market
Properly executed branding can set small businesses apart from their larger counterparts and get them noticed. Many small businesses think that they can’t compete, that their “market” is dominated by big business. When you do the steps above and define your target market you can compete with anyone.