How important is Branding to your business?
Do you practice it, or even prescribe to the importance of branding? If you run a small business, branding can set you apart from the crowd, partly because many folks aren’t sure how to brand themselves or their business. Branding and PR at the Small Business level are similar. In bigger businesses as silos are erected and marketing territories claimed, they are very different, but for the budding entrepreneur launching his or her Small Business they can be in the same bucket.
Definition of Branding:
The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
Entrepreneur Magazine says;
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand. Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally is part of your brand strategy, too. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command.
The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price. The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below: What is your company’s mission? What are the benefits and features of your products or services? What do your customers and prospects already think of your company? What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
You can leverage the Social Media and Social Outreach for Brand Awareness like never before. Pre Social Media small business had few options, that isn’t so today. But, so many businesses practicing social outreach are putting in the time but are missing the mark. We were fortunate enough to be recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine in a feature article Branding on a Budget surrounding the work we did to build our Urbane Apartments Brand
There are many theories about how to do social media for small business. I wanted to share an excellent, perhaps the best information I have ever found, just recently that a local landscape contractor, Jan Bills who runs a very successful company, Two Women and a Hoe just created an e-course Social Media Millionaire Makers, Numbers Don’t Lie that I highly recommend. It is so very spot on. Practical and straightforward, and power packed with Stuff that Works. Jan drills down to the gritty details of “How To” And yes, you are reading that right, Two Women and a How has amassed nearly 200,000 Facebook Fans, and nearly 80,000 People Talking About Them.
I purchased the program on Fri and watched the entire series, and can say what she is selling for $98 bucks should be several thousand. For clarity and transparency, I am not making anything or have any ties to this, other than Jan is a friend and admired marketer, nor was I asked to promote this. This is a kick ass course that is significantly undervalued and I highly recommend you grab up a copy for a zillion “How To’s” of Social Marketing and Branding on a Budget.