SCORE

Branding

If it were as easy as putting the pieces of a puzzle together, everyone would be great at branding. Right? This is a topic that needs to be continually worked on.

Consumers today are increasingly overwhelmed with information and have less time to process the message being delivered. That’s why every small business needs a brand—a solid message about its products or services that makes its’way through the noise and attaches itself to the customer’s memory.

Just how important is branding to a small business? When done properly it can create a loyal following of customers, and build a huge customer base for the business.

I’ve been in sales for most of my career and I can tell you this. It’s always easier and more cost effective to keep an existing customer than it is in attracting or trying to get a new one.

Branding starts by identifying what type of business you are in, how you plan on serving your market and who you think your customers are, and how you want them to be treated. It should emphasize the benefits of your product or service rather than just stating the obvious need.

By understanding market trends, customer positioning and how your competition is doing, you can begin to create a competitive advantage that is reinforced in the delivery of all your communication. Branding also involves strategic positioning as basic as the design templates you are using in your marketing materials. Having a consistent design will help establish your brand.

At the same time a good branding strategy should also be flexible. What worked 20 years ago may not work now. Monitor how well your brand resonates with your clients, and be prepared to alter your message as things change. Keep a close eye on what your competitors are doing, but avoid making any sudden changes in your branding efforts as branding should be consistent. Remember, what works for one company may not work for another, despite their similarities.

Always look for ways to reinforce your brand. A good option is by having a blog, where you can regularly share information about your industry with current and prospective customers. Blogs also serve as a forum to discuss trends affecting your customers, and what they need to know about relatively new concepts. Over time, your blog readers will look to you as an expert they trust, whether they currently need your product and service or not.

To learn more about branding and other marketing matters for your small business, contact SCORE Houston.

About the Author(s)

Frank Medina

Frank Medina is a Houston Score Mentor and can provide his expertise on insurance, sales and customer service. He started his career in retail then transitioned to the automotive industry where he had a successful career in sales. After that, he learned another skill, investigating claims as a claim adjuster.

Branding