Branding Tips for Small Businesses

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Branding Tips for Small Businesses
Eugene James, Manager, Switzerland

A strong brand is key for a business to thrive in a competitive market. A brand signals intrinsic quality. Brands serve to position the company in customer perception. With social media, branding is also a two-way channel leading towards dialogue between companies and customers. When customers feel understood and expectations surpassed, loyalty increases. For big firms, a large amount of resources can be devoted for branding, such as campaigns and celebrity endorsements. However for small companies, the same is not replicable. Nonetheless, according to Heidi Scrimgeour, there are 7 principles to follow that build a strong brand:
  1. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER: Find out about their habits, wants and needs. Engage in a conversation with them. This helps build a personality to which customers can relate to.
  2. IDENTIFY A TARGET MARKET: A risk is for small firms to balk up the wrong tree. They could build an attractive brand, but for the wrong audience. Thus pin down the target and accordingly adapt communication.
  3. LEARN FROM MISTAKES: A strategy may prove unsuccessful and cause financial loss. However this enables better focus for the future and greater customization.
  4. THINK BIG: Portray oneself as ambitious and reach out to customers all over the world. Small scale must not hinder an expression of full potential.
  5. INVEST IN A PROPER LOGO: It is the first visible element, hence brush up on it. External professional support can deliver slicker designs. Maintain consistency in features of the logo.
  6. BUILD A PERSONA: Stand out from the crowd to leave a memorable impression in the customer who relates to the brand on a deeper psychological level.
  7. ADOPT AN APPROPRIATE NAME: Choose a catchy and self-explanatory one. Broad cultural awareness and sensitivity can guide one's choice to avoid offensive and negative connotations.
Source: Heidi Scrimgeour, "A Guide to Branding your Small Business", The Guardian, 8 December 2015



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