One of the comments that’s often levelled when a small business hears the word branding is, ‘Isn’t that just for big business?’
It’s easy to see the headline grabbing ‘company x spends $2million on a rebrand’ and think there’s no way a small business could afford that so it’s not for them.
This could not be more wrong.
Let’s think about it for a moment. Some researchers in America worked out that the average American sees 16,000 advertisements, logos or labels in a day!
As soon as you wake up you are faced with them. It could be your alarm clock - which might be your smartphone, the pyjamas you’re wearing, your duvet or bed sheets. Then you get to the bathroom. Your toothbrush, your choice of toothpaste, your make of shower or bath. Not to mention any creams, deodorants or other products.
Everything you use is a brand and has been chosen, whether by you or someone else, for a reason. A choice somewhere down-the-line has been made.
Why was one brand of toothpaste chosen over another? Why do you have an iPhone over a Samsung Galaxy phone? The reason most likely will be something other than money –though naturally this does play a big factor.
Does it make you feel good?
Certain products and services can make us feel good about ourselves. They make us feel more connected, comfortable, efficient, happy and sometimes more alive - even if only temporarily.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of work that goes into designing each element of a product and it’s packaging to enable you to feel a certain way. Imagine if every time you picked up your toothbrush you had a negative experience. It didn’t clean your teeth thoroughly enough. Perhaps it was too soft.
Naturally, you would change it. Then if you found different toothbrushes within the same brand still didn’t quite work for you, this would affect your perception of the brand and no doubt encourage you to pursue a new brand. Your negative emotion around the experience of brushing your teeth would prompt you to take action.
How’s your business?
So now think about your business. What emotions do you think your customers have when buying your product or service? Is it a positive experience? Why? Is it a negative experience? What is it that you can improve to make the experience more positive and help potential customers choose your brand over others?
Small businesses have a great opportunity to raise themselves up against their competitors. Many businesses just don’t appreciate the power of good quality design and branding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that really poorly produced flyer that pops through your door compared to one where the business has obviously taken design into consideration.
I recently received a flyer through my letterbox for a Therapeutic Massage. There were a few things that connected with me.
- Firstly, as I had had a back problem earlier in the year, I was definitely in the market for the service.
- Secondly, I could quickly see the business had thought about branding. It was a professional, clean, clear visual design.
- Thirdly, it contained all the key information I needed to make a decision.
- Fourthly, their understanding of branding was confirmed by visiting their website where the imagery, colour schemes and use of logo was consistent.
I had confidence in their brand from a company I had never even heard of before all through the quality and consistency of branding. I have a massage booked next month so we’ll see if the service matches the visual branding!
It’s is amazing how many businesses simply do not think branding is important enough for them. This sends out a message to their customers that the lack of consistency may not just rest with their visual branding, but also their service too.