Importance of branding for SME growth | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Importance of branding for SME growth

5 September, 2021

A decade ago, branding was defined as a name, slogan, sign, symbol, colour, design, or a combination of these elements that distinguishes a company, product, or service; to stand out from another company that has competitive products or services. Branding is important for small and medium scale businesses as much as for larger companies as it influences all aspects of a business.

More recognition

Branding helps businesses gain better recognition. A business with strong branding would attract more attention from the public rather than a business without branding. A business lacking cohesive branding would not stay in a person’s mind for long.

According to research data, a business with a distinct logo, attractive colours and other visual elements would become more memorable. The brand might be visible only briefly in the media. However, if it sticks out attractively in a passing moment, chances are that viewers would remember it even though they may not be ready to use the product or service. Eventually, when they have the need for the product or service, they would recall the brand and seek you out.

Trust building

The strength of a business mainly lies on trust from target customers, and this is not an easy task. However, it would be harder for a business to gain trust when it lacks the key features of branding. Without branding, it is impossible to differentiate a product or service from competitors.

Branding helps to show potential customers that the business is well established and credible. This is a mode to communicate the values and goals of the business, and what customers can expect from it.

This is an investment for the business to improve, and potential customers are bound to value the investment you made to create your brand.

Creating loyal customers

In many ways, branding can appeal to people’s emotions making them feel more connected to the company. Branding helps to build relations with customers, eventually leading to loyal customers. Customer loyalty goes beyond ensuring customer satisfaction. It is the transformation of a customer into a brand advocate which is one of the main goals of a business.

Inspiring employees

A company with good branding will make employees feel that they’re engaged in something more than a mere job. Branding can motivate employees by creating a sense of unity and giving them better direction. The company would have happier employees who would become more productive, giving better results.

Improving advertising

Branding and advertising go hand-in-hand. It is imperative to create a good brand first. An effective advertising campaign needs solid branding.

Without this, the business would miss out on many opportunities during a campaign. Incorporating branding into advertising will help increase brand recognition, while cohesively representing the business’ identity and values.

However, many small businesses make the mistake of overlooking branding as they view themselves as a business rather than a brand. Branding could receive less priority amid the day-to-day running of businesses.

It is much easier for small-scale businesses to keep branding aside considering its long-term commitments and challenges in measuring impact in the short run, and address immediate and more pressing business concerns. However, branding has always been a vital part of business. Hence, investing time and resources to develop the brand is crucial to achieve long-term success.

According to Accenture, 66% of consumers say that a brand’s culture and transparency attract them to buy a certain product, and 62% of respondents want the companies to stand up for issues they are passionate about. This illustrates the impact of strong branding.

A brand has the potential to say many things about a company: its products or services, customer relations, employee relations, the promises it makes, the promises it keeps, its values, and even societal goals.

Branding amid Covid-19

Branding is more important now more than ever due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amid the chaos and uncertainty, only the nimble and flexible have the greatest hope for survival. At this point in time, it is vital that businesses have a brand with an online presence, which would help customers to reach out easily through social media or other online platforms.

The Covid-19 pandemic has eliminated most conventional businesses who were unable to adjust to the current situation. Companies which had invested in branding and were flexible to change business models gained exponential growth amid the pandemic.

Current research indicates that it is important for brands to craft advertising to focus on how businesses can help people cope with the situation.

The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report (a survey done with 12,000 respondents) revealed that “84% of the respondents want brand advertising to focus on how brands help them to cope with pandemic-related challenges.”

Due to social media, consumers become exposed to new brands every day.

This is advantageous to consumers with the availability of many options and the ability to weigh the pros and cons with research to settle on the best brand. However, it is harder for businesses due to the increased competition and the fight to retain market share. Therefore, businesses need to go that extra mile to ensure that they stand out in a crowd. To do this, businesses should invest in creating a strong brand that would attract attention. With the right branding, you can get some control over how people perceive your business. Therefore, it is paramount that businesses don’t overlook this.