Promotional Articles > Branding Essentials for Small Companies
Branding Essentials for Small Companies
Most small companies are familiar with the term ďbrandĒ, but donít see it as an important part of their business strategy. There is also a perception that to create and promote a brand takes a huge financial investment outside the means of typical small businesses. Actually, though, effectively creating brand equity can be accomplished for far less than the costs of splashy magazine ads or a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl.
First, letís clarify what comprises a strong brand. A brand is really a reflection of the customer experience when they use your product or service. And in many cases, the emotional intangible aspects and perceptions of the customer can have a stronger influence on your brand image than the tangible aspects of your products and services.
Brands can reflect many different attributes such as quality, reliability, fun, cool, and innovation. Auto companies are a great example of how a strong brand can communicate the productís unique mission- BMW with precision driving (the ultimate driving machine), and Lexus with top luxury and quality. In that context, itís very easy to see the importance of creating and promoting an organizationís brand. The brand helps define in the customerís mind the productís unique characteristics, and creates an emotional connection and a lasting image.
There are many elements that together create a brand. At the forefront is the internal voice of the organization. All employees must understand, embrace and champion the brand in all activities they perform. The relationships employees have with customers ultimately establish the brand. The brand must also be consistently displayed in all company logos, packaging, and use of colors, font, and marketing voice of all promotions.
It is widely held that businesses that invest in creating a stronger awareness of their brand have a distinct advantage in a crowded marketplace. Remember that customers donít always make a purchase decision based on rational considerations such as price. One low cost method for smaller companies to help promote their brand is to distribute promotional products featuring their logo and tagline, such as personalized pens and pencils. Although ad specialties may have a smaller impact on brand recognition than longer term strategies, their low cost makes them an attractive tactic for creating name recognition in the target market.