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Ok, so we explained why you should have branding in our last post. Now, let’s look at what Branding is:

  • Branding is the building of trust with employees, customers and stakeholders.
  • In marketing terms, the definition of branding is the sum total of a company’s value, including products, services, people, advertising, positioning and culture.
  • Brands give potential clients a firm idea of what they are buying before they buy it, making the purchasing decision easier.
  • Customers trust strong brands because they know what to expect.
  • The term ‘brand’ should not be confused with Brand Identity or Corporate Identity. Brand Identity is an element of the brand experience and we’ll talk about brand identity below.
  • A Brand is a way to tell a story, your company’s story

But, brands aren’t just for big companies. They can make smaller businesses stand out from the crowd, particularly if you operate in a competitive market. We need to trust the people we do business with after all.

The benefits of branding and why should small businesses bother with it?

  • The most important reason is that it can help increase your sales. This means that when you need to increase your prices (because you are a small company, and there are only so many hours in the day) then your target audience will be accepting of your price increase. Think about it like this – if your company is built upon a solid brand base, you can build up to the next stage successfully without losing the trust of your customers.
  • Branding also encourages confidence and trust in your product/service – If you do experience a one-off issue with a product or service, your customers would be more likely to understand, if your brand ethos proves that you’ll do what it takes to resolve the problem.
  • Branding also develops the uniqueness of your product.

OK, so what makes up a brand?

Well, as I’ve mentioned above, your brand values.

Also, visual elements such as colours, fonts and logo (more of which in our entry: Getting Started with Branding),

Your USP: Your Unique Selling Point – What makes you stand out from your competitors? – Your USP is a summary of what you do and how you do it better or differently than others. Often, a USP can be summed up in just a few words that become a catch-phrase or strapline. Whether long or short, your USP should focus on how it benefits the customer. Here are a few well-known examples of USP strap lines:

  • the best a man can get. Gillette – USP focusing on quality
  • the world’s favourite airline. British Airways – USP focusing on popularity
  • never knowingly undersold. John Lewis – USP focusing on price
  • top dog for music. HMV – USP focusing on quality
  • have it your way. Burger King – USP focusing on choice
  • every little helps. Tesco – USP focusing on price
  • just do it. Nike – USP focusing on a can-do attitude
  • the ultimate driving machine. BMW – USP focusing on performance
  • the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate Flake – USP focusing on being unique
  • the mint with the hole Polo – USP focusing on being unique

If you’re able to sum up your brand values and your advantage over competitors into a strap line, why not put it on your literature and advertising and make sure everyone gets the message! This is key to what your branding is.

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