Are you a small business thinking of getting branding and identity design for your business? Are you uncertain about why it's important and what value it adds? Perhaps it is better to take a pause and check if this is the right time to create branding/rebranding for your business. Read along to know more...
Branding, by layman’s definition is either a business name or a logo. If went with that alone as a definition, branding is an urgent need for any business when it starts. But the truth is that branding is far more than a logo. In fact, logo plays a very small role in branding a business. So, what is branding, really?
Branding is basically the impression created by a business amongst its customer. Simple, right? Not really. It’s an ever-going process where a business builds and maintains a reputation amongst their customers and does that through various touch-points such as mission behind the business, the product quality, service quality, packaging, customer satisfaction etc.
Many small businesses don’t think of building this reputation on Day 1 of their business. They just want to start selling, as they rightly should. But they do have a name and a logo ready to go. This name and the logo may not be derived out of any planning or strategy but it works fine to begin with.
In an ideal world, branding is sorted in the beginning of business itself. But a lot of businesses don’t see the value in it yet. So, when do they really consider branding in order to expand their business? It is only when they cross the following 4 stages of business, branding seems like a necessary value addition to their businesses:
All businesses at this stage are trying to figure out a whole lot about their product/service. They are perhaps still building the product and it’s probably still being tested for quality, market need etc. At this point, branding is not even in the agenda.
Then there is a stage when the product is rolled out to audience to see if it has a demand and liked by the users. This stage is welcoming feedback regarding the product to make it better. Businesses basically just want to be seen and make a sale at this point. Selling is a necessity at this stage but branding isn’t. Thus, it’s not in the priority list yet.
Now, the brand grows to the point where it finally starts making sales, but still probably just breaking even. There is a good chance that the business owner is now looking to boost sales, but is branding going to help? They don’t know and they are probably too unsure to invest. To be honest, branding may have made it to the priority list by now but still hasn’t made it to top of the list.
A couple years into the business now (maybe much lesser than that), there is some profit but perhaps there are blockers such as attracting new customers, retaining current customers, increasing profit margins and competing with similar brands. Now would be the most critical time to start thinking about branding. This is because, the business is now liked by the customers for one time purchase and probably could even grow bigger soon but the business needs to appeal to its ideal customers in order to have a massive change in the way it is seen.
Branding at this point is an absolute necessity. It answers questions such as whom you serve, why you serve them, whether you care about your customers or not, whether you are reliable as a brand, why you are different from others and why customers should choose you over others.
While branding (strategising how your audience will perceive you) answers these questions, brand identity design (An integral part of branding) will help in differentiating your products from others in the market and make your brand memorable solving a whole lot of the previously mentioned blockers. If you miss this bracket to get your branding sorted, two things could happen, either you end up growing at a slow and minimal rate with no impact on your customers, or you get stuck competing with bigger brands and fail causing the downfall of the business and we don’t want either.
Of course, you could get your branding designed at any stage before Stage 4 but there is a chance that the business might not have the monetary investment needed to get it done properly or you might feel that the amount invested is too much. All because you think, you won’t see the results until you reach Stage 4. What you miss is that branding allows you to fast-track through first 3 stages and skip stage 4 of blockers completely to reach a Stage 5 of thriving business.
Now that you know all scenarios, take your time and decide when to actually invest in branding and yes, the investment will be big but the results will be bigger and when you are ready, you can reach out to a brand strategist such as myself. Contact me here .