Nnadozie Egeonu: Branding 101 for SMEs

Your business brand is a powerful asset for your breakthrough…

So many people have different definitions of branding; many refer to it as packaging while to some it is the corporate appearance. Branding is the image building of an entity, product or service including the creative fashion of projecting an appealing identity or product to any target audience. It is the impression that the public shares about an organisation, a product a person, among others.

I have seen a lot of startup businesses shut down not because of insufficient startup capital or lack of great business ideas and vision but simply the failure to confront and entice the market with alluring images of its business products and services and in creating a convincing good impression about their organisation expressed by lack of brand communication or no convincing brand identity that isn’t emotionally stimulating and lacks character.

Your business brand is a powerful asset for your breakthrough, get it right and you’ll attract market appeal and profitable clients. But a strong brand image doesn’t just happen. It takes focus, skill, clarity and creativity. It’s too important to leave to chance.

Steps for how SMEs can develop their brands?  First, define clearly your brand or what you are branding. Brand definition is what the market will always look out for after been lured by your marketing stunts. By defining your brand you have set a basis for other brand elements to build on.

Secondly, highlight the objective of the brand. Here, you set a target for the brand.

Thirdly, identify your target market. The ability to identify, understand and focus on your target audience is the power of your brand.

The fourth step is to create a brand identity. Remember branding is your identity in the marketplace. Your company image is all about the appearance and the perception it generates. Branding an SME is not only about the attractiveness of the logo, a rhyming name, or special font. Small business branding is the owner. An engaging brand identity gives your business heart and soul.

Brand strategy and communication then comes next. In developing your brand strategy you must do a careful analysis of the market conditions to identify specific barriers to encounter. All strategy must be drawn on the basis of the peculiarity of your brand, nature and orientation of the target audience and the competition. Also you must build strategies on how to achieve awareness, availability and accessibility of your products, and stimulate affinity which is an important factor. After understanding all these, you then commence marketing the brand through desired channels that fit your brand and which ensure that the target audience gets the feel.

Why should SMEs brand?

It is to make their smallness look big and associated with quality. Branding helps entrepreneurs stand out from the rest and excellently establish a good frame of perception. In addition it helps to convincingly engage the hearts of prospective customers, even in your absence. Branding paints an image of dependability, enhances reputation and communicates credibility, confidence and professionalism.

It announces your presence and rings your bell. Very importantly, branding helps to increase and sustain your spread and market share.

Amazingly, you do not even need to have a lot of money to brand your products successfully; you just need to put the difference and quality into everything that you do. A cheap but compelling brand survives the market competition, attracts and retains customers than an unbranded business with huge startup capital.

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One comment

  1. Interesting Article… The 4 steps are very apt for any SME to survive.

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