by Nnadozie Egeonu
It’s either you brand properly or you leave your niche market price you less your worth. Branding doesn’t have to be expensive, it is just doing the extra things and paying attention to small details.
The most challenging part of running a branding consultancy for Small Sized business or start-ups is the rapidity entrepreneurs reject the whole idea of engaging a consultant to help them in building a competitive brand. Many see it as a waste of their time, a stupid move that will see them pay a random guy for a job they don’t need or one they could even do by themselves. The truth is that many don’t know the impact of branding, brand positioning and visibility in their small business. They don’t even know why they need it.
I meet a lot of young entrepreneurs who see branding as a business decision reserved exclusively for the big corporations, thus they have failed to understand that those big organizations were once small businesses built by properly young people. Now they are big and enjoy huge market share because they ventured into branding, no doubt paid brand consultants or hired them at some point. The truth is that you can’t do it all, you can’t have the all round knowledge. Most importantly being an entrepreneur requires round the clock work which naturally have ruled you out to perform all functions and to do it best without getting distracted or clouded by sentiments or ignorance.
The market has since evolved into a fierce battle arena with too many products and specialized services like yours for today’s sensitive market to choose from. Branding has remained the key to stand you out from your competitors and help you shake hands with the emotions of your target audience. I advise you to brand NOW.
Branding Activities can be broken down into three main categories….( summarizing from The Distility Model)
- Customer Analysis: Primary audience, secondary audience, trends, needs, perceptions of brand category
- Competitor Analysis: Market position, brand position, brand promise, brand personality, strengths and weakness
- Current brand Audit: Analysis on threats, values, etc
- Frame of reference, reasons to believe, point of difference,
- Value proposition: functional benefits, emotional benefits
- Planning for market positioning, brand positioning, delivering on brand promise, etc.
This summary of some of the many things a brand consultant can do for you. Again, you need a brand consultant because of the following…….
- Specialized skills and expertise. You need an extra brain because you the paucity of f internal branding expertise you presently have in your outfit.
- How to manage the creative process in building identity, perception, positioning and visibility are central challenges for Small Sized business owners.
- To overcome your lack of structured brand research/insight
- To translate your business product or service into a brand.
- How best to link your product and services to good customer experience
- To save you the peril and costly time of experimenting on strategies that doesn’t seem to work for you.
- To give your brand or small business an emotional personality. Believe me that you can’t do on your own.
- Some one who can help you translate your vision into a brand concept
- The need for maximum efficiency.
- To make your small business look BIG
- An external perspective and view-point
- You are too involved in your business activities that you don’t see some details. Being a business owner you are too close to understand some ramifications why you brand isn’t being accepted by your target audience.
- You have limited budget: a brand consultant will help you manage, and drive focus and discipline when spending part of your budget on marketing and promotion, thus helping you to reach your maximum branding objective with limited cash.
- A guide for the creative journey of branding. Because you don’t understand what branding is, you will also not know how it affects your small business. A brand specialist will work with you to engage the emotions of your market.
Because you are doing the wrong things and do not understand too well your customers’ dynamics. You need someone to tell you the truth you have not heard about the business model you operate. Engaging a consultant to help you in building a brand is very important. It’s either you brand properly or you leave your niche market price you less your worth. Branding doesn’t have to be expensive, it is just doing the extra things and paying attention to small details, and no responsible consultant will demand a fee that is too much for you to pay, because he knows you’re a small sized business owner who needs more capital for expansion.
Letting a consultant help you in branding not only SAVES you TIME but MONEY. Just focus on your job and leave the rest for those with specialized knowledge. It pays a great deal. ACT WISELY!!!!
Nnadozie Egeonu is a Brand Analyst, who helps small & medium scale entrepreneurs and start up businesses develop competitive brands, create corporate images, and devise marketing strategies. He blogs about branding at www.brandigest.wordpress.com.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.