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The Power of a Strong Brand for Small Business Success

Updated: 6 days ago

Small businesses with a strong brand differ from those without in several ways, including marketing impact, marketing costs, client retention, sales, customer self-selection, cross-selling, economic resilience, and company valuation.


Building a strong brand is often put aside by small businesses in favor of day-to-day activities that seem more urgent, but it is actually a mistake with serious consequences in the medium and long term. A strong brand is indeed vital for the success and growth of small businesses and should be a key goal and a daily concern for any small business owner. In this article, we will explore the differences between a small business with a strong brand and one without, and provide actionable steps that small business owners can take to build and maintain a strong brand.



A Higher Marketing Impact


A small business with solid, world-class branding will have a greater marketing impact than one without. If it sounds like an overwhelming statement, bear in mind that you want a dominant brand in your own category and context, not in absolute terms in the general marketplace. We talk quality and not quantity here.


A strong brand is associated with trust and credibility, which can lead to increased brand awareness and more favorable consumer perceptions. According to a study by the Nielsen Group, "brands with high levels of trust and credibility are more likely to be considered by consumers during the purchase decision-making process."


As a small business owner, you should focus on building trust and credibility with your target audience by being qualitative, transparent, and authentic in your branding and marketing efforts, and then by consistently delivering on your promises, and providing excellent customer service. But if you have not built a clear, compelling promise with your branding, customers won't have any frame of reference to judge your efforts.



Lower Marketing Costs


A small business with a strong brand will also have lower marketing costs than one without. When a brand is well-established and recognized, it may require less advertising and promotional spending to maintain visibility. In contrast, a small business without a strong brand may have to invest more in advertising and other marketing efforts to gain recognition and build credibility with consumers.


As a small business owner, you should invest time and resources in building a strong brand right from the beginning. It will guide your vision, and actions, and help you drive innovation both in product and service in a coherent direction. This includes developing a clear positioning, strategic platform, brand message, visual identity, and consistent messaging across all marketing channels.


By doing so, you will be able to save on marketing costs in the long run as customers will be more prone to self-select your offer, buy more products from you in the same purchase, come back by themselves, and recommend your brand to others.



Better Client Retention


A small business with a strong brand is also more likely to have higher client retention rates than one without. According to a study by the branding and marketing firm Landor, "brands that inspire trust and loyalty are more likely to retain customers."


You should focus on defining a unique brand positioning with solid values, and then manifesting them as an exceptional customer experience, whether that's through providing excellent customer service, offering personalized deals and promotions, or creating a sense of community among customers. By doing so, you will be able to foster long-term customer loyalty.



Increased Sales


A small business with a strong brand will also likely see an increase in sales compared to one without. A strong brand can help a business stand out in a crowded market and drive consumer purchasing decisions. In fact, research by Millward Brown found that "brands that are able to create emotional connections with consumers are more likely to drive purchase decisions."


As a small business owner, you should aim to create an emotional connection with your target audience through storytelling and consistent messaging across all marketing channels. Spend time and effort developing your own personal brand and communicating with your audience on social media and other channels where you can incarnate your business personally. By doing so, you will be able to drive consumer purchasing decisions and increase sales.



More Customer Self-Selection


A small business with a strong brand will also likely see a higher rate of customer self-selection, as consumers are more likely to seek out and choose products or services from a brand they trust and recognize. According to a study by the Nielsen Group, "brands that are able to create emotional connections with consumers are more likely to drive purchase decisions."


Following what we said in the previous section above, focus on creating an emotional connection with your target audience through consistent branding and messaging. Again, the use of your personal brand in conjunction with your company brand will do wonders to attract customers who self-select their products or services.



Easier Cross-Selling


Investing in building a strong brand will also help you see an increase in cross-selling opportunities, as customers may be more likely to purchase additional products or services from a brand they trust and recognize. According to a study by the branding firm Siegel+Gale, "brands that inspire trust and loyalty are more likely to drive repeat business and cross-selling opportunities."


In everything you do, you should aim to create a sense of loyalty among your customers by having a very clear and consistent brand promise, always delivering on it, providing excellent customer service, and offering personalized deals and promotions. Remember however that good customer service is not a concierge service to deliver anything, but rather the ability to deliver exactly what you promised. Hence the importance of being extremely clear on what is your brand promise (and what it is not.) By doing so, you will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, which will increase cross-selling opportunities, and drive better business at no cost.



A Stronger Economic Resilience


A strong brand will also likely be more economically resilient in the face of market challenges and economic downturns. And in the current environment, it is not a vain consideration to have. According to a study by the Interbrand, "brands that are able to create emotional connections with consumers are more likely to weather economic downturns and maintain their value."


As a small business owner, this also applies to you and you should focus on building and nurturing emotional resonance with your target audience. This includes creating a clear brand message, visual identity, and consistent messaging across all marketing channels. Your personal brand as an entrepreneur will help immensely here too. Understand that besides strong financial reserves and hypothetical government loans, branding is really your best bet to weather economic downturns.



A Higher Company Valuation


A small business with a strong brand will also likely have a higher valuation than one without. Again according to an Interband study, "brands account for an average of 30% of a company's market value."


If you intend to sell your business before you retire for example, or if you think you'll do a partnership with other brands, you should focus on building a strong brand as it will directly increase the perceived and hard value of your company. Start doing it now, because building strong brands doesn't happen overnight and the longer you consistently invest in it, the stronger it is and the higher its value.



Take Action Today


Small businesses with strong brands have a competitive edge over those without in terms of marketing impact, marketing costs, client retention, sales, customer self-selection, cross-selling, economic resilience, and company valuation.


Building a strong brand should be a key goal for any small business owner, as it has a significant impact on their success, growth, and value. By focusing on building trust and credibility, creating an emotional connection with your target audience, and delivering on your promises, you can build and maintain a strong brand that will drive your business forward.


Last but not least, understand that if you follow the right process and use the right resources, it is not more expensive today to create a high-quality, beautiful visual identity that has nothing to envy world-class players than to settle for an amateurish design that will lead you nowhere. It only takes a bit more time and effort, but it's definitely more than worth it.




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