This article was continued from part one which you can read here
Developing a strong brand for an SME is just as important as it is for a larger company, though it is often a secondary consideration because of the time it takes for that brand to bed in and the cost involved. Many small business entrepreneurs will opt for a DIY strategy and, while this may work for some, it can lead to a more diluted brand identity that too often changes direction and culminates in confusion amongst customers.
Developing a well-designed company brand helps to focus your entire marketing strategy and leads to more efficient engagement with customers over the long term. SMEs will make the mistake of using a scattergun approach or going for the cheapest option and then regretting it when there is little marketing ROI. This is especially true with marketing activities where someone will have a bright idea and the company funnels valuable funds into it without much thought to the end game. Promotional branding can add strength to your marketing activities whether you are producing leaflets, flyers or even membership cards. It keeps your business on track and gives a clear idea of what is needed in every design stage including:
●The exact positioning and size of the logo on a leaflet so that it has the appropriate impact and matches across formats.
●The language used in marketing material that is aimed at your customer base and reflects your core brand components.
●The size and type of font that reflects your business and the sourcing of appropriate images that fit with your brand.
●The type of products used – for example high grade paper for leaflets or a premium quality design for membership cards that makes the customer feel valued.
●The type of marketing communication that works, doesn’t go off-message, and always adds value to the customer experience.
Wherever your brand appears, including the logo, there needs to be a consistency of look and feel that ensures your values are spread evenly across all touch points. A distributed leaflet, carefully designed will build brand awareness, forge an idea of your brand essence and personality in the customer’s eyes and helps you to position yourself more effectively in the market place.
Every inch of success you want for your business comes from a well-designed brand strategy that customers can relate to. It allows you to leverage that carefully developed equity to make better decisions when it comes to engaging with the public at large, forcing you to be more focused. SMEs struggle to come to terms not only with how they market themselves effectively but also the kind of products they develop for the future. It means that business growth becomes more a matter of chance. On the surface, a particular strategy may well look like a certainty but if it doesn’t fit your brand then you could be sending yourself off message to the detriment of customer engagement and ensuing sales.
For SMEs, developing a well-designed company branding is the key to future success and growth. The good news is that the cost is not as prohibitive as it was just a few years ago. Nailing the right identity and design can bring real benefits in terms of developing the appropriate marketing strategies and building a solid, appreciative customer base that returns time and again because they recognise and trust your brand.