Branding is a business strategy in which a company differentiate from its competitor to build a strong and deep presence in the market’s mind (the customer’s mind). This helps a company to distinguish its products and services from the competition in the same industry. At the same time creating differentiation which is meaningful and valuable for their targeted customer. A way for company to create their brand which is the gut feeling perceived by the customers.
“Branding is The Art of Differentiation “– David Brier
When branding strategy is applied in a business, it acts as a driver and filter for how the brand operates. All the business process including sales, marketing, human resources, operation, financing, accounting, and purchasing are related to branding. Brand gives the position and direction of the company in the market while branding ensures that this brand stays relevant and relevant in the eyes of customers. That is why every activity in a business has to showcase and bring out the brand essence to every single customer touch points. Branding needs to internalise in order to externalise.
Why Branding is important for Small Business?
Branding is very important for small business (SME) especially in this era where most customers are buying brand subconsciously (even they claim that I buy it because of the quality but not I like the brand itself). To take small business to another level, branding is the utmost important aspect to stay ahead in this era of increasing digital competition.
Branding creates Zombie fans
Through branding strategy, small business can convert or upgrade their existing customers into fans. Fans of a brand not only spend much more and much frequently compared to a normal customer. They also are the ones that support, defend, and build your brand for you. A great example will be every time when Apple launches a new iPhone, Android fans will comment on social media to bash about its outdated function which Samsung and Huawei phone already have it 3 – 5 years ago. While Apple Fans just stays there to talk about how great is the quality of the iOS compared to Android. Your fans care and love your brand and they will become your ambassador or evangelist or as I always joke *Zombie Fans that aggressively promotes your brand to others and make them your new fans!
*Zombie fans is the term I always used in my consultation which they are the strongest species of fans that aggressively spread your brand virus to others.
Branding Make it Easy to buy
The consistency of a brand creates through branding creates a safety net for the customer to buy. You buy McDonald’s probably because of they taste the same and consistently anywhere you go. A company with a strong brand will have a differentiator that stays in the mind of customer, this make them feel safe, familiar and … it is easier to buy with someone you know with isn’t it? ( You probably buy your first house or car from someone you familiar or recommended by your friends and families isn’t it?)
Branding Improves Team Performance
The world biggest brand like Google, Apple and Facebook get the best talent in the world, some even willing to work for free as an intern just to get into the company because of its brand culture. Branding creates a good company culture that makes employee working in a reputable company feel more enjoyable and fulfilling. With a great brand culture that aligns employee to the company’s mission and vision, it gives a clear direction and purpose that moves the team towards the common goal. Performing employee that aligns with the company’s brand won’t leave the company easily and this also improves the retention rate.
Branding is the key to Win for Small Business
According to SMEinfo, 98.5% of business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) which means competition are strongest for SME Owners. To win the competition is not to compete on product, services quality, or advertising budget. This cuts your profit margin by a big portion in order to get customer. With limited budget the key in winning the competition is to have a branding strategy, specifically a brand differentiation positioning strategy. By applying the right differentiation strategy across all our customer touch points such as ads and customer services, you will be able to build your strong brand message in the market. A clear and distinctive brand that communicates the best in the market, will win even with same product sold because of a higher brand value behind (intangible asset).
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