Small Business Branding – Should I Even Bother?
Today, I’m going to be speaking about small business branding. Should small businesses worry about branding? Small businesses often take the approach of putting advertising out whenever they need customers, but often in the long term, they may start to feel that they’re not really getting any traction from all their efforts. There’s no string that’s tying all of your campaigns together. You’ll actually find that you’ll start wasting funds because some of the things that you’re trying out aren’t actually working.
Branding may be the combining agent that you need to tie all of your efforts together. Let’s look at this way. Branding campaigns can be seen as sewing ideas, perceptions into the mind of your audience. Your call to actions can be seen as harvesting from the positive perceptions. Many businesses do the harvesting really well. They are continuously running campaigns to say, “Buy from me. Register for my event. You need this. You need that,” but they actually haven’t invested anything into creating a positive harvesting field, and they have nothing there to harvest. The customers have no positive perceptions, no background to the business.
Effective branding will actually make your call to action campaigns more effective, because people will start to trust your business, to like your business, and to know exactly why they want your product. How does branding look for a small business? Small businesses need to decide what it is that they are going to be good at, and how they want to be perceived in the minds of the audiences. After they have that clarity, they can create the design elements and the messaging to match that brand, and that includes to local design and your design elements, your advertising, your marketing collateral, and of course, your website.
I recommend that small businesses separate their branding ads from their call to action ads. So many times, I’ve seen a brochure in the mail that has a cue, call to action, register for my event, and you turn the brochure over, and they have three pages of every possible point that they have about their business, every possible thing that could separate them from their competitors. They have five or six different images just trying to get that message across. This is actually quite confusing for your audience, and there’s no clarity in the message there.
If you separate your call to action campaigns, and also spread them around in terms of where you advertise your call to action campaigns versus your branding campaigns, then you’ll start to see that you get better results on both ends. Have clear objectives. Every time you want to get an ad out there, or before you start a campaign, ask yourself, “Is this a branding campaign, so that I can change perceptions or get awareness, or is this a call to action campaign, where I’m actually driving people to take action, be it registering for an event or buying a product?”
Small businesses don’t actually like talking about the topic of branding because they feel it doesn’t really apply to them. They aren’t going out there and buying a huge billboard, just to get awareness. They don’t have the funds to do that, but you still are going to be designing something, and communicating something to your audience, whether it be just your business cards, your website, or sales copy. Small businesses really need to have clarity, so that all of their marketing collateral and communication is going in the same direction and complimenting that theme of how you are different to your competitors.
Plan both your branding campaigns and your call to action campaigns separately. I actually offer free, 45-minute consults to small businesses, and that’ll help them really get clarity on their branding and the messaging that they want to get out there. One session might be all that you need to get the clarity that you need for your next advertising campaign, and you can book your consult at mararoberts.com.au. Good luck with your next marketing campaign. Thank you.