“Branding is the process of creating a unique name and image for a product and service in the consumer’s mind”*.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) usually ignore the importance of branding because they are mostly too overwhelmed by the idea of creating a unique brand, as well as the costs involved in generating the brand. The Brand is your image in the minds of the customers and branding is a medium that helps you to sketch that image.
Benefits of branding to SME’s:
Familiarity with the business is a must for the consumers to feel at ease while purchasing. The brands that are easy to recognize often attract more customers. Using logos to identify your brand will help consumers to recognize an organization’s products and services. A logo can consist of a letter, a word, a symbol, or a combination of both. Also, the colors used on a logo will help to identify your brand.
Mostly, small firms are coming up with ideas that are already in place. Differentiating yourself from the competition will place you ahead of the pack. This will help you to create your identity and allow the consumers to relate to your products and services, thus enticing them to become your new customers.
A clear branding strategy lets your staff understand the goals set and strengthens their belief in the organization. A strong branding strategy will ensure the long-term survival of the firm and that will enhance the motivation and job-security of the employees. Also, employees can puff their chest out and feel proud to be a member of their employers’ organization.
The best form of marketing is a ‘word of mouth’ of consumers. A strong brand image will ignite the talks amongst the community which will help generate referrals. The importance of the viral distribution of a message through social media can’t be ignored and strong branding can help exploit that medium to the fullest.
With millions of SME’s operating across the world, branding helps to differentiate each organization from another. Once you have achieved strong brand recognition within your market, your organization will be able to command higher prices, be able to take a larger market share and be prone (to a certain effect) from adverse market conditions. As time goes on, SME’s may need to change their branding to meet the goals that they have set.