Branding Strategies for Small and Medium-Sized Companies

By January 28, 2009 May 8th, 2015 Marketing Communications

What is branding?

Branding creates an identity for your company and products. It’s a marketing process that you can use to establish a brand name for your products and services, giving customers confidence in your company, and strong reasons to purchase from you. Once you’ve established a strong brand identity for your products, you’ll increase the value of your products by gaining your customer’s trust, and as a result, you’ll increase profit margins.

Often, companies that don’t have a strong market position and brand identity resort to cutting prices to increase sales. Price-cutting leads to increased sales volume, but lowers profit margins, leading the company down a descending spiral of profits. However, if you can create value for your products and services, you can command a higher price and increase profit margins.

Branding for small and medium-sized companies

Big companies like Intel, Gillette, Nike and Proctor & Gamble spend millions of dollars on branding by hiring large sophisticated advertising agencies to help them build their brands. But even if your company is small and you have a limited marketing budget, you can still incorporate basic branding strategies into your marketing program.

In all reality, branding is just a sophisticated term for good marketing practices. Here’s how to create a branding strategy for your company:

The first step is to do a thorough positioning of your company and it products.

Then, use your positioning strategy to differentiate your products or services from the competition by identifying the one big bottom line benefit that your company offers. Pick ONE THING that you do better than anyone else in your industry. Of course, there will be many benefits to using your company’s products or services and you will want to mention those benefits as well, but to build an effective marketing campaign, focus on the one big benefit.

Once you’ve identified your one big benefit, develop a tagline to support that benefit and display it prominently in all your marketing materials. In addition to your tagline, reinforce the one big benefit in your copy by saying it different ways throughout your marketing materials to keep supporting your message.

The Three C’s of Marketing

Now that you have a handle on the elements of your marketing campaign, simply follow the three C’s of marketing — consistency, consistency, consistency. Look at all your marketing materials and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do all these materials look like they came from the same company?
  • Is my company’s logo consistently and prominently displayed?
  • Do I have a meaningful tagline that supports my company’s position in the marketplace?
  • Is my messaging consistently supporting the same key benefit throughout all my marketing materials?

With the focus on Internet marketing and cost-cutting, many small to medium-sized companies skip these important steps. Most business owners are not marketers and don’t see the value of hiring marketing professionals to help them with their messaging. The result is often a website with no personality that doesn’t speak to customers about their problems and how to solve them. Or email newsletters that focus on what the company wants to say and not what the customer wants to hear.

Think Like a Marketer

If you incorporate the right messaging into your marketing materials, every dollar you spend will work harder to grow your business. Think about your marketing materials from your customers’ point of view. How can you help them? What problems can you solve? It’s not enough to have a website. Make your website work harder with a little thought and effort up front. If you do your homework, your marketing program will get better results and your company will grow quicker. If your business is slow, now is a good time to rethink your marketing materials and your website. Be ready to take advantage of the upturn when it comes, and it will.