So why is branding important for your business?
Branding is often mistakenly associated with the big guns of the corporate world with big budgets. The truth, however, is that branding is really for everybody. Nowadays, if you do not have a brand that customers hear about and understand, you simply do not exist. Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) underestimate the importance of branding, often dismissing it as something they can do on the cheap on social media or on the side of the desk. Many companies though familiar with the concept, fail to recognise that it is essential to the success of their business.
It is all about trust and getting that first customer through the door. And many more after that.
Branding is key to help a company, product or a person to develop a unique experience. It is a set of tools that creates a solid first impression, helping you convey your core values more effectively and setting you apart from your competitors.
Lai and partner Jane Lee, consultants, founders and directors of Brandtalks Asia spoke last year to the Malaysia edition of SME magazine: “Branding is key for a business to gain what we call the three Rs“.
“Number one in our book is for your business to be Remembered“. A brand needs to be differentiated from its competition. Customers should understand first hand what your company stands for and why they should trust you and your company to do the job well. Your brand should be conveyed these key messages throughout everything you do. If you stand for great customer service, your ability to deliver a top notch service will be critical in getting more customers through the door.
“Number two is to be Recognised“. Getting recognition means getting attention. Your brand will have a strong presence in the marketplace when it is perceived as a market leader in the goods and services you deliver. Recognition is not just about having flashy ads and getting everyone to know your company or your brand name. Recognition is about having your clientele hearing about you even when you do not engage them directly. This can be achieved not only through referrals but also by disseminating a consistent public relations message that is widely shared and reinforced at regular intervals.
Number three is to be Rewarded. Doing business is all about the bottom line, whether in revenues or people and built relationships. You want to own a brand that has the power to excite in the beginning and the power to sustain for years or generations to come.