If you want your small business to be hugely successful you have to nail the branding. And no, branding isn’t just for the big names, the big players in the industry. Branding is what gives your small business value.
Branding is so much more than just a catchy logo and a few business cards, it is what your employees draw their direction from and it’s what brings new customers to you.
And whilst it is incredibly important to build and work on your brand, it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to marketing your business. Yes, your brand will help carry your business, but focussing on building your brand shouldn’t be done to the detriment of your marketing ROI.
Because if your ROI isn’t making your branding efforts worthwhile, then you’re in for a whole world of hurt.
But first, why should you spend time creating a brand for your small business?
Importance of branding for small business
Building a brand takes time and it isn’t the preserve of national and international companies. Branding is just as important for a small, local business too.
Branding builds trust
Done right, branding allows a company to present themselves in a professional manner, from start to finish. Branding ensures that the marketing messaging stays on point and doesn’t veer off course. In essence, branding is the beating heart of your business – the values and standards that employees adhere to and customers know and appreciate you for.
And when you create a great brand you build trust with your followers and in turn you social proof the products and services you provide. A great brand is genuine, trustworthy and quality – it’s why customers will part with their money.
Branding enhances your marketing efforts
Marketing and branding aren’t the same things.
Marketing is just one aspect of your brand – how you market, what channels you choose to use and through what mediums you choose to share your messaging, all work together to enhance and strengthen your brand.
How you brand your company will help guide your marketing efforts because it will highlight who your key demographics are, allowing you to target them more effectively.
Just be wary of too narrowly defining yourself and shutting your company off from potential customers, but be aware too of trying to catch everyone and in the process missing everyone.
Importance of marketing for small business
Spending time and money creating a brand is one thing, but if the only people who know about your company are your mum, dad and the odd neighbour that you did some pro bono work in exchange for experience, then your business is going to die a death.
It doesn’t matter how revolutionary your business is or how many orphans you can help every time someone buys one of your products, or that your great new thing is going to reverse climate change, without marketing, no one will ever know about you.
- Marketing is how you get the word about your brand out into the ether.
- Marketing connects you to your potential clients.
- Marketing is how you get your products and services in front of people who don’t know you or your brand personally.
- Marketing is how you build up your brand recognition and make your mark on the world.
- But most importantly, marketing is what will get you sales and help you build your client base.
Without marketing, your brand may be great, but if no one knows about you, you’ll fade into obscurity.
And so there is a balance to be struck.
What ROI means for your small business (and how to measure it)
So how do you know if your marketing efforts are working and whether your brand is generating business profitably? Simple – by measuring your ROI.
If you’re spending money in order to make money, you need to be certain that your efforts are yielding positive results.
- One way to measure marketing ROI is by figuring out how much it cost you to do something, and what the outcomes were as a result – ie how much profit was made.
- Another way is the revenue to marketing spend ratio. Ie how much money you have to spend to generate revenue. A strong ratio for most businesses is considered 5:1. That’s five pounds of sales for every one pound spent marketing.
Remember though, It’s not always easy to calculate ROI on all marketing activities, because some avenues such as social media or content marketing are designed to target key customers long before any sales happen. Which is why there is a fine balance to be struck.
Because these marketing activities are brilliant (and cost-effective) at spreading the word about your company and giving you a platform to build your brand. But they are a marathon, not a sprint, and they won’t give you immediate ROI.
Marketing ROI and branding
One final thought – do not get suckered into the misbelief that marketing is all about creativity, theatre and putting smiles on customers’ faces. At the end of the day, marketing is about making money. And everyone understands the value of money.
So focus on your ROI whilst doing your marketing efforts to build your brand, just don’t lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing.