‘A 2 Z’’ of Brand building for SMEs
As a small business, you may wonder- ‘why do I need to focus on brand building at this phase of my business’? Better still, ‘I don’t have money to spend to build brands right now’.
Let us clarify a few things upfront. This is being done as simply as possible! After all it is the ABC of brand building
- What is brand building? Simply put, it is a core part of business development that promotes awareness, builds the brand asset, the brand equity and overall brand worth. Your brand is not just the core product performance. No! It is what the product does (performance) PLUS what the brand stands for in the minds of the consumers (the brand equity). If you mention some popular brands in Nigeria, you can almost creatively personify the brands. Example: If you were to imagine what the STAR lager beer is, you will almost be able to sketch ‘him’ out. I believe ‘he’ must stand tall, must be bubbly, handsome without being cheesy and definitely the life of the party. This impression of the brand in my mind comes from several years of seeing several pieces of consistent brand communication. Same way, I imagine the MTN brand is a family oriented persona always happily dressed in YELLOW Ankara and connecting loved ones.
Ok! Back to Reality. You get it right? SMEs need to strive to build their brands too. Do you want your brand to be seen as reliable? What do you want your SME brand to stand for? Good customer care? Efficiency? Speed of delivery? Integrity? Performance?
Brand building is beyond a slogan, it is more than your logo, it is not a jingle, and it is definitely not your colour alone. It is a mash up of all the words below.
Benefits of building your brand:
You drive brand recognition and differentiation: This simply means people believe you offer something different and unique. Yes, there are 1000+ beauty brands out there but once you mention some particular ones, customers throw a salute. This is the fruit of strong brand building. Why do you think some people pay huge $$ for a particular type of watch? Or bag? Or Hair! Yes, they are mostly good quality but these people are not buying that alone. They are also buying the brand name too.
Earn Trust: This goes hand in hand with the above. Why do you think many people are flocking to Canada? Is it the the best country in the world? They have done a good job of building the brand- the country where immigrants are fully welcome . Many people connect with this and trust that once they get there, they will be fine.
Attract new customers and keep old ones: This is another great incentive to focus on brand building. How many times have you bought a product simply because someone said it rocks? A lot right? My favorite example is the Kunle Afolayan brand. I am a big fan and totally believe any movie he releases will be of great quality. I also rave about his work to anyone who cares to listen. Talk about unpaid advertisement. This is what great brand building gets you as an SME too. It delivers both strong loyalty and new customers.
QUESTION: Which brand is this?
I am sure 60% of you guessed right within a 1 minute even though the bottle isn’t labelled. This is the power of branding! So tell us, which brand is this?
To be continued.
Picture credit: pensoagency and crenshawcomm