89% of Small Business Owners value a strong brand. Do you know how to build one?
Building a strong brand is vital for small businesses. A strong brand helps businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors, build trust with customers, and establish a long-lasting relationship with their target audience. However, while many small business owners recognize the importance of having a strong brand, they may not fully understand what it takes to build one.
A common misconception is that a brand is simply a logo or a catchy tagline. While these elements are certainly part of a brand, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Building a strong brand involves a comprehensive approach that includes brand strategy, brand foundation, and brand activation. Let’s break down these phases and understand what it takes to build a strong brand.
Phase 1: Research-Driven Brand Strategy
Brand strategy is the foundation of building a strong brand. It involves defining your business’s purpose, values, target audience, and unique value proposition. However, this process must be based on research rather than just an internal brainstorming exercise. Conducting research into your industry, target audience, competitors, and market trends are essential to creating a strategy that resonates with your customers and sets you apart from your competitors.
It’s also important to have an outside consultant oversee the process. This is because internal stakeholders may have biases that can steer the strategy in the wrong direction. An outside consultant can bring an unbiased perspective and ensure that the strategy is focused on the customer and the market rather than just the internal opinions of the team.
Benefits of Research-Driven Brand Strategy:
- A better understanding of the market and target audience
- More effective differentiation from competitors
- Increased customer loyalty and advocacy
- Better alignment of internal leadership, operations, and culture
- A competitive edge over other businesses that lack a research-driven strategy (and, based on our experience, most of your competitors don’t have one!)
Phase 2: Brand Foundation
Brand foundation involves creating the visual and verbal elements of your brand, such as your logo, colour palette, typography, tone of voice, and messaging. And, at REX, we include website in your Brand Foundation because it’s something every business needs. These elements should reflect your brand strategy and communicate your purpose, values, and unique value proposition in a clear and consistent manner.
Benefits of Brand Foundation:
- Increased brand recognition and memorability
- Improved brand consistency across all channels and touchpoints
- Enhanced customer loyalty and trust
- Differentiation from competitors
Phase 3: Brand Activation
Brand activation involves bringing your brand strategy and foundation to life through marketing, sales, and customer experiences. This could include designing marketing materials, establishing a social media presence, populating the right online directories, developing an advertising and promotion strategy, implementing a retention strategy, creating a recruitment strategy, developing a content marketing plan, and organizing events.
However, it’s important to make strategic choices in alignment with business goals and create an exceptional customer and/or employee experience at every touchpoint. It’s no longer effective to rely on random acts of marketing. You need a well-planned and cohesive approach to brand activation that is focused on building long-term relationships with your customers and stakeholders.
Benefits of Brand Activation:
- Increased brand awareness and reach
- Improved lead quality – more buyers, fewer price checkers
- Improved customer loyalty and advocacy
- Enhanced customer experience and satisfaction
- Increased revenue and business growth
Sounds good, but you’re a numbers person.
Ok, here are the numbers:
Consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23% (Forbes)
64% of consumers say that shared values are the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand (Harvard Business Review)
A strong brand can increase a company’s market share by 5-7% (Investopedia)
82% of investors want to invest in companies with strong, recognizable brands (Entrepreneur)
Strong brands outperform weak brands by 20% in stock market value (Forbes)
According to studies…
Brands that invest in building a strong brand foundation outperform their competitors by 70% in terms of market value growth over a 10-year period.
Businesses with strong brands were 20% more likely to have experienced growth over the past year than businesses with weak brands.
Businesses with strong brands were able to charge a price premium of up to 20% compared to their competitors with weaker brands.
Businesses that focused on brand-building activities were able to generate a greater return on investment (ROI) from their marketing efforts compared to businesses that focused solely on short-term sales activation tactics.
Businesses with strong brands were able to attract and retain top talent more effectively than businesses with weaker brands. This is because strong brands are associated with a positive company culture and reputation.
In conclusion, building a strong brand takes time, effort, and a comprehensive approach.
It’s not just a logo or a catchy tagline, but rather a well-thought-out strategy that reflects your business’s purpose, values, target audience, and unique value proposition and – read this part carefully – in a way that your perfect paying customer understands, relates to, and resonates deeply with.
By following the three phases of brand building with a qualified strategist, small business owners can create a strong brand that sets them apart from competitors, establishes trust with customers, and drives business growth.
Building a strong brand is a critical aspect of small business success, and the benefits of doing so are clear. At REX Marketing + Design, our team of brand, marketing, and digital strategists can help you create a research-driven brand strategy that sets you apart from your competitors and resonates with your customers. Our experts can guide you through each phase of brand building, from strategy to activation, and help you achieve long-term growth, increased market value, and greater ROI on your marketing efforts.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you build a strong brand.