Having a quality brand image is not only important for larger businesses, but smaller businesses as well. Establishing a brand and your business’ image is one of the best ways to get consumers to connect and engage with your business.
A brand is more than the company logo; it is everything your business is about, from the mission statement to the culture. Having a positive brand image helps your customers understand what your business is all about and know what they can expect from you, your product or your service. The brand image you establish should truly tell the story of your business.
Once your business’ brand is established and consistently implemented by all involved within your company, recognition for your brand (and business) will grow. A well-developed brand image will help your business be perceived as reliable, experienced and consumer-focused. This consistency will encourage consumers to make a connection with your business and engage with you, and brand loyalty will begin to flourish.
Brand loyalty is often times the reason consumers choose one product or service over another, and the reason your business will be their first choice. The lifetime value of loyal consumers is far higher than non-loyal. Creating brand-loyal customers should be the goal for any small business.
One of the positive outcomes of developing a strong brand image is the creation of brand advocates and word of mouth referrals. Although brand advocates may not necessarily have as high of a lifetime value as brand-loyal customers, they play an important role in recommending your brand and products [simply because they believe in your brand] and ultimately bringing in new business.
Word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of marketing for small businesses, and when someone is loyal to, or an advocate of your business they are more likely to spread the word! According to Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know when choosing a brand.
In your marketing plan, you should incorporate a branding strategy. One of the first steps in developing your strategy is determining your target audience and their pain points. Applying that focus to your small business’ brand will attract relevant consumers who are in need of your product of service.