The Make or Break Power of Small Business Branding
Intentional branding is NOT just for large companies anymore. Small businesses MUST intentionally focus on branding, in order to thrive--I’d go as far to say, even survive--in an uber saturated market. This is the number one reason branding is so important to small businesses. Keep reading to find out why!
While branding it is not a new thing it’s a much more relevant thing to the masses than it used to be. With the age of social media and digital space there are so many more small businesses. Not only that, bigger businesses often compete in the same space!
Social media enables a small business to get the word out in a very different way then we could 15-20 years ago--which is awesome--but because of that the market is also super, super saturated with everyyyyyone who is also trying to get the word out. So. much. noise! How is branding the solution to this saturation and noise? Why does branding hold this much make or break power? Because branding is the INCREDIBLE opportunity to set ourselves apart from alllll our competition, through our story, connection, and cohesion. Keep tracking with me, and I’ll explain why branding breaks through the noise and the cutting-edge advantage of branding.
Branding is essentially how you come across to your audience and your ideal clients--How you’re perceived, and how they feel about you when they see your content.
This is really important because whether you are purposely branding your business or not, people WILL make a decision in their head of how they feel about you. And every piece of content you put out to talk about your business will affect that perception for better or worse. There is no such thing as neutral.
Which is why it’s really important to be intentional with branding. Cohesive branding also creates recognition of your brand, and helps your client to remember you! According to Pam Moore: “It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand.”
Look at these two contrasting examples with me to see what I mean:
Sally is a watercolor artist, who truly has a lot of talent. She spends most of her time pouring her heart into her art. But when it comes to sharing that art, she usually just posts random things trying to piecemeal a marketing plan together one disjointed moment at a time. Last week she actually got around to taking a few iphone pictures of her latest work in good lighting, and she shoved them onto her instagram feed all at once and breathed a sigh of relief.
On Monday this week, she posted a picture on facebook of her second coffee cup of the day because she figured everyone could relate and she wasn’t done painting anything new. On Thursday she shared a instagram story with one of her works in progress, but never got around to sharing the final result and left her followers hanging. On Saturday she took the day off (good for her!) and she posted a picture of the riverwalk and her dog.
Celeste was an anxious etsy buyer who followed Sally last week as she debated on whether or not to invest in one of the water color paintings. However, after the unpredictable instagram roller coaster this week, and no more art that spoke to her, she unfollowed Sally and moved on. Sally lost a sale to a competitor and didn’t even know it. She didn’t understand that “Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.” (Forbes) Gracie specializes in custom cupcakes for her local town, and everyone has come to love her. Not just because of her cupcakes, but because of the story she shares. Gracie not only loves baking, but she has a love for fostering kittens from the town’s local shelter. Gracie has learned to be smart with her time, and each month comes up with a plan of what content she is going to share, and makes sure it drives her story and business forward in the same lovingly predictable way her town has come to expect. They look every week for a story or two about her mischievous kittens, and wait expectantly for what the cupcake flavor of the week is going to be. Gracie’s cats and cupcakes is a simple venture, but wildly successful as she shares her love of baking and small cuddly creatures in a consistent way that keeps people coming back for more. Her brand intentionality and cohesion set her apart from just any girl baking in her kitchen.
THIS is why branding is important!
People are looking for connection and consistency. If you intentionally use branding to create a connection with your ideal client, and then you deliver that same experience time and time again, and your audience is a whole more likely to buy from you and to be loyal to you. According to Fundera: “89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.” By telling your brand story in a cohesive, consistent manner, you show (not tell!) people how you are different than your competition, and why they should trust you over someone else!
If this sounds intimidating, it’s okay, you can breath! Branding is not something that happens magically or overnight. Branding is BUILT one persistent baby-step at a time, and along the way the process is rewarding and fun--that special client connection is a two way street! That amazing connection continues to drive me as a brand photographer to share all I know about branding, and help other small businesses to thrive! It’s exciting stuff!
We will be talking in the coming weeks about the nuts and bolts of branding. Crafting your story, carving out a niche for yourself, attracting specific ideal clients within that niche, showing your ideal client how you are different from everyone else, and how cohesive brand imagery plays a role in all of it. If you’re ready to build YOUR brand, JOIN ME in my brand building facebook course and community! I’m diving more in depth about this blog post inside there, as well as sharing other helpful resources, and how you can start implementing branding in your business TODAY! We’re using the social learning group mode, so you can jump in any time and catch up! Comment below with one ah-hah moment you had reading this, and where you feel like you land on a brand cohesion on scale of 1 to 10!