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Do SMBs Care About Branding? Here’s 3 Reasons Why They Should

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I work in the corporate marketing department of RevLocal, where we discuss branding every day. However, our local business clients don’t always think of branding as high priority.

Maybe it never crosses their minds. Maybe they think branding is pointless if their businesses will never get to Coca-cola, Apple or Google level branding. Whatever their reasoning, there are still many compelling reasons to build a consistent brand across platforms (and statistics to prove it).

Why worry about branding? Well, it’s is a great way to set your clients (or yourself) apart from the local competition and help them become a household name, even if it’s only in their town.

Here are my top three reasons why small businesses should care about branding.

Branding makes businesses memorable.

Customers remember brand images and color. In fact, color can increase brand recognition by 84 percent. Think about it. You know exactly what color Coca-Cola’s font is, right? What about those golden arches?

These may be big brands, but local businesses can build the same kind of brand recognition, even if it’s on a smaller scale, by using consistent colors across all marketing materials and media.

Remember that this is good for business. Branding at the local level builds up a business’s reputation within the community, making local consumers want to buy from or even work for that business.

A strong brand builds trust with consumers.

When a business has established a consistent brand voice and image that consumers recognize, those consumers begin to trust the brand. And this can help improve sales.

However, it can take up to seven impressions for a consumer to remember a brand. That means brand consistency is mandatory, since businesses will need to present a consistent brand image and voice across platforms (website, social profiles, ads, etc) in order to make those brand impressions count.

And, that trust can lead to repeat customers, who are worth much more than their initial purchase.

A brand is whatever people say it is.

This quote, attributed to Jeff Bezos, says it all: “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

Branding is more than slapping a logo on every single digital and print item that belongs to a business. It’s the customer experience. The brand is how customers perceive a business—and what they’re saying about it. And customers talk. They leave online reviews and post about experiences on social media.

And, if a customer has a negative perception of a business, they’re probably going to leave a negative online review. Negative reviews can directly impact click-through rates in local search results as well as sales, so small businesses should care deeply about the customer aspect of branding.

Maybe this makes it seem like customers have total control of mass perception of a business. That’s not necessarily true. There’s a lot a small business can do to make sure that what people say about them is great.

Small businesses should provide great customer service; apologize for mistakes; reply to reviews and generally show customers/clients they are important. Those happy customers will in turn do much of the branding work for you, via on-and-offline word of mouth.

Final Thoughts

Branding can build trust, improve sales and set a small business apart from the local competition. It tends to be overlooked, but branding is a hugely powerful marketing tool, and it can fuel successful digital marketing campaigns that keep a business fresh in consumers’ minds throughout the entire buying process.

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