These days, when business is ever tougher, every business has to constantly think of ways to compete better and there is no better way than to build your brand into a really strong asset.
And this applies to small businesses just as much as for the larger ones with the big budgets. In fact, because most smaller businesses don’t take branding seriously, a business that does invest in proper branding from business cards through to website design, will compete better.
A properly constructed and executed brand will convey the correct messages, ensure that none of your marketing spend is wasted, and will attract the right sort of customers – not just those who haggle solely on price.
So, as branding experts, how do we go about this at Snap-Marketing?
Crucial to building a great brand is the groundwork before a single key stroke is made in Quark, or an image edited in PhotoShop.
Researching the market and then defining the Product Positioning Statement (see www.snap-marketing/articles for a detailed framework for doing this) will enable you to laser target your marketing based on the knowledge you now have about what your ideal customers looks like, what they think, where they feel pain (that you can solve), how they behave, how your competition act.
Write all this down – what is your prefect customer (if a consumer, age, sex, region, category of behaviour, or business size, employees, type of activity, geography, behaviour etc), what are their needs (ie the pain), where do they buy your sort of stuff, what is the size of the market opportunity for you, what is the competition up to – their pricing, product positioning, activities.
Narrow your focus as much as you can in terms of defining both your perfect customer’s profile and your product positioning. The narrower you are, the greater the opportunity there is for you to differentiate your offering from the competition and create VALUE.
This means you are not being forced to compete on price all the time and you will be able to target channels to market with precision and your marketing spend will suffer less waste. Your marketing messages can be clearer and targeted with laser-precision to receptive targets. So you have just saved money and created a system for justifying a higher price and this means more profits!
To summarise, you need to know exactly who your customers are and what products they need. Be different, differentiate yourself from your competition and then you won’t get into a price comparison battle.
Communicate with your target customers in the media they interact with, and give them a message that is clear that they can relate to.
Lastly, having invested in the time, effort and money to create a great brand, be totally ruthless about making sure that your logo, brand-colours, brand-fonts, are used on every single piece of marketing, (internal and external) in a totally consistent and repeated fashion.
And don’t forget that creating a brand is just as important for a small local business as it is for big ones – its not just important – this days its non-negotiable. In this economic climate you need a strong brand to differentiate yourself and SURVIVE.
Author Matthew Simmons