Often SMEs (Small Market Enterprise) don’t realize that having a brand is just as important for them as it is for larger companies; however, presenting a professional image and consistent identity to your prospect and existing customers, whatever your size is a vital part of securing new and ongoing business. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend money, but it does mean that you need to give your firm’s brand some thought.
So for those considering business rebranding, here are seven most important things to consider before you dive in and develop a brand.
1. Don’t Fake it – Your potential customers will know if you are faking it so let your personality show. Make sure your brand is memorable and authentic. You have to make sure your business is also selling something that people will want. Is your product something that you would want to buy? It may sound obvious, but it’s a mistake so many entrepreneurs make. It’s also important to recognize when your brand or an idea is failing.
2. Leapfrog the Mistakes – Find someone who has experience doing what you want to do, preferably someone who is a few steps ahead of you. Having a mentor will save you many mistakes along your business journey. They can advise, guide and steer you away from making the same mistakes they did or even help you find your way out of a sticky situation. A mentor can come in many forms, just make sure they have enough relevant experience to make the relationship as useful as it can be.
3. Talk, Talk and Talk – Social media offers up a free community of people to learn from and interact with, as well as acting as a great marketing tool. Make sure you listen to this community, and show that, by engaging with them on a variety of platforms.
4. Don’t get lost in Translation – When naming your business, it’s worth doing due diligence on how the word, phrase, and name will work internationally. Does it mean or sound like anything inappropriate in another country? Has someone already created a business with the same name? Do your research to save time and potentials embarrassment down the line.
5. Use your power for good – Can your brand help your customers to take action on causes that they are passionate about? A powerful way to introduce your product is to highlight how your customer is making the world a better place. Tumbling for good is a great example of how tumbling is using brand power to look beyond the traditional business model, creating a platform solely to elevate the message of those trying to make a positive difference in the society.
6. Be Dynamic and Flexible– A dynamic world needs dynamic brands, says Claire Holmes, Nothing stands still and in today’s digital world it’s becoming clear the way brands need to behave is fundamentally changing. The most important thing for SMEs to acknowledge is that brands need to operate in real time, in a forever-shifting and increasingly complex media landscape. So you can no longer be rigid and prescriptive, slavishly sticking to detailed and constraining brand guidelines. Brands must become dynamic entities, flexible and capable of responding appropriately to every new opportunity, simply to remain relevant and compelling.
7. Get everyone involved – remember to involve your staff in the branding process, their feedback is important. They will be your brand ambassadors, and will have to live and demonstrate the values of it through their behavior towards each other and importantly, towards the customers.