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Is Branding Important to an SME?

Posted on 08/04/2015, 11:38

Before leaping to conclusions let’s first examine what brand is …

What is a brand: Well it’s much more than a logo – a true brand lives in the heart of the organisation, its customers and the public to whom it is exposed.

We are all familiar with the big global brands; apple and their iPhone brand is perhaps a great example. Consumers pay more to be associated with the brand; trade up to their latest technology; will even accommodate short-comings versus competition because they believe in the brand.

But think local for a moment … I am sure you can conjure to mind small companies in your area that in their space and their geography are doing something similar. They may not be global giants, or even spending money advertising, but they have discovered the secret of branding to create presence and personality …. In short, they have an edge to remember them by.

So what is brand? There are four elements, each of which are important to creating the magic that goes way beyond a logo; they are positioning, personality, architecture and identity. Each element needs attention if the brand is to create that elusive edge

Positioning: Your proposition; the unique space you occupy; the part that marks you out from the competition

Personality: Your character; how you are – you may be cheeky, irreverent, professional or serious.

Architecture: The way you are organised

Identity: The public face including logos, fonts, colours etc.

For a brand to be authentic, genuine, it must be built on the four pillars above. The very essence of the brand must be seen not only in the logo, but also the product, the service, the way you answer the phone, your offices, how you communicate … both internally and with customers and suppliers.

If you have not aligned your organisation behind the brand then fault lines will quickly begin to appear. Get it right and you have a valuable asset. So before creating a logo or looking at colour schemes think carefully about what you want to stand for in the minds of your customer base and then set out to achieve that it every aspect of your company.

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