As the Jan Brady of the American economy, it can be hard to find your place within the hearts of consumers when up against enterprise companies running the show, and small businesses driving the heartbeat of buy local movements nationwide. But you do matter, mid-size business. And now more than ever, it’s time for your voice to be heard.
With a mid-size mentality, there’s much to be gained and achieved. After all, unlike behemoths of the business world, you have the capability of reinvention with fewer hoops and complications to go up against. And on top of that, you have the room to refine and expand messaging as you learn from customers what moves and what doesn’t. A brand is ever-evolving and devoting time to building that identity sets the groundwork for future success, no matter how big or small the company may be.
But why? Above all boxes on the business development checklist, why does brand strategy deserve a spot at the top? 4 reasons:
In our world of high access to information and an ever-growing “be your own boss” mentality decreasing hesitancy towards entrepreneurship, new businesses come, go, and grow faster than you can say “here today, gone tomorrow.” Because of this, the pool of competitors you have to be conscious of as a mid-size business is exponentially larger than days gone by, regardless of your industry. Failing to develop and solidify your brand messaging means you put all faith in the product doing the talking, a product that could be vastly similar to those of the competition in your sphere. Creating a strategy that entices new customers while satisfying existing ones is key given that 48% of consumers said that brand loyalty is achieved within their first purchase or when they begin service.
Effective brand strategy helps give your audience and idea of not just what you have to give as a mid-size business but why it matters that they choose you over everyone else. What do you have from a value and lifestyle perspective that resonates with your customers over everything else? Branding has everything to do with perception and even though you may believe your product to be the best in the market, if customers believe the product of your competitor(s) to be the best based on the connection they feel to that brand, then they’re right and you’re at a loss.
Employee Purpose and Motivation
Growing a successful business is just as much about the talent behind-the-scenes as it is the customers. With that in mind, your brand becomes a reflection of what resonates with targeted audiences and the employees you recruit to drive those missions forward. After all, if your staff doesn’t understand what the business stands for from the perspective of core values and beliefs, how deeply can they be expected to connect with the company and remain loyal? In fact, a vast majority of consumers cite that shared values are one of the main factors in establishing a relationship with brands. This, in turn, increases likelihood of brand loyalty.
A well-developed and consistent brand message that touches every corner of the company, regardless of department, inspires cohesiveness. Strong branding aligns leadership and those underneath them around one common goal, and with this goal, employees are better able to see the purpose behind why they do what they do. And happy current employees only help foster the onboarding of happy future employees—ones that’ll help take your company to the next level.
Improved Recognition, New Revenue
When you think about the concept of recognition, consider companies that have been pioneers in their industries and those who have followed in their footsteps. One current example would be Lyft. After Uber paved the way for “online transportation networking companies,” it transformed into a verb in and of itself for people in urban environments to describe getting from one location to the next. With a sleek, almost VIP feel about its design as a brand, it made the idea of taxiing seem much more exclusive and customizable.
Now, enter in Lyft. While the adoption may have been slow at first up against its larger, more well-known Uber rival, quirky branding with a much more friendly approach has elevated it to the status of fierce competitor. Its well-established brand identity and values has also been the driving force behind moves taken by the company in response to controversies encountered by its industry counterpart.
A well-executed brand leads to recognition. Recognition leads to increased usability amongst current customers and new customers as a result of visibility and word-of-mouth. If you want your product to be remembered, give people something worth remembering.
Establishes a Reason to Trust
Nowadays, customers want to see something more than just a business evaluating the products and/or services they buy into. They themselves want to be seen as more than just consumers. It’s about people selling to people; people seeing the gaps in what people need versus just what they want. Consumers also overwhelmingly distrust most brands. This is mainly due to the fact that consumers feel as if most brands are dishonest and are unable to deliver on expectations.
Investing in building a brand that makes customers stop to think about not just spending money, but how a product demonstrates to others the lifestyle they as an individual hope to represent, means you’re extending far beyond one and done. A consumer that can see beyond the business of things and connect with a brand based on values that resonate with who that consumer is begins to trust. With trust comes engagement, praise, references, and purchase. And this kind of “free” advocacy on behalf of your business from those who know it best—priceless.
Branding is relevant to every business throughout its life cycle. And as a mid-market company, steady growth and adoption may make for a successful business today, but don’t forget tomorrow. Having a solidified brand to fall back on and continually innovate upon ensures your footing against the competition, employee satisfaction, recognition and consumer trust can be called upon in the event of future turmoil.
While all of this branding jazz may sound great, it’s always easier said than done. Luckily, that’s where branding agencies come in. For all your Chicago brand strategy needs and information on the brand that is Mabbly, contact us today.