You Don't Have To Be A Big Corporation To Start branding

In today’s market, branding your product is very important in influencing the success or failure of the item. Products especially from Sub-Sahara Africa have failed to hit the market even locally because they have not been making use of branding to create awareness.

What makes a brand a brand?

“What is a brand?” This is the question I asked one of my trainees. Without thinking, as many people know it, she said it is the logo and colors of a company. She was not wrong, but that’s not all. Many people take a brand only for logo, color or name. It is far more than that.

A brand is a name, symbols, words, design, all combined to identify a company, a product or a service to differentiate it from competition.

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I wrote this article I Couldn’t Get An Interview With Her, But Her Product Branding where I talked of Nina Ngassa’s Nina’s Slow Boyz, a packaged snails which she branded and hit the Cameroon and international market with. I mentioned in this post how many people believe branding is for big companies. This is where many young entrepreneurs fail.

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What Businesses Do With Branding?

A business will brand when it wants to:

  • Introduce a new product

  • Bring in a new product category

  • Protect its market position

  • Widen its product offerings

Why do you need a brand?

Your brand is your identity. That is what consumers take to recognize your product immediately they see it. A brand serves as a medium for instant product identification and recognition. Effective advertising will help consumers to identify a branded product. This may lead them to have confidence in the product as well as its quality. Most retailers will prefer to put branded products in their stores because it is profitable for them. Consumers will be more attracted to branded products than those that are not branded.

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Why is Branding Beneficial for Small Businesses?

What do you benefit from when you brand your products or service? You may think it is not necessary at the beginning because you don’t have money or because the business is not yet big. That is not how it should be. You need to budget for a brand before you even launch your business. Brands make your business grow. You don’t want your business to grow before you brand. Branding will help:

  • differentiate your product from that of competition. It gives a reason why consumers will want to buy your product. Without a brand, you are selling a commodity and where the only measure of value is the price. You know very well that as a small business, you can’t compete successfully on price so you just need to bring in some form of product differentiation.

  • build your brand loyalty. What do we mean by brand loyalty? Most often, consumers will go in for a repeat buy of a specific product. Brand loyalty comes in when a specific brand generates recurring income from repeat buys and referral sales. Repeat buy is more cheaper for a company than bringing in a new customer.

  • conveys value for your product. Consumers see branded products as having higher quality, of better value and more reliable than products that are not branded. They believe that products with strong brands rarely disappoints or produce faulty products.

  • build your products pride. Branded products invokes a sense of pride in those who are associated with the sales, promotion and distribution of the products.

It may not be easy to make customers recognize a new product in the beginning even if it is branded. Nevertheless, products that have been branded are easily kept in the memory and more recognizable. One of the main objective for brand development is repeat purchases. This is why effective advertisement of the product before and after sales is very necessary. It will help the customers to easily recognize the product.

It is therefore essential for businesses to advertise and promote before sales. Follow-up advertisements after sales will help in customer satisfaction and bring about repeat purchases.

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